Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Possibly The World's Most Valuable Unlisted Website

If you are older than 30, chances are high that you have never visited YouTube, or more specifically ... Well, you should, as this could very well be the most valuable website/company next to Google and EBay. It probably would never come close to Google but its going to make the owners billions.

YouTube is just 14 months old, can you believe that... and the founders are probably just a tad older than that!!! The two founders are 20-something ex-PayPal veterans. Chad Hurley and Steven Chen got US$8 million in second round venture capital funding from Sequoia (the same early investors in Yahoo and Google). YouTube's premise is simple but effective, it is a tech-savvy and easy to navigate site for people to upload videos of various antics /mind blowing lip-synching performances / comedy sketches / etc... to share with the world. You are likely to view interesting snippets from TV comedy shows - and the traffic/hits/views are a brilliant indicator of what's hip / funny / cool / jazzy... The site now has about 30 million views a day and is growing rapidly.

Facebook, another social networking site, has already just rejected a buyout offer of US$750 million. To me, YouTube is a few times more exciting than Facebook. The potential for media companies to use YouTube as a research and marketing tool is enormous. The only thing to iron out is the copyright. While a lot of the submissions are from private individuals, there have been a substantial number of snippets from copyrighted shows/programs. They have been smart enough to limit the uploads to 10 minutes thus erasing the hot TV episodes breaches. They have also installed the control whereby if a clip has been taken down, it can never be uploaded again.

To see why you will be hooked on YouTube in just less than 10 minutes, just go to:

then click on "Top Favourites"
then click on "robot dance" video

(now, tell me that is NOT the most amazing piece of dancing you have ever seen?!!!)

still game, then click on "guitar" video to see Joe Satriani reincarnated into a very young (probably Asian) kid ... absolutely unbelievable.

and finally, check out the absolutely bonkers sketch in "Crazy Asian Mother" about the zealous over-achieveing Asian moms on their poor, brilliant children studying in America.

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