Tuesday, October 10, 2006

google + YouTube

So Google has acquired YouTube in an all-stock transaction worth US$ 1.65 billion (listen to the webcast here). There are lots of interesting bits in this acquisition:
- the incredible quick success of YouTube, a typical garage start-up that in a time span of just 20 months became a social phenomena with 50 million users worldwide.
- the huge payoff for Sequoia Capital, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm that put down US$ 11 million and got a 30% stake in the company, worth now US$ 495 million. Not a bad return for a 20-month investment.
- the fact that it was Google who got the final deal beating the other suitors, Microsoft, Viacom, Fox and Yahoo. It tells something about the dramatic shift in power in the business world.
- the jury is still out though, with all the copyright implications, as Mark Cuban writes in his Maverick blog.
- YouTube. Great choice of name, it says what the service is all about right away. And a refreshing one for that matter, given all the undistinctive "i-something" brands that exist out there. Maybe it was just a coincidence but it's interesting that "YouTube" is exactly the opposite of the "i-something" bunch (You, i, so duh, how didn't I notice it before?), and it's YouTube with a capital initial, not youtube.
- But will that mean we'll be flooded with a bunch of "You-something" brands now?

Sorkin, Andrew Ross and Jeremy W. Peters. 2006. Google to acquire Youtube for $1.65 billion. The New York Times. October 9, 2006.

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