News: The October 16th, 2006 Forbes has a cover story on “The YouTube Revolution” with a large photo of CEO and co-founder Chad Henley. The article recounts YouTube’s young history, starting as an idea between Henley and co-founder Steve Chen conceived after a party with their coworkers from PayPal where they used to work. The idea sprung after colleagues at the party had difficulty sharing video clips taken from the party — a saga explained here on Charlie Rose.
The article also contains some interesting discussion of the huge interest of established businesses in YouTube as a platform, and the vision of the YouTube founders: Video democracy is here, [Henley] says, and falling costs of transmission and a growing audience eager for the offbeat have empowered anyone with a laptop to create, review or alter almost any piece of digital entertainment–right up there with the big guys. “Hollywood will always bring great content,” he allows, “but amateurs can create something just as interesting–and do it in two minutes.”
Analysis: YouTube is a rather simple idea. Users seem taken with it because it gives them a new outlet to share their own content. Businesses are taken with it because it’s now one of the websites with the most buzz on the Net. The Forbes article is just another indicator of that. Buzz, though, is not a substitute for business. YouTube is trying to lay the foundation for a sustainable business.