YouTube Grows Up — But What Does It Mean?

Google — as you may have read in every publication, online and off, in the entire freaking world — just paid $1.65 billion in stock to be the cute little kitty-cat’s home.

The price tag for YouTube, just to put the investment in perspective, is what Target paid for 257 Mervyns department stores and four distribution centers in 13 states, and just a bit more than WPP Group paid for the Grey Global Group advertising network with 10,500 employees in 83 countries generating $1.3 billion in revenue. Those, of course, are both profitable enterprises with vast fixed assets. YouTube’s fixed assets pretty much consist of a video interface and a cool retro logo. So why is it worth nearly six times the gross domestic product of Micronesia?

This story will definitively answer that question.

Well, maybe not exactly answer.

But explore.

OK, guess.

The desire to create and share
But that guesswork begins in a very special, very poignant, and potentially very lucrative place: the hitherto futile aspirations of the everyman to break out of his lonely anonymous life of quiet desperation, to step in front of the whole world and be somebody, dude. A recent Accenture study of 1,600 Americans found that 38% of respondents wanted to create or share content online. Aha! Suddenly the inexplicable “Numa Numa” begins to make sense. He could, so he did. And so have lots like him. It’s said that if you put a million monkeys at a million typewriters, eventually you will get the works of William Shakespeare. When you put together a million humans, a million camcorders, and a million computers, what you get is YouTube

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