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Business Ideas – 3 Business Lessons from the YouTube Founders by Evan Carmichael
Today we are going to look at two men, one from a middle-class family, the other an immigrant from Taiwan. After befriending each other on the job, these two men would join forces to build an online business that would eventually sell for $1.65 billion. This is the story of YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen and the top 3 lessons you can learn from their success.
“It’s about creating new market opportunities. Giving users new ways to be creative…We see our technology as a platform for other things.” – Chad Hurley and Steve Chen
Steve Shih Chen (born August 1978) and Chad Meredith Hurley (born January 1, 1977) joined forces to build YouTube.com, a social video site that sold to Google for a reported $1.65 billion. These two friends met while working together at PayPal.com. They hit it off and would begin spending a lot of time together discussing their business ideas. However, it was not until eBay purchased PayPal for $1.54 billion that they both would decide to follow their dreams.
Upon the sale of PayPal to eBay, both Chen and Hurley would receive large bonuses. They decided to use their money to create their own venture. With Chen’s engineering skills and Hurley’s creativity, they thought they had the right mix to form a company together. They really had no idea about what type of business to create, but felt that together they could create something monumental.
In January 2005, Hurley and Chen attended a friend’s diner party in San Francisco. They had taken a few digital videos of the event and wanted to share them with each other the next day, but could not find a good way to do it. The files were too big to email and posting them online would take hours. With that, Hurley and Chen had their first idea for a sustainable business. Using the money they had received from the PayPal buyout, Chen and Hurley decided to create YouTube, to make uploading and sharing videos online as easy as anyone could want.
Action Item #1: Build an Experience
Action Item #2: Make the Business Unique
Action Item #3: Focus on the Customer
If you focus on your customer they’ll take care of your business success. Get close to them, understand what they really need, and get their feedback on what you can do to be better. Businesses that form around customer problems are more likely to succeed and are more likely to adapt to changes when the economy dips.
From day one of YouTube, Hurley and Chen have reaffirmed their commitment to creating the best possible service for their customers, even where that came at the expense of their revenues. They are not simply compassionate businessmen, out to make people happy instead of making a dollar. Instead, they see user satisfaction as necessary for long-term success. They believe that every successful business must listen to their customers and focus on what the customer’s wants.
According to Chen and Hurley, “If we wanted to, we could instantly turn this into $10 million in revenue per month by running pre-rolls [short video ads] on the videos. But at the same time, we’re going to make sure that whatever revenue model we’ve built is going to be something that’s accepted by the users… We’re not in a hurry. We’re interested in building our community. We’re trying to improve discovery. We’re trying to improve the experience for people on our site.”
After the dinner party that gave Chen and Hurley the business idea for YouTube, they wanted a simpler way to share their videos of the night, so they immediately went to work creating the answer. They witnessed the massive growth of such sites as MySpace and wondered how they could leverage that growth to their advantage. Instead of building their own social networking site, Hurley and Chen wanted to take advantage of those that were already out there.
To that end, they made it easy for members of those sites to embed YouTube videos on their pages. They worked with those companies that were already out there, instead of trying to go against them. By following this strategy, Chen and Hurley found it easier to build upon their idea and their company began to take off.
Paul and David Karofsky on “Senior Gen and Next Gen Working Together Effectively”
What helps to bridge the generational divide in a family business? In this video interview, Paul Karofsky and David Karofsky describe what has helped them to work together effectively — and what steps can help other parents and their adult children to succeed.
Ramsey Musallam: 3 rules to spark learning
It took a life-threatening condition to jolt chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam out of ten years of “pseudo-teaching” to understand the true role of the educator: to cultivate curiosity. In a fun and personal talk, Musallam gives 3 rules to spark imagination and learning, and get students excited about how the world works.
As a high school chemistry teacher, Ramsey Musallam expands curiosity in the classroom through multimedia and new technology.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
Technological innovation in education can be a slow and painful process, with new technology difficult to acquire, implement and adopt. But that doesn’t stop Ramsey Musallam, a chemistry teacher at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep in San Francisco, whose mission is “to meaningfully integrate multimedia into a hands-on, inquiry-based learning cycle” and to empower other educators to do the same. Musallam is a vocal advocate for tools like flipteaching, tabcasting, video podcasting and screencasting in the classroom. He runs the education blog Cycles of Learning, where he gives written and video tutorials on how to turn everyday apps like Google Docs, screencasting from an iOS device, YouTube, KeepVid and word clouds as effective teaching tools. Musallam received an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco in 2010.
The Power of Women in Philanthropy
The USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy 2013 Philanthropic Leadership Forum Breakout Session on Philanthropic Imagination featuring Judy Belk, Michele Ozumba, Gael Sylvia Pullen, Erin Hogan
Entrepreneur Leadership Speaker Series: Jon Schmidt
Jon Schmidt began songwriting at age 11. He now has over one million YouTube subscribers with nearly 200 million views from his project called The Piano Guys. He is currently working on this project with Steven Sharp Nelson, they because an internet sensation because of their original self-made music videos. Some popular videos include, “Cello Wars” and “Peponi (Paradise)”.
Jon is a very talented pianist; his work is often described as New Age music with pop elements of hook and melody. He was born in Bountiful, Utah. He has released eight albums and seven piano books with original arrangements. He is noted for his treatment of harmony, counterpoint, and rhythm. His works were also featured on sample discs for the Iomega Hipzip Digital Audio Player with the pieces “Sacred Ground”, “All of Me”, and “Waterfall”. Schmidt’s influences include Mannheim Steamroller, Billy Joel, and Beethoven.
Kid President: I think we all need a pep talk
Kid President commands you to wake up, listen to the beating of your heart and create something that will make the world awesome. This video from SoulPancake delivers a soul-stirring dose of inspiration that only a 9-year-old can give.
Kid President is otherwise known as Robby Novak, age 9. His executive order: for us all to “treat everybody like it’s their birthday,” every single day.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
In his inaugural video for SoulPancake, unleashed on the web in October of 2012, Kid President — aka 9-year-old Robby Novak of Henderson, Tennessee — declared, “I’m not in a party. I am a party.” Now, people from all around the globe are coming to celebrate.
Kid President began as a collaboration between Novak and his older brother-in-law, Bradley Montague. The pair tag teamed to plant hilarious seeds of wisdom and posted their videos online for family and friends to enjoy. But the videos soon caught the attention of SoulPancake, the YouTube channel and website co-created by Rainn Wilson of The Office. The site has picked up 19 Kid President videos so far, and counting. The most popular to date, “A Pep Talk from Kid President to You,” has been watched more than 6 million times in just its first week online. It features music from Sleeping at Last and Skewby.
Kid President quotes sources as diverse as Robert Frost and Journey, and pens many of his own bon mots. We’ll leave you with: “What if Michael Jordan had quit? … He wouldn’t have made Space Jam … What’s your Space Jam?”
“Meet ‘Kid President,’ a 9-year-old bundle of cuteness gussied in a fancy suit. The pint-sized president has been addressing the nation for months now in a series of hilarious online videos, and his platform is simple: To make grown-ups less boring, to make the world awesome, and to make people dance.” Today