Saturday, June 28, 2008

NewVeeTee: Chad Hurley: How We Did It

"YouTube CEO Chad Hurley, not known for being especially candid (especially now that he’s under the lock and key of Google PR!) gave an unusual address last night at a startup dinner in Palo Alto where he detailed the story of YouTube. We caught the talk on video. It’s too long for our YouTube account, so we’ve posted it on"

Notes (I left out some of the already well-known parts):
-- Chad and Steve’s original ideas were video for online auctions and ways for people to connect with each other, but realized they needed to generalize and create a video upload community along the lines of Flickr.

-- YouTube didn’t have PowerPoint, just product and stats, when it made the rounds on Sand Hill Road.

-- ServerBeach had two pipes, one for redundancy, and YouTube was using one and a half of them, with rest of its customers limited to just half of the one left. ServerBeach had a great plan, $129 month for unlimited data. “They weren’t necessarily prepared for a service like YouTube.”
Before closing the round with Sequoia had 8-10 people working for them for free. “We told them we would work it out.”

--When Nike soccer video took off on the site, Hurley, Steve Chen and investor Roelof Botha went to Nike HQ in Oregon — nothing came of it but that was the beginning of thinking about commercial solutions beyond personal use, helping people reach a mass audience.
One of first companies to automate DMCA — the press misses this, according to Hurley — one of various examples of solutions YouTube has built that set examples for its industry. “What people miss is we built a true community around video. These hundreds of competitors are dealing with the same problems but they’re not having the same growth.”

--Hit 1 million video views a day when still working in Sequoia’s offices, built long-term architecture to handle 30 million video views a day but blew past that. “We serve hundreds of millions of videos a day on our system, and receive over 13 hours of video every minute, and we’re still in the process of growing.”

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