Monday, October 09, 2006

Google buys YouTube!

Well the rumours have been circulating for days that Google and YouTube were in talks, and for once rumours were actually true. The deal has just been confirmed (via TechCrunch), with Google buying YouTube for US$1.65 billion in an all stock transaction, apparently winning out over Yahoo in a bidding war that almost went to the wire...

The acquisition raises a lot of questions, and you have to wonder how tightly the YouTube is going to get tied into the Google infrastructure. After all, they already have their own Video hosting service. Will YouTube be Google's Flickr and mange to maintain it's own identity, even under the newly extended corporate wing..?

Update: Robert Scoble makes a good point about the deal,
Another angle? Google is getting over its initial engineering-driven arrogance. You know the kind. Where when you show engineers... something like YouTube they answer "we can build that in a few weeks."

I heard that over and over again at Microsoft and my friends at Google say it a lot too. It's called "not invented here" syndrome. The fact that someone told the Google Video folks to sit down and be quiet during this deal is pretty significant. - Robert Scoble
Not invented here syndrome is endemic to the software world, far more than hardware, because after all lets face it, sometimes it's true. But most times people saying this are missing the subtleties, the many minor problems and off the wall solutions the guy that got there first had to go through to get his software working well. Just because you didn't invent it first, doesn't mean you should go out and re-invent it, not unless you're really sure that it's as easy as it looks.

The corollary? With Google Video already rolled out, and as feature packed as YouTube itself, maybe Google found that they could re-invent the wheel, but couldn't bring the community that had built up around the YouTube to it..?