Who Are You And What Have You Done With The Real John Dvorak?

from the even-broken-clocks dept

We've been hard on John Dvorak in the past due to some of his uninsightful rants about technology. But we're not averse to giving credit where it's due. Writing about YouTube, Dvorak argues that many of the articles on it are missing the point. The YouTube phenomenon is not about its business model (or lack thereof), what it's going to sell for, how much it spends on bandwidth, or how it can prevent copyright infringement. Granted, all of those things may be interesting, but the interesting part of the story is YouTube created an extremely simple way for people to share video, which as it turned out, is something that people really like to do. Anyone in the industry focusing on something other than its appeal and ease of use is probably focusing on the wrong thing. If there's a minor reason to quibble with Dvorak's piece it's that he ascribes "pent up demand" as fueling YouTube's popularity. In reality, most people probably never thought about video sharing this way until they saw YouTube and realized how much they liked it. Obviously, YouTube has a lot of work cut out for it if it wants to be a sustainable business. But it's invisible business model isn't the lesson for other companies planning their internet strategies -- they should focus on the characteristics that have made YouTube so popular with users.

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  1. identicon
    bshock, 11 Aug 2006 @ 9:07am

    As much as I despise the notion of agreeing with Dvorak (let alone defending him), I suggest that there may very well have been a "pent up demand" for video sharing. For the last seven years, friends and colleagues have been sending me videos via email.

    Remember the one about the Superfriends with voices dubbed from the beer commercial? Remember the one about the guy kicking the bear in the balls to steal its salmon? The number of popular (if silly) videos like this skyrocketed over the last few years, and it seems like every other day (until YouTube) I found something I knew that half a dozen friends would enjoy. Maybe I didn't realize that I needed a Web site for this, but a Web site certainly fulfilled the need.

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