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
    Susan F. Heywood, 2 Sep 2006 @ 8:59am

    youtube Business Model?

    Delighting the user with a site that works as it is supposed to, is easy to use and does something fun is indeed a recipe for relevance and success as John Dvorak noted.

    (And I would like to second the idea that "monetize" is a word that should be left in the 90's. I blame it partially for the bubble.)

    Creating a sustainable business model around a relevant community of users seems to describe a site with miore staying power.

    The Terms and Conditions page on youtube is a good place to start looking for the site's potential business model.

    According to the T&Cs, " by submitting the User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube's (and its successor's) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the YouTube Website (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels." (bold added for emphasis)

    Compiling a huge library of content for distribution in other media, similar to recent projects with MTv and MySpace may be one of the ways that we will see youtube profit while still meeting the customer demand for a free and easy to use service that lets them share videos.

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