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Summary:

Google, in its first 7 years, was an arrogant, brilliant company. Acquisitions were about small teams and their standout technology. But as Google grew it must have found itself up on a high pedestal, out of reach of just about any kind of normal business deal. […]

Google, in its first 7 years, was an arrogant, brilliant company. Acquisitions were about small teams and their standout technology. But as Google grew it must have found itself up on a high pedestal, out of reach of just about any kind of normal business deal. Lately, it has tried to change its outward-facing personality by emphasizing transparency, admitting its flaws, and doing deals with just about everybody, including some of the least elitist possibilities out there (see MySpace, dMarc, AOL).

But we all knew Google would get sick of slumming it, didn’t we? YouTube — enigmatic, risky, lacking conventional wisdom — must be a welcome change. Eric Schmidt’s fond comparison between Sergey-Larry and Chad-Steve Monday made that especially clear. The steep price tag, too, brings a certain cachet. Of course, serving up low-quality video to the masses is hardly an elitist affair, so Google’s expensive little prestige-high will wear off soon enough.

Personality parallels like those between Google and YouTube might help us figure out what kind of pairing could come next. VCs with stakes in YouTube’s competitors will now be even hungrier for an exit of their own. Reported bidders Microsoft, Viacom, Yahoo, and NewsCorp have a wide slate to choose from Metacafe, Revver, Veoh, Guba, Bittorrent are all in the aggregation space, and all venture-backed with the exception of Guba. Then there’s the rest of the video gang: Dabble, VideoEgg, Eyespot (Jumpcut was already snatched by Yahoo), POSTroller, CastTV, et cetera (many of whom will be at a panel moderated by Om and Niall in Mountain View tonight). We would make an interactive game for you to pair the companies up, but we’re not that cool yet. Let us know in the comments if you see any signs of a predestined match.

We promise this is our last Google-YouTube post for the foreseeable future.

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  1. Liz

    I believe this is the day that Google officially handed over its crown as leader of the New Wave of Internet companies. It has now confirmed that it is becoming de facto Old Web Establishment.

    This is their Netscape Moment, when it becomes clear they are not really in the vanguard for the next wave.

    Heres why:

    (i) They clearly no longer “get it” – they have developed N new businesses in the past few years , few of which have really taken off, while all around them a new wave of creativity has started apace.

    (ii) I don’t know how much was spent on Google Video, but even with all their king’s horses and men, they couldn’t get it together and a bunch of guys came from nowhere and stole the show.

    (iii) They have already IPO’d and it is now (very) clear that the cool stuff (and increasingly the wealth) is being created elsewhere – how to retain the creative talent will be an increasing issue…

    (iv) …especially as the thundering herd of the rest of VC community now tries to back every Bubble 2.0 company going. A million flowers will bloom, many will wither but some will flourish…

    (v) …and Google can’t buy them all. Its share of mind and money must be diluted.

    End of an era, end of an S curve.

    Past examples show that psychologically (unless Google is very unique) the company will move more into a defensive, conservative frame of mind to retain what it has.

    It then becomes harder and harder to make innovative plays that count, as too often they will tread on existing Googletoes and be strangled at birth. It is the Way of Large Companies. Acquisition at high prices become the de facto path to growth.

    But, the big difference between Google and Microsoft, the company they replaced as King of the Heap during “Web 1.0″, is that Microsoft had a far tighter grip on its users, via a baked in operating system, for over 15 years.

    Search is much more open and at a very early stage, ditto personalised advertising – it is (in my opinion anyway) extremely unlikely that Google can stop large niches (or verticals as I believe the in word now is?) of the space being carved out by players with newer algorithms, metadata or customer data analytics.

    And as for YouTube customer loyalty…

    We do not yet know who the new King is (it wasn’t Netscape last time, they were the starting gun), but now the mantle is up for grabs.

    Let the games commence!

  2. Hello GooTube…

    The long rumoured deal is finally done…in a flow of (hopefully) lucidity I posted my thoughts on it here, Liz Ganne’s article on Google’s psychology prompted it.

    Here it is repeated for the mouse challenged

    Liz

    I believe this i…

  3. I’m also curious if this will trigger more acquisitions in the Internet-video market.

  4. Christopher Coulter Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Really tho, boring tech deals, whole other world out there, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China to IPO hook $22 billion, PNC grabs Mercantile for a cool $6 billion…Rusal, SUAL & Glencore three-way, GlaxoSmithKline grabs CNS…but no blogger ink yanked for that. Cross-eyed nose-level view techie thumb suckers…gawd.

  5. Well we knew this day would come where we’d all start to wake up and realize that those suspicions we had about The Goog were right. In a way, it was fun to watch people say, wow, Google is an awesome company because of their standards like “do no evil.” Then their IPO came and everyone wanted to believe in them that they would make them rich. It’s like a kid believing in Santa. Then reality hits – IPO makes them accountable to someone other than the VC’s. And still believing in Santa, they watched as Google picked up small companies – some of which made sense and some that didn’t.

    The definite “2.0” thing is starting to plateau. I think that VC’s will feel it, and you’ll start to see a lot of coasting with interesting products waiting for suitors to buy them until they are out of cash.

  6. well, it’s a cheap buy (elgoog stock shifts in the course of 24 hours cover the cost) – but really this just continues to prove that they are unable to move away from advertising as a core source of revenue…don’t the analysts even worry?

    aside from appliance and 20k per year support contracts from a few thousand customers, how else will this 9k employees and growing firm make serious money? enterprise? that’s a bit dreamy…

  7. Between Cramer, Cuban, Om and about 5 million other opinions I have one observation======NOBODY has a clue of what the NET will look like in 2 years much less 20 years…AOL and Yahoo Imploding on themselves is great example of how the MIGHTY do go down and the Next 2.0 or 3.0 Players emerge in heated Battle to the Death=====RIP Netscape
    Now, how does the CORE CONTENT DELIVERY change the battle Landscape of the Net going forward??????? Level3 is rumored to be working on a NET BASED CONTENT DELIVERY standardization of packets delivered real time…how will this CORE CONTENT DELIVERY vs the edge content delivery win or lose customers and content and WHO will win this Battle to the Death????
    YouTube has WON and despite Mark Cuban calling Google stupid, Mark Cuban must be eating some Jim Crowe Video Crow today!
    skibare

  8. Great stuff. I really enjoyed the last line! :)Here is the complete coverage of Goog/YouTube deal

  9. Never underestimate the EGO factor when it comes to M&A.

    As for Cuban eating crow, who says he was wrong? Maybe Google is full of morons. Look at it this way, 99% of Googles revenue comes from advertising. Their NY office is a city block. Cheaper space for innovation is available pretty much anywhere else, yet they choose the advertising capital of the world (OK, maybe just the US) for a whole block.

    Google is an advertising company, plain and simple. All this other talk is just that.

  10. Innovation Zen Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Google-YouTube Wrap Up…

    The deal is finally closed. Google announced that it will buy YouTube for $ 1,65 billion. In my opinion this acquisition will have some large repercussions on the Internet.

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