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.