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Seven lessons from YouTube

August 8th, 2008

Jawed Karim, a co-founder of YouTube and current Stanford student, gave an excellent talk about the lessons of youtube. (The talk is from 2006, but I just watched it today for the first time.) If you have ADD, skip to a little past 40 minutes and you can catch some video of despair after they launched but before youtube caught fire.

My takeaways:

1. Make something complex but useful into something easy
2. Mix enabling technologies and great user interface design to be successful
3. Marketing is hard, so lots of things fail before they succeed
– email to friends didn’t work
– craigslist postings didn’t work
– giving an ipod nano everyday helped a little bit at the start
4. In my opinion, embeding videos into other people sites was the key to youtube’s success. Then, video producers finally had a real incentive to host their videos at youtube
5. Virality is driven by a very low percentage of superhits
6. Hence, scale is important for continuous growth
7. I disagree with Jawed that the community features on youtube were/are critical to its success. Rather, they leverage myspace’s community features to get the word out

Anyway, check it out for yourself.

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