YouTube: From gags to riches

From the Globe and Mail:

Twenty months ago, a pair of twentysomething buddies founded a company above a California pizzeria that let people post their favourite video clips, ranging from stupid pet tricks to rotund Plasticine hippos that sing.

It was a wildly improbable business model, laced with the threat of copyright infringement lawsuits and stiff competition. But it worked.

YouTube Inc. agreed yesterday to be swallowed by Google Inc. for $1.65-billion (U.S.), a deal that may mark one of the fastest Internet growth stories since the tech heyday of the 1990s.

“It’s nothing short of phenomenal,” said Rick Broadhead, a Toronto-based technology author and analyst who believes video is the next big thing on the Internet. “They really did come out of nowhere and, very quickly, became a household name.”

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