10 October 2006

Google Shoots an Elephant

So Google has done the deed, and bought YouTube.

I can't help thinking of a story by George Orwell, called Shooting an Elephant. In it he describes how, as a police officer in Burma, he was called to deal with a rogue elephant.

He went with his gun, and an expectant crowd gathered. It soon became clear that the elephant had calmed down, and posed no danger. But Orwell realised that despite this, he was going to have to shoot the elephant: the crowd that had gathered expected it of him, and whether it was the right thing to do or not, he had to do it. And so he did.

It seems to me that Google's acquisition has much in common with this story. Once news started leaking out, the crowd gathered, and Google had to buy YouTube, whether it was the right thing or not, because the crowd expected it.

In the same way, there is now a growing expectation that Yahoo will buy something big - anything - to "counter" Google's move. And so another crowd begins to form, and another elephant must needlessly die.

4 comments:

Aner Ravon said...

1. Yes, I think it's over priced. Having the industry titans fight over you helps though.

2. Very good for the Start up scene. This type of exit is more effective then any presentation.

3. It's not the last or highest.

4. Google is probably the only player that doesn't have to show ROI, Share price will go up no matter what.

5. It's a defining moment for the industry. Seriously. I'm glad Google bought YouTube, it's a good fit. Let's see what kind of advertising model they will spin out of it. The better and more profitable it is - the better off we all are.

glyn moody said...

I agree it's a defining moment; I'm just not sure whether it will prove a *good* defining moment....

Benoit said...

I think many content owners were deterred to file lawsuits against YouTube due to their lack of profitability. With Google becoming a parent, things could change a lot. More on my blog at www.ipexecsearch.com/blog

glyn moody said...

That may well be true; equally, Google has a nice fat bank balance with which to pay its own lawyers. In other words, the main benefactors will be the latter....