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Wish it were your idea?



Published: Tue, October 24, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Chicago Tribune: You've had get-rich-quick ideas, right? Freeze-dried beer? The diaper that changes itself? Chances are, those ideas are sitting in the sock-drawer of your brain.

So when you heard that the creators of YouTube recently sold their little video-sharing Web site to Google for $1.65 billion, you probably did one of two things.

Marvel at American ingenuity.

Kick yourself because it wasn't your idea.

It was the idea of Chad Hurley, 29, and a couple of former University of Illinois students, Steve Chen, 28, and Jawed Karim, 27. They founded YouTube 20 months ago in a garage. They wanted to share videos over the Internet with friends. They had an inkling that others armed with video cameras and some editing software just might want to do the same thing.

Pop culture to politics

Boy, were they right. Today people from all over the world watch more than 100 million video clips -- on subjects from pop culture to politics -- each day on YouTube.

They watched Lonelygirl15, whose two-minute videos of Midwestern life created a mystery sensation. They watched Sen. George Allen, R-Va., embarrass himself when he singled out a student who was assigned by a political opponent to tail him. "Let's give a welcome to macaca here -- welcome to America," Allen said. That turned into the video seen around the world.

Google has some kinks to work out with YouTube -- such as how to make money off its $1.65 billion toy and how to keep the videos from running afoul of copyright laws.




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