YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=lptCYUfN_dg
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View count:160,265
Likes:9,081
Dislikes:176
Comments:1,048
Duration:06:07
Uploaded:2013-07-17
Last sync:2019-06-12 17:00
I spend about 10% of my free time thinking about YouTube, which is, like a lot. That's a lot of time to devote to something that you really can't control...at all. So I figured that it was important to open a line communication.

Sometime I talk to individuals at the company, and they are all extremely intelligent and open to what I have to say. I appreciate this very deeply but, of course, my expertise is in making videos that reach a bunch of people. So, yeah, here we are.
Hello, YouTube. Let's chat. We've been working together for a while now, a surprisingly long while. Like, seven years. It has been and continues to be, I think, a really rewarding relationship. First, you provided me with a platform. How would I ever have had that? Then, with an audience. There's just a ton of people on this site. You also helped me monetize that audience, so that I could do this professionally. And, in the end, you gave me money to make shows that I would never have be able to afford. In return, I put content that I hope is good on your website. Bringing in users, encouraging them to sign up and subscribe to things, and hopefully providing them with a good experience. And you know, also, being the content that gets the views that pays the bills. I help with that. This is like the definition of a mutually beneficial relationship, and it will be hard to argue that I don't get the better end of the bargain here, my life is pretty good. I mean, it's weird, any way...Like, who would have thought this? Then again, sometimes, you do this that piss me off. A little bit. But that's normal. Relationships, you know? And probably, I do things that piss you off. Though, probably, you don't notice anything I do, because it's a big website, there's a lot of people, I understand. I wanted to make this video because it feels like there's a little bit of tension. A little bit more than there has been previously. That tension comes in a lot of different forms, but in most cases, I think it boils down to control. Control over the way that we can display our content, control over the design of our channel pages, control over our relationship with advertisers, sometimes control over the kind of content that we can even produce. But most importantly, here, is control over our relationship with our subscribers. Now, this is very important to understand, if you haven't gotten this yet. The most valuable thing that an online creator has is the audience. And our audience is completely funneled, I mean not completely, but largely funneled through the YouTube subscription system. So when you mess with that system, you are messing with the most valuable thing in our lives. Often times, not just professionally, but personally. Like, this is a big deal, and when that gets tweaked, even a little bit, it can feel like a kind of betrayal, especially when we don't know it's happening, we don't know what's going on. Now that's just something to keep in mind, just whenever you're making decisions, like, that's everything to us. But all that's sorta neither here nor there, what it boils down to is that neither you nor I are the customer. I am not doing things for you, and you are not doing things for me. And to be very clear, neither of us are doing these things for advertisers. That's a secondary goal, okay? Let's just all agree on that. We are here to satisfy the viewers, the users of this site. For you and for me, and for every set of eyeballs attached to a brain that goes to youtube.com/something. Your goal is to create the best, most rewarding experience possible. Our greatest asset is our viewers. Your greatest asset might be the viewers, might be that you have access to some of the, and some people are gonna laugh at me when I say this, but the most intelligent and creative entertainers in the world right now. At your mercy, who are creating content for your site because they like to, because they want to, because they enjoy it, and because it is rewarding. And I mean this lovingly, and as legitimate business advice for everyone from the lowest product development team all the way up to Salar, and Robert, and Larry. Your job is to enable that, in whatever ways you can, and then get out of the way. This is a very unique opportunity that you have right now. It's not about bringing television to the Internet, that would be like having a radio DJ read the newspaper at the dawn of radio. Yes, it's fine, it's another way to get the same old content out there, but you are completely misinterpreting the power of the medium, if that's what you think is interesting here. The most interesting stuff on YouTube, everyone should agree, is the stuff that none of us could've predicted. Like, who would have thought that the biggest thing of 2013 would be a 23 year old Swede screaming while playing Happy Wheels. Dahhhh. Likewise, none of us will be able to predict the next thing, and I'm not just talking about enabling the next PewDiePie, I'm talking about enabling the next genre, and the next weird monetization strategy, and the next way to tap into something real and interesting. Trying to guess on how to facilitate the creation of the next big thing is always going to fail. So, what you need to do, absolutely, my advice, please, is to just keep the maximum number of doors open. Trust us, okay? Just let us do interesting things with your site. With the line between user and creator and platform merging so beautifully, as they do on YouTube, but also so peculiarly, I understand that you're gonna wanna try and control that, and you're gonna wanna try and create a structure that makes sense, and that will allow you to plan for the future. And yeah, you're gonna wanna leverage this thing for other Google products, I understand that, yes, you're gonna wanna try to wedge it into boxes that look more familiar to ad agencies, and to Hollywood, because that's where the easy money is. But, I hope you can find it in your hearts to just let some of it be. Just let it do its own thing, because we don't know what it's gonna be yet. I know, it's been seven years, it's been a long time since we've been working together. But, it continues to surprise, and if it doesn't continue to surprise you, then you're not paying attention. So while I don't expect you to let it all be, I hope that you can understand that there is a business strategy there, to let it be. Enable and move out of the way, and I think that you'll see here that this is just the beginning, which is pretty exciting. Thanks. Weird video. :D