YouTube has had its share of competition over the years. Companies like Vimeo and DailyMotion (plus copyright lawsuits and crushing overhead costs) led Chad Hurley and the video-sharing site’s co-founders to sell YouTube to Google. More recently Hulu and others have entered the fold. Soon Hurley, who left Google/YouTube in 2010, will launch a potential new rival.
“I wish [South by Southwest] was a month later because I could unveil the new product,” Hurley said during a Q&A with Digg founder and Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose on Saturday afternoon. Without going into too much detail, he said the product is “primarily video based … and gives flexibility for people to work together and create content.”
Sounds like Hurley is talking about taking a second crack at creating a better YouTube. Rose asked whether that's indeed his intention. “We’re not setting up to [kill YouTube]—now,” Hurley said. He added, “there’s always going to be a place for YouTube.” His intention, instead, is to create a platform better suited for collaboration.
Beyond hinting at his latest aspirations, Hurley used the interview session to shed some light on how YouTube found its current place within Google, recalling how some of the key deal discussions took place at Denny’s, just as Yahoo was looking to squeeze in on the deal.
“We met with Eric [Schmidt] and Sergey [Brin] at Denny’s in Redwood City [to talk about the possibility of selling YouTube]. We met there the week before with [Yahoo’s] Jerry [Yang] and Terry [Semel],” he said, noting that Semel had suggested the locale because it was “very low-key and had great breakfast.”
Despite Yahoo's culinary courtship, Hurley and his fellow co-founders went with Google. "Yahoo didn't necessarily step up the way Google did. … We knew they were going to give us the support," Hurley said.