Google’s Marissa Mayer: ‘I Would Watch Any OKGO Video Uploaded On YouTube, Ever’


The uber-intellectual media set (read: people who begin cocktail conversations with, “Did you read that marvelous piece in the New Yorker?”, Nora Ephron) gathered this morning at the Bryant Park Grill at an ungodly hour (8:00AM) to hear the New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta grill, er, chat with Google’s babe-in-chief Marissa Mayer [above] and Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO and chief strategist of Microsoft. The breakfast was yogurt and fruit. The topic was Google. And YouTube.

Some key soundbytes:

  • Myhrvold on YouTube: “What Google bought was not a cash flow stream … [it was] a popularity flow stream.”
  • Mayer on perception of Google bullying Microsoft: It’s hard to play offense” with “1/10 the engineers” and Microsoft’s $15 billion in cash.
  • Mayer on Google bullying book publishers: “People will always want to pick up a book”; “We’re 10 or 15 years away from having all books online.”
  • Myhrvold on Hollywood and his kids downloading music: “Copyrights built this house” but their friends look at downloading music as an IQ test — “Who’s dumb enough to think you’d actually have to pay for music?” Hollywood is driving toward that cliff like that scene in Thelma & Louise.
  • Auletta on magazine people: “Next to the people in Baghdad, the most terrorized people in this world are in the magazine industry.”
  • Myhrvold: Google infrastructure will need to be replaced in the next 18 months to accomodate YouTube’s growth.
  • Mayer: The number of videos uploaded on YouTube “are nowhere near as many as could be uploaded.”
  • Mayer on the power of branding on YouTube: “I would watch any OK GO video uploaded to YouTube ever.”
  • Mayer on “office hours”: 7.5 hours a week her door is open for employees — just like a college professor.
  • Myhrvold: TV killed Life magazine.
  • Myhrvold: We’re waiting for HD quality on YouTube — that’s when networks “will really start to worry.”

  • Breakfast at the Grille: Semel Speaks, A Lot