YouTube: Work, Rinse, Wash, Repeat

In January I moved over to YouTube to help them out post-acquisition. It’s been a great change of pace from spending the last 3+ years at Google to a younger, smaller organization. At the same time, my relationships and knowledge of the ‘Plex has helped us figure out how to navigate our new parent.

Personally it’s been interesting to get and know Steve and Chad. Over the past seven years I’ve gotten to know Philip Rosedale at Second Life, Larry and Sergey at Google and now the YouTube founders. All very successful folks but very different people. It’s fun to look at them and understand what makes ’em tick.

But the YouTube story doesn’t end at Chad and Steve. In fact, one of the underreported factors in their success is the product, design and engineering team they assembled. Almost all of the original team worked together at Paypal/eBay. As YouTube grew incredibly quickly they were able to sound the bell and keep bringing on more former colleagues. All folks who were vetted, trusted by one another, etc. Imagine the time, hiring risk and integration friction they saved — the ability to “get the band back together” was without a doubt a reason that YouTube scaled.

6 thoughts on “YouTube: Work, Rinse, Wash, Repeat

  1. I’d like to present a new product idea to Google under NDA. How can I get this done? Following the route on the Google site, I have just been ignored

  2. As co-founder of, a mobile chat community, I can really appreciate how difficult it is to build a world class team. I think many people underestimate the importance and difficulty of recruiting talent.

  3. Very cool, this is almost exactly what I have done in starting my own small company. My partners and I have hired almost exclusively from referrals. Now we just need an idea on about 1/10 the scale of YouTube…

  4. Very interesting insight, Hunter. While I knew the YouTube folks were mainly PayPal/eBay alum, I hadn’t considered the positive impact that would be in growing a company quickly.I read < HREF="" REL="nofollow">The Toyota Way<> recently, and was really struck by what it means to build a company through people. We think it, we pay lip service to it, but its insipiring to see companys like Toyota and YouTube take it to the next level. Thanks for the insight, Hunter.

  5. Pingback: Execs Who Can’t Attract Former Coworkers Are Red Flags | Hunter Walk

Comments are closed.