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Cashing in Like It’s 1999

According to Technorati, yesterday and today’s most blogged to video on YouTube is “A Message from Chad and Steve.” Chad and Steve. Just a couple of giddy, giggly buddies letting the cameras roll outside an office somewhere. A couple of twentysomething cut-ups goofing off, hamming it up, making it up on the fly. They’re like pretty much every other YouTube performer, except for this: Chad Hurley and Steve Chen founded YouTube. They have good reason to be giddy.

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According to Technorati, yesterday and today’s most blogged to video on YouTube is “A Message from Chad and Steve.” Chad and Steve. Just a couple of giddy, giggly buddies letting the cameras roll outside an office somewhere. A couple of twentysomething cut-ups goofing off, hamming it up, making it up on the fly. They’re like pretty much every other YouTube performer, except for this: Chad Hurley and Steve Chen founded YouTube. They have good reason to be giddy. They just won the start-up lottery.

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Chad: We have some exciting news. We’ve been acquired by Google.
Steve: Yeah, thanks.

It’s appropriate that they celebrate the moment on YouTube and in typical YouTube fashion. Unpolished. Unscripted (it seems, from all the stammering). It’s an awkward and revealing clip of two newly minted millionaires who simultaneously can’t believe their good fortune and can’t help gloating.

Chad: This is great. Two kings have gotten together.
Steve: [Giggling.]
Chad: The king of search and the king of video have gotten together and we’re going to have it our way.
Both: [Uncontrollable laughter.]
Chad: Cut.

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Who knows how this will look a year from now, or five years from now. Chad and Steve might be right. This could be their crowning moment. Or, given the intense competition and the nature of acquisitions, this could be their 1:36 minutes of fame.

About the author

Chuck Salter is a senior editor at Fast Company and a longtime award-winning feature writer for the magazine. In addition to his print, online and video stories, he performs live reported narratives at various conferences, and he edited the Fast Company anthologies Breakthrough Leadership, Hacking Hollywood, and #Unplug

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