uTube Makes Lemonade Out Of YouTube

    May 16, 2007

Ralph Girkins was literally minding his own business, selling tube and pipe machinery, when it happened – wayward traffic intended for YouTube began to crash his site, uTube.  Mr. Girkins wasn’t happy – after all, those “Evolution of Dance” fans weren’t going to buy any rollformers – but he’s since salvaged the situation.

“The site has installed a ring tone search engine and lists scores of cell phone ring tones atop its highly trafficked page,” reports Red Herring’s Scott Martin.  “People can find Shakira and Britney Spears ring tones along with links for gambling, concerts, and dating.”  Not to mention Nissan cars, Tai Chi, and Louis Vuitton.

That’s a pretty far cry from the aforementioned rollformers (although I’ve heard the 8 Stand x 2 x 10” Dahlstrom #550-8 is popular with some young people).  But Red Herring quoted Baris Karadogan, who wrote, “[F]rom what I hear, that is generating them north of $1000/day.  That’s $360K straight to the bottom line, at 10% pretax that’s like finding $4M of revenue all of a sudden.  That’s luck.”

Mr. Girkins may not entirely agree – he’s apparently still pursuing a lawsuit filed against YouTube when this all first started.  It almost seems as if the problem has taken on a life of its own, as Mr. Girkins said the new search engine “more than covers costs for hosting.  But we have a lot of attorney costs, too.”

Still, among the Web’s many lemonade-from-lemons situations, uTube’s reversal has to be among the most impressive.