YouTube IPO? Shhhh! Don’t Say Bubble
Despite denying that online video phenom YouTube could be priced or bought for a bubbly $1 billion, founder Chad Hurley is warm to the idea of an initial public offering.
MarketWatch’s Steve Gelsi reports that upon 29-year-old Hurley’s return from hobnobbing at the annual Masters of the Universe Ball, where Evil, McDuck, and Warbucks get some valley sunshine, an YouTube IPO seemed suddenly reasonable.
Hurley said the company wasn’t “focused” on the company’s valuation or potential buyers, though the blogosphere and media were lit up with speculation that YouTube was worth up to $4 billion. Perhaps Hurley is hoping to raise more through an IPO.
There is some concern in the Valley (Silicon, not Sun) that huge valuations of dotcoms is a sign of another near-to-bursting bubble. Hurley admits that YouTube hasn’t been all that profitable yet, but is in constant negotiations with advertisers and television networks.
Monetizing MySpace, bought for a mere $580 million last year, has not been an easy task for News Corp. Some are suspecting that Web 2.0 could be Bubble 2.0 as the business model for social media and user-generated content has yet to be proven.
Add that to an all too familiar trend of giant companies swallowing up little Web companies (hearken back to eBay paying over $2.5 billion for Skype), gimmicky Web 2.0 sites springing up over night harboring the hope of acquisition in their breasts, rising and falling in a sea of speculation.
But then again. This time it could be different.
If it were me, I’d take the billion and build a bunker to shield myself from falling URLs. You don’t have to mention that I don’t have a $4 billion coveted Web property. But if I did, the only thing louder than the ringing cash register would be the team of feet carrying me to my Ferrari.