Exponent #167 YouTube and the End of Friction

Full podcast here.

  • YouTube has always been an exceptionally expensive product to run. We don’t know how profitable it is. The CEO said they weren’t focused on profitability. They were focused on growth. This could be like Steve Jobs saying Apple is only trying to run the App Store at cost. Look at it today. It’s the number one driver of Apple’s revenue growth. 

  • In advertising - in particular on the internet - there is nothing better than being the biggest. 

  • The fundamental thing at issue here is that YouTube is giving people exactly what they want. YouTube is trying to understand what you are looking for and trying to give you more of it. This keeps you watching and watching because it is what you want to see. 

  • The key thing about the internet is the removal of friction

  • Humans are responsible for their actions. But it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that friction stopped a lot of people from doing bad things. The lack of friction makes everything easier. It makes both the good things easier and it makes the bad things easier. In our zeal to reduce friction, in our eagerness to celebrate the good, we ought not lose sight of the potential bad.

  • Humanity is reflected on the Internet. All the problems of humanity will be on these platforms. You have to start with an honest evaluation of the human condition. The human condition is going to manifest on these platforms.