YouTube Unicorn

Note to future self..

I think that in the near future we will see the rise of the first “unicorn” technology startup coming out of YouTube. There are already a lot of companies that have hit an inflection point thanks to YouTube (Patreon comes to mind). Nevertheless, what I am referring to is a product (software or otherwise) created by a YouTuber that can on its own become a significant and enduring company.

It does seem that the stars have to align for this to happen because you need someone who’s incredibly good at YouTube to acquire a substantial following AND they need the skills (engineering, design and strategy) to build a great product. However, I will contradict myself and say that this doesn’t necessarily need to be the case.

I think that with Casey Neistat and Beme you saw a little tease of what could happen when you pair a great creative mind like Casey and a technical mind like Matt Hackett. Beme didn’t worked out and it was acquired by CNN but that’s beside the point.

I think that someone else will come along and build a product to scale by bootstrapping the audience through YouTube. It just makes sense. Why?

  • The feedback loop is incredibly tight. You can submit something to your audience and instantly get feedback.
  • You can request feedback in some videos without disrupting the general flow of your channel.
  • You can build an audience that’s interested in what you’re building so that when you officially “launch” you have hundred of thousands if not millions of users!
  • You can bootstrap the company through AdSense revenue and/or Patreon so that you don’t need to seek VC capital until you feel ready
  • You have a leg up on distribution across several platforms. If you have a large following on YouTube it’s normal to have a certain following on other platforms.

These are the main benefits. There are some drawbacks but honestly they’re quite minor in comparison to the potential upside.

Maybe there’s a company like that out there and I don’t know about it. I feel pretty confident that there will be more and all of us will know about them.

That’s it.

Now back to work..

Now back to work…