Startup success is a function of Vision, Ambition, Execution, Persistence, Luck, Timing, Focus and Resiliency. Timing is usually a wild card that trumps them all.

YouTube won the web video wars for many reasons, I discussed some of it at my keynote at Vidcon 2019, and expanded even further in this video for our Business Battleground series.

But reading how Firefox will end support for Flash led me down memory lane. Back in the mid 2000s, we had seen two waves of producers try to win web video. We were in the third wave:

Along with Next New Networks and Revision3, we were contemporaneous with YouTube, which was one of many tech belligerents trying to win web video.

YouTube benefited from many things, two tech related things of note:

  1. Flash video made video “pop” in that it would load instantly and not have to buffer, something that pretty much every other video tech was susceptible to. That made previous user experiences really crappy compared to Flash. It was a sign to me that web video was about to go mainstream, and it did.
  2. The other tech that really benefited YouTube was the ability to embed a video player on a third-party URL. When users started to embed YouTube code on MySpace, in particular, then YouTube further took off.

What other variables explained YouTube’s success, watch the video here, but it’s hard to argue that YouTube’s main winning variable was simply… TIMING. What do you think led to YouTube’s massive success?