About the Series

Each year Ithaca College hosts an individual representing one or more of the significant professions associated with the communications industry. Leading figures in print and broadcast journalism are the primary focus. This program is funded through the generosity of the Park Foundation.

2013-2014 Speaker:

Chad Hurley
September 25, 2013
7:30 p.m.
Emerson Suites

In an era when phrases such as “game-changer,” “status quo disrupter,” and “new standard” are tossed around regularly, there are only a handful of brands and technologies that serve as the indisputable, iconic personifications of those monikers. YouTube is one such entity.

Serving as a website, a brand, and a verb, YouTube is the world’s largest and most popular video sharing site and the third most visited site globally. At the genesis and development of this phenomenon is its cofounder and former CEO, Chad Hurley. Equal parts businessman and Silicon Valley maven, Hurley’s transition from working at PayPal to founding and growing YouTube has truly become the stuff of legend in business, technology, social, and educational circles around the world. In October 2007, Hurley (and his partner) sold YouTube to Google Inc. for $1.6 billion and still serves as the company’s advisor.

Currently, it is estimated that YouTube attracts over 800 million unique users watching over four billion hours of video each month with 70 percent of its traffic coming from outside the United States. Additionally, 72 hours of new video is uploaded every minute—a rate that shows more content being uploaded in less than a month than the combined three U.S. networks created in their first 60 years.

Soon after selling YouTube, Hurley cofounded AVOS Systems, which creates platforms and builds products that enable individuals to use their time more efficiently in their everyday lives. Recently, AVOS secured financing from New Enterprise Associates and Google Ventures with participation from Madrone Capital and China-based incubator, Innovation Works.

Today, Hurley discusses the rise of YouTube and his role in managing its meteoric growth. He shares the lessons he learned from his experiences in creating a “game-changer,” “status quo disrupter,” and “new standard” in technology and how content is consumed and shared in the modern era. He also explains what’s next in the ever-evolving landscape of emerging technology, the shifting paradigm of media production and distribution, and the way YouTube continues to grow in order to stay on top.


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