YouTube, Google, Second Life, Conan O’Brien
These are both absolutely true yet it doesn’t matter – video discovery startups are flawed products and even worse businesses. Why? Because they don’t fit into a consumer’s mental model. They’re fine products – several are very well-designed – and I’m sure many user studies provide answers like “oh yes, I totally need this,” but in reality there’s no habit being formed. Here’s why:
1. Verticalized content needs context not just collections.
2. Horizontal content needs to solve search not just browse or curation.
3. Social video is not a standalone product, just a signal.
4. It’s hard to make money on other people’s video when you can’t monetize it directly.