What feels like centuries ago, the Robert X. Cringely byline went with a couple of books/films and many columns in an otherwise obscure IT weekly whose name we forget. Cringely was kind of famous, even though he wasn’t real and was “played” by several different writers, the best of whom spent much more time talking about Cringely’s supposed relationship with a hot young babe (fun!) than about IT (not fun).
Somewhere along the line there was an intellectual property war over the byline, and the winner has a sometimes interesting blog that we sometimes get something interesting out of. Case in point:
Why YouTube isn’t the future of TV
by Robert X. Cringely
In a few weeks I’ll be launching a YouTube channel where you’ll be able to see lots of shows readers have been asking about including Startup America and even that lost second season of NerdTV. YouTube, as the largest video streaming service anywhere, is the absolute best place for me. But YouTube isn’t the future of TV.
I know this because TV is a business and this channel I’m launching is a business and I’ve spent the last several weeks talking to investors and running the numbers every which way. I’ve spent many hours with my friend Bob Peck looking at the economics of YouTube and my unequivocal conclusion is that while YouTube is great, it isn’t TV.
What’s interesting to me about the above is that it’s sooo not interesting. Everyone’s known YouTube wasn’t going to pre-empt television since the TubeThing first appeared, around the time most of us were born. (Well, that’s how it felt anyway.) But we hoped it would be a meaningful outlet for newbies/indies/truly creative peeps. On that level, I think it’s succeeded.
Which brings me to my question? Bob, what’s happened to you? Where’s the insight? Where’s Pammy? Did the wrong Cringely win?