The YouTube Gurus

The YouTube Gurus 1How a couple of regular guys built a company that changed the way we see ourselves.

Let’s say you’re in your 20s and you start your first Internet company. Let’s say 21 months later you sell it for $1.65 billion. What happens next?

At first, not much. Some of the money is tied up in escrow, and the traditions of modesty in Silicon Valley require a period of restraint before you spend in the big, life-changing way that your wealth will permit.

Still, the world wants to talk to you. Japanese television, Argentine newspapers, a bunch of French journalists and what seems like every news outlet in the U.S. Friends you haven’t heard from in a long time send e-mails. Hey, how’s it going? Long time no see! BTW I have this great business idea …

And so even though you’ve just left a photo shoot with an imperious, name-dropping L.A. photographer and ride to the airport in a jet-black Escalade, when you arrive at LAX, you have to stand in the United Economy line because you’re still flying coach. Having removed your shoes to get through security–an indignity you’ll never again endure if one day you spend an inconsequential few million on a jet–you walk past a newsstand to see your company on the cover of Wired and GQ.