Youtube — “The new kind of dating site”
Start small and focus on a niche market. Youtube began as an video dating site called “Tune in, Hook up” founded by Jawed Karim. The dating site had very few users and showed you random video’s uploaded by people you might be interested in. Since there weren’t any video’s to begin with the founder uploaded video’s of airplanes taking off to fill the platform and test it out. In the end they got so desperate that they offered single women $20,- to upload they're video on the platform. Even then nobody responded.
The interesting thing is that the users started uploading random video’s themselves, totally ignoring the initial idea behind it. Eventually they decided to let the users decide what they want to upload. And so youtube was born.
In 2006 Youtube was sold to Google for an astonishing $1.65 billion in stocks.
Fun: The first video ever uploaded to YouTube “Me at the zoo” by: Jawed Karim.
Hyves — “The new kind of dating site”
Social networking, the dutch way. Hyves was founded in 2004 by Raymond Spanjar and Floris Rost van Tonningen. Considered the dutch version of Facebook, Hyves actually was considered very successful but failed to grow with it’s time. In may 2010 Hyves had 10.3 million users, which is considered 2/3th of the dutch population. In that same year Hyves was sold to the Telegraaf Media Group for an undisclosed sum.
The take over from Telegraaf lead to a huge pivot in the platform, it reformed Hyves to a content platform by adding a news section, sports results and radio channels. In 2013 Hyves lost it’s popularity fast and pivoted once more to an exclusive gaming platform. Till this day Hyves is the biggest (dutch) web-sized gaming website. In 2015 the return of Hyves was speculated to return as Myves, this turned out to be a stunt from VriendenPlek.nl, a similar social network.
Fun: In 2006, Wouter Bos was the first dutch politician with a Hyves account and created a trend. Many politicians followed to do so.