Last week's sale of YouTube for some multiple of its user population had most of us mumbling under our breath "Why the heck didn't I think of that?"
You didn't have to be a Web2.0 expert to work out that if you let the public upload their wacky videos, others will want to watch them.
You didn't even have to invent any particularly clever software, just spot that most of the world now has enough bandwidth to make delivering streaming video practical.
But before we all exhale a collective "doh", I'd like to point out YouTube was not the only video store in e-town, and indeed a relative newcomer. Google has its own organically grown video search engine, as does MSN, Yahoo and AOL. One less well known, but the actual pioneer of video search, is Blinkx.
Unlike others, Blinkx indexes the actual content of media (through speech recognition) rather than relying on tagging, where users assign keywords to clips. This removes issues plaguing media searches, such as human error and accurate content descriptions.
So why didn't Blinkx get the $1.6bn Google deal?
Well, YouTube is a whole lot easer to say in the pub after a few pints than Blinkx, and doesn't need to be spelt out either.
Web designers will also tell you that the www.blinkx.tv site is over complicated and confusing to use. They will no doubt be pointing out to any client who now argues with their creations that poor usability' cost Blinkx $1.6 bn.
The YouTube brand clearly has better legs for attracting more user-generated-content - the lifeblood of any Web2.0 site.
Blinkx has a more corporate feel. It has lots of bigname video content, commercial movies, TV shows etc. The YouTube home page usually features cute kittens or goofy nerd videos. The sort of content that will be forwarded on to impress your friends, or as we say in the industry, "go viral".
But is YouTube really worth $1.6 bn, given that it currently has few ways of generating revenue? Google are the past masters in monetising free online services and if advertising machinery and clients can't make a Web2.0 site pay for itself, no one can.
The relationship will, however, be symbiotic. YouTube will generate a lot of advertising targets for Google, so turning YouTube into a stand-alone profit-making entity may not be the primary objective.
However, even for Google, $1.6 bn is a large price to pay for what could be a passing fad. YouTube is not, on the face of it, as good a proposition as MySpace, recently snapped up for paltry $580 million by News Corp. MySpace users are loyal and easy to profile.
Most of us visit YouTube casually every now and again, between tasks at work or after reading e-mails at home. We might soon grow tired of the stunts and bizarre short clips and start looking for more engaging full length entertainment online.
Now there's an idea.
* Chris is managing director of internet consultancy WAA WebXpress. This and other unedited articles can be found at webxpress.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org