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YouTube co-founders may team on new start-up

Chad Hurley says that he and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen have been discussing new ideas for a company.

Chad Hurley greets audience members at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum last night. Greg Sandoval/CNET

NEW YORK--YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are considering ideas for a new start-up.

Six years after the pair and Jawed Karim founded the phenomenon video-sharing site, Hurley and Chen are "dabbling with new ideas" for a start-up, Hurley said last night during a discussion he participated in at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in Manhattan.

Asked by a member of the audience what the two might be planning, Hurley, 34, was naturally secretive but said they're looking at what might be done with the "basic components that every Web site needs to get off the ground." Another idea he said he has toyed with for some time has to do with indexing videos.

Silicon Valley venture capitalists are probably reaching for their checkbooks. YouTube is one of the Valley's best-known success stories. The service has become rooted in our culture. Once dismissed by critics as a place for funny pet videos, YouTube is now a video archive, teaching tool, digital soap box where politicians go to stump, a means to expose criminals and police wrongdoing, a popular jukebox, and a vital news source for people all over the world.

In October 2006, Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion. Hurley, who reportedly pocketed more than $340 million from the sale, was YouTube's CEO up until last fall, when he moved into an advisory role. Salar Kamangar, a former Google vice president of Web applications, is now YouTube's chief.

Hurley was at Cooper-Hewitt to discuss design, which he studied in college. He designed YouTube's original logo as well as the logo his first employer, PayPal, used for many years. He also designs wallets, shirts, and jackets for Hlaska, a fashion company he co-founded.

If he and Chen start another company together, he'll probably do that logo too and you can bet it will be simple, free of pretense, and accessible to anyone.

"That's what I like about Google and Craigslist," Hurley said. "Your product has to say that anyone can be part of it."

Correction 9:40 a.m. PT: This story initially misstated Google's acquisition price for YouTube. It was $1.65 billion.

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