YouTube Cofounders Break Up the Band After Second Act Flops

YouTube cofounders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are parting ways. The duo worked together for 15 years, starting at PayPal, then got $1.65 billion from Google. But faced a series of missteps at their incubator Avos Systems. Now Hurley is cutting his losses and focusing on just one Avos product, MixBit, and Chen is joining Google Ventures as an entrepreneur-in-residence.

When TechCrunch senior editor Leena Rao decided to stop covering companies in order to invest in them, she also ended up Google Ventures. MG Siegler, one of the pioneers in the blogging-capitalist movement, is currently a general partner at Google Ventures as well.

TechCrunch says "Avos is pivoting, in a sense" towards a single company: Mixbit, a mobile video platform. But that seems somewhat generous. Avos bought, then gave up on the beloved bookmarking site Delicious. Former employees said the cofounders attitude at Avos was basically: I'm rich, bitch. One of the incubator's ideas was a clone of Vine. A Pinterest-y product was also killed.

Mixbit, apparently the most promising of the lot, is facing legal threats from Kanye West. Chen was vague about his new job description:

Chen wouldn't go into much detail about what he plans on building at Google Ventures, but he did explain that part of the draw of GV was being around the younger, fresher minds in tech. "Chad and I have always been on the inside of one company, so the opportunity to start from higher up across multiple industries and talk to the people at the forefront of the future… that's something that is exciting and alluring to me."

At least he'll have a sympathetic ear! Digg founder Kevin Rose also ended up as an investor at Google Ventures after shutting down the only product from his own startup incubator, Milk.

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