a16z Podcast: I Reject the Term Viral Video

YouTube star Casey Neistat rejects the term “viral video,” which is strange because he’s had more than his share of internet monsters. To say I want to make a viral movie, is like a musician saying I want to make a hit song — it’s just not a good place to start, Neistat says, paraphrasing a point made on Twitter. So how does Neistat start? How does he both attract an audience of millions, and keep them coming back on a daily basis?

Neistat is joined on this segment of the pod by Bailey Richardson, one of the early team members at Instagram. With the tools of production available to everyone, how do you create something that people will stop and pay attention to? Neistat does it by ripping up the snowy streets of New York on a snowboard towed behind a jeep, but what about the rest of us?