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Select Readings – Upper-Intermediate

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  1. Chapter 1: The Youngsters Behind Youtube
    Before You Read
  2. Reading the passage
  3. Understanding the Text
    2 Practices
  4. Building Vocabulary: Understanding Compound Nouns
    1 Practice
  5. Reading Skill: Identifying Main Ideas
    1 Practice
  6. Discussion and Writing
  7. Chapter 2: When to Use Female Nouns
    Before You Read
  8. Reading the passage
  9. Understanding the Text
    2 Practices
  10. Building Vocabulary: Using Female and Gender-Neutral Nouns
    2 Practices
  11. Reading Skill: Supporting Main Ideas
    1 Practice
  12. Discussion and Writing
  13. Chapter 3: Your Negative Attitude Can Hurt Your Career
    Before You Read
  14. Reading the passage
  15. Understanding the Text
    2 Practices
  16. Building Vocabulary: Using Synonyms and Antonyms
    2 Practices
  17. Reading Skill: Scanning for Specific Information
    1 Practice
  18. Discussion and Writing
  19. Chapter 4: The Colorful World of Synesthesia
    Before You Read
  20. Reading the passage
  21. Understanding the Text
    2 Practices
  22. Building Vocabulary: Understanding Verb-Forming Suffixes
    1 Practice
  23. Reading Skill: Making Inferences
    1 Practice
  24. Discussion and Writing
  25. Chapter 5: What Is Creative Thinking?
    Before You Read
  26. Reading the passage
  27. Understanding the Text
    2 Practices
  28. Building Vocabulary: Understanding Figures of Speech
    1 Practice
  29. Reading Skill: Using Context
    1 Practice
  30. Discussion and Writing
  31. Chapter 6: Listen Up
    Before You Read
  32. Reading the passage
  33. Understanding the Text
    3 Practices
  34. Building Vocabulary: Using Adverbs and Intensifiers
    1 Practice
  35. Reading Skill: Recognizing Sentence Transitions
    1 Practice
  36. Discussion and Writing
  37. Chapter 7: Students Won't Give Up Their French Fries
    Before You Read
  38. Reading the passage
  39. Understanding the Text
    2 Practices
  40. Building Vocabulary: Learning Idiomatic Expressions
    1 Practice
  41. Reading Skill: Summarizing
    1 Practice
  42. Discussion and Writing
  43. Chapter 8: Why I Quit the Company
    Before You Read
  44. Reading the passage
  45. Understanding the Text
    3 Practices
  46. Building Vocabulary: Understanding Phrasal Verbs
    1 Practice
  47. Reading Skill: Paraphrasing
  48. Discussion and Writing
  49. Chapter 9: East Meets West on Love's Risky Cyberhighway
    Before You Read
  50. Reading the passage
  51. Understanding the Text
    3 Practices
  52. Building Vocabulary: Using Modifiers
  53. Reading Skill: Identifying Points of View
    1 Practice
  54. Discussion and Writing
  55. Chapter 10: Don't Let Stereotypes Warp Your Judgment
    Before You Read
  56. Reading the passage
  57. Understanding the Text
    2 Practices
  58. Building Vocabulary: Forming Participle Adjectives
    1 Practice
  59. Reading Skill: Recognizing Sources
    1 Practice
  60. Discussion and Writing
  61. Chapter 11: The Art of Reading
    Before You Read
  62. Reading the passage
  63. Understanding the Text
    3 Practices
  64. Building Vocabulary: Learning Word Forms
    1 Practice
  65. Reading Skill: Recognizing Analogies
    1 Practice
  66. Discussion and Writing
  67. Chapter 12: When E.T. Calls
    Before You Read
  68. Reading the passage
  69. Understanding the Text
    3 Practices
  70. Building Vocabulary: Understanding Nouns Derived from Adjectives
    1 Practice
  71. Reading Skill: Recognizing Scenarios
    1 Practice
  72. Discussion and Writing
Lesson 3 of 72
In Progress

Understanding the Text

Rathanak May 27, 2021

“Everybody aspires to be a star; says Steve Chen, a Taiwanese immigrant who came to the United States with his family in hopes of a better life. Chen’s aspirations became a reality when he, along with Pennsylvania-born Chad Hurley, created what is today the world’s largest online video website. YouTube has now become a global sensation, propelling both Hurley and Chen to the top of Business 2.0’s list of “The 50 People Who Matter Now.” YouTube was also named TIME magazine’s 2006 “Invention of the Year.” When Hurley and Chen decided to sell their company, they did so for a hefty price tag of $1.65 billion. 

Steve Shih Chen was born in August 1978 in Taiwan, where he lived until he was eight years old. His family then emigrated to the U.S., where Chen attended John Hersey High School and later the Illinois Math and Science Academy. After graduating from high school, Chen enrolled in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue a degree 15 in computer science. But it would be a part-time job he was hired for at a small e-commerce start-up called PayPal that would change his life forever. 

Chad Meredith Hurley was born in 1977 as the middle child of parents Donald and JoAnn Hurley. His father was a financial consultant, while his mother worked as a local school teacher. Chad, along with his older sister and younger brother, grew up near Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Twin Valley High School in 1995, where his mother continues to teach in the gifted program, Hurley enrolled in the Indiana University of Pennsylvania to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fine art. 

Before graduating from the university; Hurley also applied for a job at PayPal. He was flown to California and, as part of his job interview, was asked to design a logo for the young company that would demonstrate his artistic abilities. Hurley got the job, and the logo he designed remains PayPal’s official logo to this day. 

It was while working at PayPal that Hurley and Chen became fast friends. They began to spend their free time discussing several different business ideas. When eBay purchased PayPal for $1.54 billion, the two received large bonuses for their role in growing the small start-up. They decided to use their money to create their own venture. With Chen’s engineering skills and Hurley’s creativity, they thought forming a company together was a plausible idea. 

In January 2005, Hurley and Chen attended a friend’s dinner party in San Francisco. They had taken a few digital videos of the event and wanted to share them with each other the next day, but could not find a good means to do so. The files were too big to email, and posting them online would take hours. With that, Hurley and Chen had their first idea for a sustainable business. Using the money they had received from the PayPal buyout, Chen and Hurley decided to create YouTube, to make uploading and sharing videos online as easy as anyone could want. It was the birth of a revolution.

“We’re not in a hurry,” Hurley once said. “We’re interested in building our community. We’re trying to improve discovery. We’re trying to improve the experience for people on our site:’ They might not have been in a hurry, but their site sure grew in one. Today, YouTube has almost half of the online video market, and it is still growing. How did a university dropout and a boy who loved to draw become the industry leaders they are considered now? 

User-Oriented: Hurley and Chen knew from personal experience how difficult it was to upload and share videos online. And that was why they decided to create YouTube. They wanted to create a website that others like themselves would find useful. By prioritizing its users’ needs and being as easy and interactive as possible, YouTube was able to find a loyal audience that numbers in the millions. 

Unique: When you visit YouTube.com, you are most likely searching for something that you cannot find anywhere else. From long-lost ’80s music videos, to political speeches, to the current events of today, you are almost guaranteed to find it on YouTube. And that is why people keep coming back for more.

Viral: Both YouTube’s marketing strategy and growth as a result have been viral in nature. From holding promotions such as the iPod Nano daily giveaway to having an external video player that can be placed on any website and can link back to their own, Hurley and Chen created a platform that continues to grow at an exponential rate.

Well-Timed: Some have suggested that YouTube’s success was due to a perfect storm of environmental factors. More to the point, it was Hurley and Chen’s ability to not only notice, but also take advantage of that storm that pushed them to the top. From the lessening of the cost of bandwidth and digital cameras to the growth of online social networks, Hurley and Chen created a company that was right for the times. 

Focused: Hurley and Chen were never out to create a money-making machine. They wanted to create a sustainable business, but also one that meant something to its users. And so, instead of overloading its pages and videos with advertisements, Hurley and Chen are being careful and testing the waters as to which ads will work, and where. They are refusing to lose sight of their number one priority, their user. 

YouTube put the right technology out there to meet a need, but it did so much more than that. It created a simple and unique way for people to connect with each other. It has become the fastest-growing video sharing site of all time, all the while outliving the critics’ claims that it is just another teenage fad that will soon die down. With the Google buyout, the company faces a more uncertain future in terms of how it will operate and who will call the shots. One thing is for sure, however, and that is that Hurley and Chen are still here, and their business is still booming.

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