Then it's not the same as mine. I've also followed the company from the beginning... and I have the benefit of the insider view.
Unless your insider view involved board meetings making top-level executive decisions, I'm not impressed.
Obviously not, but you may not realize how open the company is internally. Larry Page stands up in front of the entire company every week, for example, and takes -- and answers -- live questions. There are no negative consequences for asking hard questions, and hard questions do get asked. Sometimes the executives duck or dance around them, but not very often, and questions that aren't really answered continue getting asked until they do get answered.
In addition to that, other than things like acquisitions there are very few "top-level executive decisions" at Google. Most decisionmaking is driven from the bottom up.
You're probably still not impressed. Whatever. I'm just giving you my perspective and opinion. I would think that an intelligent insider's viewpoint would be of use to you; you're certainly free to dismiss it, whether or not that makes any sense. Time will tell, and I'm quite confident that the future will bear out my statements.
YouTube was a very obvious acquisition. What YouTube needed to survive and grow was low-cost scalability and a way to monetize the views it was getting. What Google had was massive data centers and network connectivity, plus a proven revenue model.
YouTube managed to grow to epic proportions before Google had to "save" them, as you imply. They also good have slapped ads onto their service at any time without Google buying them out.
Not according to YouTube employees who made the transition.