Founder of YouTube

Updated:3 Jun, 2022

Founded by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim, YouTube is an American online video sharing platform, which was launched on 14 February 2005. The founders were ordinary people and the idea of making a video-sharing platform also came out as a very random thought. However, their idea clicked and today we all know YouTube as the most visited website for searching videos after Google. 

About YouTube

The company has its headquarters in San Bruno, California. Presently, YouTube is owned by Google and has more than 1 billion active monthly users who watch over 1 billion hours of video every day and upload videos 500 hours of video every minute. The founders did not think at that time that their small platform which was only meant for sharing their "home videos" will become this famous one day and is not only limited to one medium but available everywhere, such as mobile applications, network television, and can also be linked to other platforms. However, earlier YouTube was only made for sharing music videos but now it has grown vastly and the videos have a lot of variety, including short films, documentaries, movie trailers, teasers, songs, feature films, etc. 

About Founders

YouTube was founded on February 14, 2005, by Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, and Chad Hurley. The three worked for PayPal and are therefore reputed as members of the PayPal mafia, which is a group of former PayPal employees who went on to found incredibly successful tech ventures. Prior to his stint as a PayPal employee, Hurley was a student of design at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, while Chen and Karim were computer science students at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Initially, YouTube was headquartered above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California. They purchased and activated the domain name "YouTube.com" on February 14, 2005. The complete development of the website, with video upload options being integrated, however, only happened on April 23, 2005. They called this "Tune In, Hook Up", with the initial concept of an online dating website. While the e-dating idea did not succeed, their site contained an exceptional video and uploading platform, which eventually ended up garnering immense success.

In the wake of the infamous Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson Halftime show incident, the founders realized that they struggled to locate the videos of the incident online, which led them to notice there was an unmet demand for an online video sharing platform. This realization inspired them to pivot to what would become the first major video sharing platform, with the slogan "Your Digital Video Repository".

The basic idea was to create a new company for non technically proficient users to be able to access a simple interface that allowed the user to publish, upload and view streaming videos through modern internet speeds along with standard web browsers. The first YouTube video which was titled "Me at the zoo", was uploaded on April 23, 2005. The video showed Jawed Karim one of the founders of YouTube at the San Diego Zoo. Today also the video is present on YouTube and has over 120 million views and almost 5 million likes. 

The three members had one specific job which they had to do in order to make the website user-friendly. It was designed by Hurley and created a fantastic logo and complete look, while Chen was responsible for ensuring that the video upload feature was fully functional and there were no bugs in the website. On the other hand, Karim was the main developer and was mainly responsible for developing the initial code and design of the website.

Initially, YouTube relied on angel investors and operated from a makeshift office in a garage. Fun fact: Google initially operated in the garage of Susan Wojcicki, the present CEO of YouTube! By November 2005, YouTube had garnered an initial investment of $3.5 million from Sequoia Capital invested an initial $3.5 million. The company also counted Roelof Botha, who was the CFO of PayPal on its board of directors. In April 2006, Sequoia and Artis Capital Management invested an additional $ 8 million in the company, after a period of high growth.

On October 9, 2006, it was announced that the company would be purchased by Google for US$1.65 billion in stock. The purchase was completed by November 13 of the same year.

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