Does anyone own a smartphone without YouTube installed? YouTube has become a must-have in this age of social media for people all around the world.
This world-famous video streaming app began as an idea that was grown to be a marvel. Three brilliant minds contributed to this idea, one of whom was Jawed Karim. A highly skilled software engineer and an internet entrepreneur.
There is some debate about who invented YouTube, but the app is undeniably the result of a collaborative effort by all creators. When the group sold YouTube to Google in 2006, Chad Harley and Steve Chen received a 5 times larger share than Jawed Karim.
Jawed later appeared to disagree with the YouTube founders several times, but he kept his spirits high and founded a venture incubator company called Yventures, as well as became a speaker.
This is the story of Jawed Karim, who imagined YouTube, an advanced technology that seemed unattainable at the time.
Jawed Karim is an American software engineer of German-Bangladeshi ancestry who was born on October 28, 1979. His father (Bangladeshi) is a researcher at 3M, and his mother (German) is a biochemist at the University of Minnesota.
Because of the xenophobia they experienced, Jawed’s family was forced to move around a lot. He and his family crossed the old East-West German border in 1981 and grew up in Neuss, West Germany, before moving to Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1992.
In 1997, he graduated from Saint Paul Central High School and began his studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He was studying computer science at university.
Before he even finished high school, Jawed was talented enough to start working at Paypal in 2002. He managed to combine working and studying, demonstrating his ingenuity.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2004 and a master’s degree in computer science a year later from Stanford University.
JAWED KARIM’S CAREER
Jawed interned with Silicon Graphics Inc., an American manufacturer of high-performance computing hardware and software, in 1998. Jawed was in charge of managing massive amounts of voxel data that would later be converted into two-dimensional images.
At this time, a significant portion of Jawed’s work was done for the Visible Human Project, an initiative to produce a large quantity of intricate, two-dimensional cross-sectional images of various human body parts. A voxel is a 3D counterpart to a pixel.
Jawed’s work at Silicon Graphics made enough of an impression for PayPal to take notice. PayPal was far from the internationally recognized payment processing juggernaut that it is today at the time, and the members of the so-called PayPal Mafia were not household names.
The company had only been around for two years, but Jawed, who is always looking for the next big thing, saw something in it even in its early stages. Jawed agonized over the PayPal offer for roughly two weeks because he knew that accepting it would require him to put his studies on hold.
However, he ultimately did accept it, signing a contract with the University of Illinois to remotely take on a light course load while he worked, allowing him to eventually graduate with a B.S. in computer science in 2004.
JAWED MET THE CO-FOUNDERS OF YOUTUBE AT PAYPAL
Jawed’s decision to begin working at PayPal proved fortunate. There, in 2002, he met Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, the two men who would later join him in co-founding YouTube.
Steven and Chad were intrigued by Jawed because they had heard about his exceptional technical abilities as the creator of PayPal’s powerful anti-internet fraud system due to which they began working together.
Early in the millennium, the internet wasn’t what it is now—it was a very different place. Users who wanted to share photos could do so on sites like Flickr, but the video was a tougher nut to crack.
To play videos downloaded from the internet back then, you had to install a video player, and not all video players could handle all types of videos. The video you wanted to watch had to be supported by the video player you were using.
According to Jawed, the inspiration for creating YouTube came when he couldn’t easily find video clips of two events. These included videos of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and the Janet Jackson controversy surrounding the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.
Everyone wanted a glimpse of the contentious Super Bowl half-time show with Janet Jackson at the time.
Conversely, Hurley and Chen claimed that the creation of YouTube was inspired by the website Hot or Not, a rating site that lets users rate the attractiveness of photos that users voluntarily submit.
The founders also mentioned that they had in mind an online video version of a dating website when they decided to start YouTube.
However, they were unable to use the same tactic because there weren’t many dating videos available. Later, the website’s creators changed their minds and started accepting all types of videos. We are grateful for YouTube today, regardless of the inspiration’s origin!
Following the completion of all necessary precautions and actions, the “YouTube” domain name was activated on February 14, 2005. A series of events then followed.
Jawed Karim himself uploaded the first video to YouTube. The very first YouTube video was one of him that he uploaded while visiting the zoo.
YouTube was not well-known in its early days. The founders even advertised on Craigslist to post videos for $5. However, due to its simplicity, the company quickly gained public attention.
Later, the company evolved into a venture-backed technology start-up. Sequoia Capital put in $11.5 million, and Artis Capital management put in $8 million. The sponsorship had many other advantages for YouTube besides just financial ones. Initially, the company’s headquarters were above a Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California.
Following a “Lazy Sunday” broadcast, viewers began uploading show footage to YouTube. Over 7 million people have watched the videos. However, NBC (The Media Company) demanded that the videos be removed from YouTube.
This incident, according to YouTube’s rules, opened the door for the Content Verification Program. It made it easy for copyright holders to identify infringements. After some wrangling, YouTube and NBC agreed.
This agreement aided NBC’s foray into digital broadcasting. And this was just the beginning of YouTube’s many collaborations with industry titans.
JAWED HAD A LOWER STAKE IN THE COMPANY
Instead of becoming an employee, Jawed agreed to take a lower stake in the company and serve as an informal adviser while studying.
As an informal advisor, Jawed did not receive a large portion of YouTube’s profits. Jawed was relatively unknown compared to the other co-founders of Youtube because of his smaller share of the company and his less significant role in the development of the social media platform after its founding.
Jawed Karim has been invited to speak in numerous forums since he became known as one of YouTube’s co-founders. Jawed Karim, a co-founder of YouTube, gave his first-ever public speech in May 2008 at the University of Illinois.
He was asked to discuss the origins of YouTube and how the idea for the site came to be at the ACM Conference that month. He was later named the school’s 136th and youngest commencement speaker in its history.
Many people wonder, “Where is Jawed Karim today/now?” Jawed Karim is preoccupied with his business.
Jawed Karim is a successful internet entrepreneur. He established Youniversity Ventures, also referred to as Y Ventures, which is an investment firm for venture capital funds. Along with his business partners Kevin Hartz and Keith Rabois, he founded it in March 2008.
Y Ventures has made investments in a variety of developing businesses, including Reddit, Eventbrite, Palantir, and the hospitality service provider Airbnb, to name a few. The company’s goal is to provide funding to university entrepreneurs and other first-time business owners with great ideas.
Jawed Karim is a simple man with a sophisticated mind. Wherever he worked, he did an incredible job and left his mark. His experience should serve as a lesson for us as well because learning is a continuous process.
LEARNING AND APPLYING – Jawed Karim was always learning from his experiences. From Silicon Graphics to Yventures, he was always learning and applying his experience. He learned about 3D Voxels and used them in video streaming. He used his experience from working on a successful startup (YouTube) to launch Y Ventures.
THE VALUE OF A BRILLIANT IDEA – Karim’s YouTube work exemplifies the significance of having a great idea. He and his co-founders had a vision for YouTube when they launched it. This vision enabled them to attract investors and rapidly grow the company.
MAINTAIN A LOW PROFILE – Assume you are 25 years old and have $64 million in your bank account. What would you do?
Jawed was only 27 years old when YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006, and he received $64 million in shares (which are now worth more than $500 million).
He maintained a low profile and founded Yventures, a venture fund, in 2008.
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