Jawed Karim Bio, Founder of YouTube

  • January 07, 2020
  • by
Jawed Karim

Co-founder of the YouTube website, Jawed Karim was born in East Germany in 1979, and soon moved to West Germany and thence to the United States.

He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but left prior to graduating to become an employee at internet company PayPal (he later completed his coursework by mail and earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2004).

As its founders have pointed out, a number of startup companies have originated with employees of PayPal. Youtube was one of them — it was while working at PayPal that Karim met Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, and the three put together an office in a garage, funded by venture capital from the firm Sequoia Capital.

Throughout 2006, when the site got on its feet, YouTube was one of the fastest-growing and most popular websites.

Allowing browsers to view or upload short video clips ranging from home videos to excerpts of sitcoms or movies — but especially including “viral videos,” the sorts of videos that internet users have been sharing with each other for a decade.

The site’s demographics are solidly adolescent, a group that has the most time for watching video after video, no matter how brief.

While it has been targeted repeatedly by copyright infringement lawsuits, sometimes by copyright holders who do not seem aware that YouTube allows users to put content up but does not put it up themselves, YouTube has nevertheless thrived.

Google purchased the company in late 2006 for $1.65 billion in stock, making the founders multimillionaires.

The company has announced the incredibly ambitious goal of hosting every music video every made, by early 2009.

There are plans for sharing ad revenue with active uploaders, the people providing the content that draws users to the site.

Karim has recently founded Youniversity Ventures, a venture fund aimed at helping university students launch their business ideas.

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