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Jawed Karim – Early Life and Education


Jawed was born on October 28,1979, in Merseburg, East Germany. Karim grew up in Nessus. It was Saint Paul Central High School from where he graduated in 1997.

Jawed enrolled at the University of Illinois within the Department of Computer Science. Jawed left the university before completing his graduation and joined PayPal; he was one among PayPalโ€™s earliest employees. He later completed his graduation and obtained his degree in computing in 2004. Jawed eventually joined Stanford University and earned his Masterโ€™s degree in Computer Science but that was after YouTube was founded.

Jawed Karim โ€“ Career

Karim started his career in his university days with an Internship at Silicon Graphics, Inc. He had worked there on “3D voxel data management for very large data sets for volume rendering, which incorporates the data for the Visible Human Project”. However, he soon dropped out of school and joined PayPal, and it had been there that he met Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, the longer-term co-founders of YouTube in 2002.

Jawed Karim – How he founded YouTube?

At PayPal, he met Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, the opposite two creators of YouTube. The absence of video clips of Super Bowl XXXVIII and therefore the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami gave Jawed the idea of a video-sharing platform. The controversial half-time segment of the Super Bowl with Janet Jackson was a rage at that point that everyone wanted to have a glimpse of. However, Hurley and Chen have mentioned the web site Hot or Not, a rating site that permits the users to rate the attractiveness of the photos submitted voluntarily by the users, because of the motivation behind creating YouTube. The founders also stated that they had a web video version of a dating site in their minds when they decided to launch YouTube.

Now, if you’re wondering whether YouTube was the first video-sharing website on the internet, then it was not the first of these sites. This is often because Vimeo was launched in November 2004, before YouTube, but because it was a side project of the developers of the Los Angeles-based internet comedy company, College Humor then, Vimeo did not grow that fast.

Jawed Karim – First YouTube Video Ever

The first YouTube channel was โ€œJawedโ€, which was created by Jawed Karim, and therefore the first-ever video on YouTube was a video uploaded by him, titled โ€œMe at the zooโ€. This video was recorded by his high school friend Yakov Lapitsky. The YouTube owner’s video featured Karim at the San Diego Zoo. The video has 218 million views to date. Hereโ€™s to the link of the video.

Jawed Karim – YouTube Google Acquisition

After launching YouTube, YouTube founder Jawed Karim became an off-the-cuff adviser instead of an employee to the company as he wanted to complete his studies, subsequently joining Stanford University. Comparatively, he took a lower share within the company than other co-founders, Steve Chan and Chad Hurley.

Much of the time, he remained unrecognized by the overall public until Googleโ€™s arrival. It had been only when YouTube was sold to Google for nearly $1.65 billion within the year 2006 that Karim was again back in the news and media.

This small share still proved large enough to let him receive nearly 137,443 shares, worth around $64 million, at the closing of the famous Google acquisition of YouTube. Currently, the web worth of Jawed Karim is $300 million.

YouTube “Broadcast Yourself”

After Youtube was acquired by Google, the Youtube users and other content creators searched for another reliable option. Then the opposite video-sharing sites tried coming to prominence and distinguishing themselves from Youtube, but they eventually did not do that with the announcement of Youtube’s slogan “Broadcast Yourself”. This became the beginning of the Broadcast Yourself era of Youtube, which helped Youtube see another period of rapid climb. consistent with a Daily Telegraph report of 2007, Youtube consumed bandwidth that equals the whole bandwidth of the internet 2000. The corporation soon crossed the milestone of 14 billion video views by 2010 and boasted of holding a market share of 43%. To further boost the expansion of Youtube, the platform simplified its interface within the same year, which was aimed to extend the dwelling time of the viewers on Youtube.

Youtube crossed another milestone in 2011, namely of three billion videos being watched each day where 48 hoursโ€™ worth of new videos were being uploaded each minute.

Jawed Karim – Opposing Youtube’s Decisions

In 2013, Google made major changes to its policy. A user needed a Google+ to account for posting a remark on any YouTube video. The move faced backlash and was widely opposed by the YouTube community. To voice discontent against the new policy, a web petition was signed by a number of users.

The petition gained around 240,000 signatures. Karim too wasn’t in favor of the policy change; to oppose the Google+ intervention, he updated the video description on his first video to โ€œI canโ€™t comment here anymore, as I donโ€™t need a Google+ accountโ€.

After the protests from the YouTube community, Google apologized for forcing Google+ users to use their real names, and subsequently, Google dropped the policy of integration of Google+ with YouTube. In 2018, Google permanently disabled Google+ services after it failed in both consumer and developer adoption.

Karim also criticized the recent move of removal of dislike to calculate YouTube. He expressed “when every YouTuber agrees that removing dislikes may be a stupid idea, it probably is. Try again, Youtube.”

Jawed Karim – Investments and Partnerships

Karim launched Youniversity Ventures (Y Ventures) in March 2008 in partnership with Kevin Hartz and Keith Rabois. In April 2009, he invested within the initial Seed round of Airbnb Inc. via Y Ventures, which was the last partner investment of Karim. Jawed became one among the initial investors of the company. His total funding was about $600k.

Karim also invested in Formatech in January 2020, which is his last documented investment. The investment was about $7million.


Jawed Karimโ€™s story is an example of it coming right down to identifying a niche and then working on it and is undoubtedly inspiring for the entrepreneurs of today. A video-sharing platform could also be mainstream today but that wasnโ€™t the case in the early 2000s. When Youtube came into being Karim would always be a prominent face of Youtube. Besides, Karim had a serious say in many crucial YouTube decisions, including the one to collaborate with companies like Google and NBC, which may undoubtedly be marked as some of the most significant reasons behind the popularity that YouTube enjoys today. Nobody could fathom that a small video showing a guy introducing an elephant at the zoo would change video sharing and streaming forever!

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