Karim in August 2008
|Alma mater||University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (BS)|
Stanford University (MS)
|Known for||Co-founder of YouTube|
Uploader of the first video ever on YouTube
|Total views||143.2 million|
Updated: 19 January 2021
Jawed Karim (Bengali: জাওয়েদ করিম, born 28 October 1979) is an American software engineer and Internet entrepreneur of Bangladeshi-German descent. He is the co-founder of YouTube and widely thought to be the first person to upload a video to the site. This inaugural video, titled Me at the zoo and uploaded on 23 April 2005, has been viewed over 137.8 million times, as of 25 December 2020[update]. During Karim's time working at PayPal, where he met the fellow YouTube co-founders Steven Chen and Chad Hurley, he had designed many of the core components including its real-time anti-Internet-fraud system.
Karim was born on 28 October 1979 in Merseburg, East Germany, to a German mother and Bangladeshi father. He was the elder of two boys. He crossed the inner German border with his family in the early 1980s because of xenophobia, growing up in Neuss, West Germany.[note 1] Experiencing xenophobia there as well, Karim moved with his family to Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1992. He graduated from Saint Paul Central High School and later attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He left campus prior to graduating to become an early employee at PayPal, but continued his coursework, earning his bachelor's degree in computer science. He subsequently earned a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University.
In 1998, Karim served an Internship at Silicon Graphics, Inc. where he worked on 3D voxel data management for very large data sets for volume rendering, including the data for the Visible Human Project. While working at PayPal, he met Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Three years later, in 2005, they founded the YouTube video sharing website. The first video posted on YouTube, Me at the zoo, was uploaded by Karim on 23 April 2005.
After co-founding the company and developing the YouTube concept and website with Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, Karim enrolled as a graduate student in computer science at Stanford University while acting as an adviser to YouTube. When the site was introduced in February 2005, Karim agreed not to be an employee and simply be an informal adviser, and that he was focusing on his studies. As a result, he took a much lower share in the company compared to Hurley and Chen. Because of his smaller role in the company, Karim was mostly unknown to the public as the third founder until YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006. Despite his lower share in the company, the purchase was still large enough that he received 137,443 shares of stock, worth about $64 million based on Google's closing stock price at the time.
In October 2006, Karim gave a lecture about the history of YouTube at the University of Illinois annual ACM Conference entitled YouTube From Concept to Hyper growth. Karim returned again to the University of Illinois in May 2008 as the 136th and youngest Commencement Speaker in the school's history.
In March 2008, Karim launched a venture fund called Youniversity Ventures (now known as YVentures) with partners Keith Rabois and Kevin Hartz. Karim is one of Airbnb's first investors, investing in the company's initial seed round in April 2009. Y Ventures has also invested in Palantir, Reddit and Eventbrite.
Response to Google+ integration with YouTube
On 6 November 2013, YouTube began requiring that commenting on its videos be done via a Google+ account, a move that was widely opposed by the YouTube community. An online petition to revert the change garnered over 240,000 signatures.
In response to Google requiring YouTube members to use Google+ for its comment system, Karim wrote on his YouTube account, "why the fuck do i need a Google+ account to comment on a video", and updated the video description on his first video titled Me at the zoo to "I can't comment here anymore, since i don't want a Google+ account".
In response to pressure from the YouTube community, Google publicly apologized for forcing Google+ users to use their real names, which was one of the reasons the Google+ integration was unpopular with YouTube users. Google subsequently dropped its Google+ requirement across all products, beginning with YouTube. Google announced in October 2018 its intention to permanently shut down Google+ as it had failed to achieve broad consumer or developer adoption, and because of a vulnerability. Google+ was closed for personal accounts on 2 April 2019.
- "Big data company Palantir is now officially a public company — and it's one of nearly a dozen major tech firms that can trace its roots to PayPal". Business Insider.
- Me at the zoo, retrieved 10 December 2020
- "Surprise! There's a third YouTube co-founder". USA Today. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
- Keese, Christoph (22 October 2006). "Sergey Brin und Jawed Karim – zwei Karierren". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 20 August 2017.
Der andere heißt Jawed Karim und wurde 1979 in Merseburg/DDR geboren. Sein Vater kam aus Bangladesch, seine Mutter aus dem Harz. Die Karims waren als Ausländer verpönt und wanderten deswegen 1982 in den Westen aus. In Neuss schlug ihnen wieder Fremdenhass entgegen; deshalb zogen sie in die USA
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- Welcome to Engineering at Illinois Archived 13 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine, University of Illinois
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- Gallagher, Leigh (14 February 2017). "The Hustle". The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions. and Created Plenty of Controversy. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-544-95387-1. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
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