YouTube was invented by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim because they felt there should be an easier way to share videos than what was available at the time. These three video-sharing pioneers were all employees of PayPal at the time they invented YouTube, with Hurley being a designer and Chen and Karim being computer engineers. Although the story goes that they invented YouTube for personal reasons, many people believe the real reason was purely entrepreneurial.
According to the official story about the beginning of YouTube, Chen and Hurley came up with the idea in the spring of 2005 after they couldn’t figure out a good way to share videos of a dinner party held by Chen. When questioned about this story, Karim said that he never attended such a dinner party, and he doubts that it every really took place. Later, while not coming right out and saying so, hinted that the dinner party story may have emerged just for the sake of having a story in which others could relate.
The three put together their website and then went about the task of getting some money to turn it into a business. The first substantial amount of money, $11.5 million, came from the investment firm Sequoia Capital. This was enough to put together a headquarters and operate YouTube from November 2005 to April 2006. The first YouTube headquarters was on a second floor above two restaurants in the city of San Mateo, California.
The first video was uploaded to YouTube on April 23, 2005, and was called “Me at the zoo.” The website took off over the next 15 months so that by July 2006, over 65,000 videos were being added each day. That summer, YouTube was listed as the fastest-growing website in the world, and the 5th most-popular. In November of that year, Google bought the company for $1.65 billion. Of that total, Hurley received $345 million, Chen received $326 million and Karim received $64 million.
After the sale of YouTube to Google, Hurley remained the CEO but stepped down in 2010. Chen was the CTO of YouTube but is now an employee of Google. Karim has since started a new business called Youniversity Ventures. Hurley and Chen are working together on a new Internet business called AVOS Systems.
Posted 4439 day ago