An American-German software technologist and entrepreneur, Jawed Karim was one of the three minds behind YouTube, the other two being Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Jawed Karim’s net worth was over $300 million as of 2022.
The current YouTube CEO is Susan Wojcicki, who became the CEO of the American online video sharing and social media platform in February 2014.
Do you know that the first ever video posted on Youtube was “Me at the Zoo,”, which was uploaded by none other than Jawed Karim on April 23, 2005? Jawed Karim’s first video has been watched over 218 million times, as per reports dated January 8, 2022.
However, here we will discuss the success story of Jawed Karim, learn about who he is, his personal life and education, how he co-founded Youtube, his investments and partnerships, and more.
Personal Life & Education:
Jawed was born on October 28, 1979, in Merseburg, East Germany (present-day Germany), to Christine Karim and Naimul Karim. His father is a researcher from Bangladesh who works at 3M, while his mother is a German scientist associated with the University of Minnesota as a research professor of biochemistry. He has a sister, Ilias.
Jawed enrolled at the University of Illinois in the department of computer science. Jawed left the university before completing his graduation and joined PayPal; he was one of PayPal’s earliest employees. In 2004, he graduated with a degree in computer science. Jawed eventually joined Stanford University and earned his Master’s degree in Computer Science, but that was after Youtube was founded.
In the early 1980s, Jawed Karim and his family had to leave inner Germany because racism was getting worse there. Therefore, he grew up in Neuss, West Germany. However, there were several xenophobic episodes that he had to face there as well, which is why he again had to move with his family to Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1992. Karim graduated in 1997 from Saint Paul Central High School.
How Jawed Karim Co. founded YouTube:
At PayPal, he met Steve Chen and Chad Hurley. The absence of video clips from Super Bowl XXXVIII and 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 time that everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of. But Hurley and Chen have said that they were inspired to make YouTube by the website “Hot or Not.” Whatever the inspiration, we are glad to have YouTube today!
After the necessary measures and steps were in place, the ‘YouTube’ domain name was activated on February 14, 2005. A series of developments followed. Later, the company commenced as a venture capital-funded technology startup. The company received a funding commitment of 11.5 million USD from Sequoia Capital and an additional 8 million USD from Artis Capital Management.
The funding helped YouTube in various ways, not just financially. Initially, the company was headquartered in San Mateo, California, right above a Japanese restaurant.
The First YouTube Video by Jawed Karim
The first YouTube channel became “Jawed” via Karim, and the first-ever video on YouTube became a video uploaded via him and titled “Me at the Zoo.” Yakov Lapitsky, one of his high school buddies, shot this video. The YouTube owner’s video featured Karim at the San Diego Zoo. To date, the video has received over 218 million views.
Jawed Karim, the founder of YouTube, became an adviser to the company after he started it. He did this because he wanted to finish school and eventually join Stanford University. After YouTube came out, Karim became a casual adviser for the site instead of a full-time employee. He became well-known, started school, and took a smaller share of the company than the other co-founders.
But this small percentage was still enough for him to buy close to 137,443 stocks, which at the time were worth about $64 million based on the stock price at the time of the well-known Google acquisition of YouTube.
In 2005, a Nike commercial about the legendary Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho was the first video on YouTube to get 1,000,000 views. The video confirmed Ronaldinho receiving his pair of “Golden Boots.” In the same year, YouTube released its beta website online after receiving funding from Sequoia Capital.
The Beginning of YouTube’s Partnerships: The NBC Deal
Following a print of “Lazy Sunday”, lovers began posting clips of the display on YouTube. The clips acquired more than 7 million views. However, NBC (the media company) demanded the motion pictures be pulled from YouTube. This incident paved the way for the Content Verification Program below YouTube’s policy.
It allowed copyright holders to effortlessly pick out the infringements. After some unsightly spats, YouTube sent a letter to NBC. This deal helped NBC enter the arena of virtual broadcasting. And this was simply the start of YouTube’s numerous partnerships with enterprise bigshots.
As a casual advisor, Jawed didn’t acquire a large percentage of YouTube’s earnings. Due to his decreasing percentage of the organization and his smaller function in comparison to the other co-founders of Youtube within the growth of the social media platform after it became established, Karim remained pretty obscure.
Much of the time, he remained unrecognized by the general public until Google’s arrival. Karim returned to the information for his 137,443 shares of the inventory only when Google sold YouTube in 2006 for a whopping $1.56 billion USD. Jawed Karim Internet’s real worth is $160 million as of 2021.
Jawed Karim considerably added a lecture within the year 2006 at the annual ACM Conference of the University of Illinois on YouTube’s records, which became titled YouTube: From Concept to Hyper Increase.” Furthermore, Karim got here lower back to the University of Illinois in May 2008, where he was once again decided on as the speaker, thereby turning into the 136th and the youngest Commencement Speaker within the records of the faculty.
Opposition to Google+ and YouTube Collaboration:—
In 2013, Google made major changes to its policy. A user needed a Google+ account to post a comment on any YouTube video. The YouTube community strongly opposed the move and voiced its opposition. A number of users signed an online petition to express their discontent with the new policy.
The petition gained around 240,000 signatures. Karim too was not in favor of the policy change; to oppose the Google+ intervention, he updated the video description on his first video to “I can’t comment here anymore, as I don’t want a Google+ account”.
After the YouTube community complained, Google said sorry for making Google+ users use their real names, and it also stopped integrating Google+ with YouTube. Google shut down Google+ services for good in 2018 because neither users nor developers used them.
Investments and Partnerships:
Karim started Youniversity Ventures with Kevin Hartz and Keith Rabois in March 2008. In April 2009, he invested in the initial seed round of Airbnb, Inc. Karim became one of the initial investors in the company.
Jawed Karim’s story shows how it all comes down to finding a niche and working on it, and it is a great example for entrepreneurs today. A video-sharing platform may be mainstream today, but that wasn’t the case in the early 2000s, when Youtube came into being, and Karim, being one of the founders of Youtube, would always be a prominent face of the platform.
Besides, whenever one would Google or Youtube “the first Youtube video”, it would only feature “Me at the Zoo” by Jawed Karim as the first Youtube video ever. Besides, Karim had a major say in many crucial YouTube decisions, including the one to collaborate with companies like Google and NBC, which can undoubtedly be marked as some of the most significant reasons behind the popularity that YouTube enjoys today.
No one could fathom that a small video showing a guy introducing an elephant at the zoo would change video sharing and streaming forever!