Jawed Karim

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Jawed Karim
Jawed Karim 2008.jpg
Jawed Karim in August 2008
Born (1979-10-28) 28 October 1979 (age 39)
ResidencePalo Alto, California, United States[1][2]
Alma materStanford University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Known forCo-founder of YouTube
Uploader of the first video ever on YouTube
YouTube information
Years active2005
Total views57 million
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers
Subscriber and view counts updated as of 15 November 2018.

Jawed Karim (Bengali: জাভেদ করিম) (born 28 October 1979) is an Internet entrepreneur and co-founder of YouTube. He is the first person to upload a video to the site. This inaugural video – titled Me at the zoo – has been viewed 56,992,359 times as of November 14, 2018. During Karim's time working at PayPal, where he met the fellow YouTube founders Steven Chen and Chad Hurley, he designed many of the core components including its real-time anti-internet fraud system.

Personal life[edit]

Karim was born in Merseburg, East Germany in 1979 to a Bangladeshi father and a German mother.[3] He crossed the inner German border with his family in the early 1980s, growing up in Neuss, West Germany.[note 1] Karim moved with his family to Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1992.[4] He graduated from Saint Paul Central High School[5][7] and later attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Computer Science. He left campus prior to graduating to become an early employee at PayPal, but continued his coursework,[4] earning his bachelor's degree in computer science.[8] He subsequently earned a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University.[9]

Karim in September 2004


In 1998, Jawed 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.[10]

While working at PayPal, he met Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. The three years later founded the YouTube video sharing website in 2005.[11] YouTube's first-ever video, Me at the zoo, was uploaded by Karim on 23 April 2005.[12]

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.[4] As a result, he took a much lower share in the company compared to Hurley and Chen.[13] 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.[14]

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 2007 as the 136th and youngest Commencement Speaker in the school's history.[15][16]


In March 2008, Karim launched a venture fund called Youniversity Ventures with partners Keith Rabois and Kevin Hartz.[17] Karim is one of Airbnb's first investors, investing in that company's initial Seed round in April 2009.[18][19]

Response to Google+ integration with YouTube[edit]

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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22] Google subsequently dropped its Google+ requirement across all products, beginning with YouTube[23]. Google announced in October 2018 its intention to permanently shut down Google+ as it had failed to achieve "broad consumer or developer adoption". [24][25]


Karim has published articles on programming in Dr. Dobb's Journal, including one on loading rendering and animating Quake models.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sources vary regarding the year the family moved from East Germany to West Germany. The New York Times says 1980.[4] Star Weekend Magazine says at the end of summer 1981.[5] Die Welt says 1982.[6]


  1. ^ Tate, Ryan (28 October 2009). "The Insanely Rich Kid Next Door". Gawker. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Jawed Karim's house in Palo Alto, California (CA), US". Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Surprise! There's a third YouTube co-founder". USA Today. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Helft, Miguel (12 October 2006). "With YouTube, Student Hits Jackpot Again". The New York Times.
  5. ^ a b Rahman, Muhit (8 December 2006). "The Greatest Possibilities: The Jawed Karim Story". Star Weekend Magazine. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Christensen, Tesha M. (5 September 2016). "Year-long events mark Central High School 150th anniversary". Monitor St. Paul. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  8. ^ "YouTube co-founder to be commencement speaker at Illinois" (Press release). University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Planet Cardinal". Stanford Magazine. January 2007.
  10. ^ "Speakers, Graphics Conference".
  11. ^ Video websites pop up, invite postings, USA Today, 21 November 2005
  12. ^ Karim, Jawed (23 April 2005). "Me at the zoo, YouTube's first ever video".
  13. ^ "Jawed Who? Meet YouTube's silent partner -SVW". siliconvalleywatcher.com.
  14. ^ Helft, Miguel (7 February 2007). "YouTube's Payoff: Hundreds of Millions for the Founders". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Welcome to Engineering at Illinois, University of Illinois
  16. ^ 136th Commencement Address Archived 11 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine., University of Illinois, 13 May 2007.
  17. ^ "YouTube Co-Founder Starts Venture Capital Firm". Mashable. 20 March 2008.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Chesky, Brian."How much money did Airbnb raise? What is the company's financing history?", Quora, 21 March 2015. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  20. ^ "YouTube faces backlash for Google+ integration". CNN. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  21. ^ Cheredar, Tom (8 November 2013). "YouTube cofounder's first public comment in 8 years: 'why the f*** [sic] do i need a Google+ account to comment on a video?'". VentureBeat. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  22. ^ "Google Plus Finally Gives Up on Its Ineffective, Dangerous Real-Name Policy". Slate.com. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  23. ^ "Google is dropping its Google+ requirement across all products, starting with YouTube". VentureBeat. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  24. ^ "Google+ to shut down". CNN. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  25. ^ "Project Strobe: Protecting your data, improving our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+". Google. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Dr. Dobbs Article, A Windows 3D Model Viewer for OpenGL".

External links[edit]