Jawed Karim Biography: Co-Founder of YouTube

Jawed Karim Biography: Co-Founder of YouTube

The social media circuit has drastically changed the lives of everyone across the globe in the last twenty years. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have connected people and brought them closer. The yawning gulf in terms of geography is now nearly non-existent. Amidst numberless social media platforms, and video streaming applications, YouTube has carved a league of its own as one of the oldest and the leading video streaming services. In fact, Youtube is also popularly hailed as the second most visited website in the world, next to Youtube parent organization, Google, and Jawed Karim's contribution to the growth of Youtube is simply indispensable when it comes to this unmissable app. The Youtube net worth in 2021 was estimated to be over $160 bn.

An American-German software technologist and entrepreneur, Jawed Karim was one of the three minds behind YouTube, the other two persons being Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Jawed Karim's net worth is over $160 million as of 2021.

Anyone with internet connectivity would have seen videos on YouTube at least once in their life. YouTube is the womb that gave birth to many sensations; without the video-sharing website, there would have been no T-Series, Pewdiepie, CarryMinati, and thousands of other video creators. 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 the reports dated January 8, 2022. T series is currently the most subscribed channel on Youtube with over 203 mn subscribers, as per the latest reports. The T series net worth has been last estimated at more than $500 mn in 2021.  

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.  

Jawed Karim - Biography

Name Jawed Karim
Born 28 October 1979 - Merseburg, East Germany
Age 42
Net worth $160 million
Nationality American/German
Parents Naimul Karim, Christine Karim
Siblings Ilias Karim
Education University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (BS), Stanford University (MS)
Occupation Entrepreneur
Known for Co-founder of YouTube, Uploader of the first video ever on YouTube
Youtube channel jawed

Jawed Karim - Personal Life & Education
How Jawed Karim Co-founded YouTube
The First YouTube Video by Jawed Karim
Beginning of YouTube's Partnerships - The NBC Deal
Opposition to Google+ and YouTube Collaboration
Jawed Karim - Investments and Partnerships
Jawed Karim - FAQs

Jawed Karim - 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 Ccience. Jawed left the university before completing his graduation and joined PayPal; he was one of PayPal’s earliest employees. He later completed his graduation and obtained his degree in Computer Science in 2004. Jawed eventually joined Stanford University and earned his Master’s degree in Computer Science but that was after Youtube was founded.

Jawed Karim had to cross the border of inner Germany along with his family in the early 1980s due to increasing xenophobia 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. It was from Saint Paul Central High School that Karim graduated in 1997.

Co-Founder of YouTube
Co-Founder of YouTube

How Jawed Karim Co-founded YouTube

At PayPal, he met Steve Chen and Chad Hurley. The absence of video clips of 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 have a glimpse of. However, Hurley and Chen have mentioned the website “Hot or Not” as the motivation behind creating YouTube. Whatever may have been the inspiration, we are glad to have YouTube today!

YouTube Logo

After the necessary measures and steps were in place, the ‘YouTube’ domain name was activated on 14th February 2005. A series of developments followed. Later, the company commenced as a venture capital-funded technology startup. The company received a funding of 11.5 million USD from Sequoia Capital and an 8 million USD funding from Artis Capital management. The funding helped YouTube in various ways and not just financially. Initially, the company was headquartered in San Mateo, California, right above a Japanese restaurant.


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The First YouTube Video by Jawed Karim

The first YouTube channel was “Jawed” by Karim, and the first-ever video on YouTube was a video uploaded by him and titled “Me at the zoo”. 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 more than 218 million views to date.

First Ever YouTube video

After launching YouTube, YouTube founder Jawed Karim became an adviser to the company as he wanted to complete his studies, subsequently joining Stanford University. After YouTube was introduced, Karim became an informal adviser of the site instead of an employee and turned his focus on further education while taking a comparatively lower share in the company than other co-founders. However, this small share still proved large enough to let him receive close to 137,443 shares, worth around $64 million, as per the closing stock price at the closing of the famous Google acquisition of Youtube.

In 2005 itself, YouTube got its first one million views video, a Nike advertisement featuring the legendary Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho. The video showed Ronaldinho receiving his pair of “Golden Boots”. In the same year, YouTube launched its beta site after receiving funds from Sequoia Capital.


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Beginning of YouTube's Partnerships - The NBC Deal

Following a broadcast of “Lazy Sunday”, fans started posting the clips of the show on YouTube. The clips received more than 7 million views. However, NBC (The Media Company) demanded the videos be pulled off from YouTube. This incident paved the way for the Content Verification Program under YouTube’s policy. It allowed copyright holders to easily identify the infringements. After a few ugly spats, YouTube made a deal with NBC. This deal helped NBC enter the world of digital broadcasting. And, this was just the beginning of YouTube’s several partnerships with industry bigshots.

As an informal advisor, Jawed didn’t receive a major share of YouTube’s earnings. Due to his lower share of the company and his smaller role in contrast to the other co-founders of Youtube in the growth of the social media platform after it was established, Karim remained quite obscure.

Much of the time, he remained unrecognized by the general public until Google’s arrival. It was only when Google bought YouTube in the year 2006 for a whopping 1.56 billion USD that Karim again came back to the news for his 137,443 shares of the stock. Jawed Karim net worth is $160 million as of 2021.

Jawed Karim notably delivered a lecture in the year 2006 at the annual ACM Conference of the University of Illinois on YouTube’s history, which was titled "YouTube From Concept to Hyper growth". Furthermore, Karim came back to the University of Illinois in May 2008, where he was again selected as the speaker, thereby becoming the 136th and the youngest Commencement Speaker in the history of the school.


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Opposition to Google+ and YouTube Collaboration

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

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 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.

Jawed Karim - Investments and Partnerships

Karim launched Youniversity Ventures in March 2008 in partnership with Kevin Hartz and Keith Rabois. In April 2009, he invested in the initial Seed round of Airbnb Inc. Karim became one of the initial investors of the company.

Jawed Karim’s story is an example of it coming down to identifying a niche and then working on it and is undoubtedly inspiring for the entrepreneurs of 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 being one of the founders of Youtube, Karim would always be a prominent face of Youtube. 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!

Jawed Karim - FAQs

How much is Jawed Karim Net Worth?

Jawed Karim net worth is over $160 million, as of 2021.

Who is Jawed Karim?

Jawed Karim, an American-German technologist, and entrepreneur was one of the three minds behind YouTube.

Who is the owner of YouTube?

Google is the Parent Organization of YouTube. YouTube was founded by Jawed Karim, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley.

What is Jawed Karim's Education?

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (BS), Stanford University (MS)

Who is the founder of YouTube?

Jawed Karim, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley are the founders of YouTube.

What is Jawed Karim's Age?

Jawed Karim was born on October 28, 1979. He is currently 42 years old.

Who was the very first YouTuber?

The co-founder Jawed Karim was the first YouTuber when he uploaded an 18-second video called Me at the Zoo in 2005, which was also Jawed Karim's first video.

What happened to the founders of YouTube?

YouTube founders sold YouTube to Google for a sum of $1.65 billion in 2006.

How much is Youtube worth now?

The net worth of Youtube channel was last estimated to be over $160 bn in 2021.

What year was Youtube founded?

Youtube was founded on 14th February in the year 2015.

Who established Youtube?

Youtube was established by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim.

Who was the Youtube creator of the year 2021?

The Youtube creator of the year award was won by MrBeast in 2021.

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