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)
Residence Palo Alto, California, United States [1] [2]
Alma mater Stanford 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 views65 million
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg100,000 subscribers2008
Updated 19 April 2019

Jawed Karim (Bengali : জাভেদ করিম; born 28 October 1979) is a German-American 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 over 65 million times as of April 2019. 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.

Bengali language Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Bengali people of South Asia

Bengali, also known by its endonym Bangla, is an Indo-Aryan language primarily spoken by the Bengalis in South Asia. It is the official and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh and second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India, behind Hindi. In 2015, 160 million speakers were reported for Bangladesh, and the 2011 Indian census counted another 100 million.

YouTube video-sharing service owned by Google

YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries.

<i>Me at the zoo</i> The first video ever uploaded to YouTube

Me at the zoo is the first video that was uploaded to YouTube. It was uploaded on April 23, 2005 at 20:27:12 PDT by the site's co-founder Jawed Karim, with the username "jawed" and recorded by his high school friend Yakov Lapitsky.


Personal life

Karim was born in Merseburg, East Germany, in 1979 to a German mother and a Bangladeshi father. [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]

Merseburg Place in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Merseburg is a town in the south of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt on the river Saale, approx. 14 km south of Halle (Saale) and 30 km west of Leipzig. It is the capital of the Saalekreis district. It had a diocese founded by Archbishop Adalbert of Magdeburg. The University of Merseburg is located within the town. Merseburg has around 33,000 inhabitants. Merseburg is part of the Central German Metropolitan Region.

East Germany Former communist country, 1949-1990

East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic, was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. It described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state", and the territory was administered and occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II — the Soviet Occupation Zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.

Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.

Karim in September 2004 Jawed Karim 2004.jpg
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]

Silicon Graphics former American company

Silicon Graphics, Inc. was an American high-performance computing manufacturer, producing computer hardware and software. Founded in Mountain View, California in November 1981 by Jim Clark, its initial market was 3D graphics computer workstations, but its products, strategies and market positions developed significantly over time.

Visible Human Project NIH-funded project to digitally image the human body

The Visible Human Project is an effort to create a detailed data set of cross-sectional photographs of the human body, in order to facilitate anatomy visualization applications. It is used as a tool for the progression of medical findings, in which these findings link anatomy to its audiences. A male and a female cadaver were cut into thin slices which were then photographed and digitized. The project is run by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) under the direction of Michael J. Ackerman. Planning began in 1986; the data set of the male was completed in November 1994 and the one of the female in November 1995. The project can be viewed today at the U.S. National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD. There are currently efforts to repeat this project with higher resolution images but only with parts of the body instead of a cadaver.

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

Chad Hurley American businessman, co-founder of YouTube

Chad Meredith Hurley is an American media mogul, co-founder and former CEO of the video-sharing website YouTube and MixBit. In June 2006, he was voted 28th on Business 2.0's "50 People Who Matter Now" list. In October 2006, he and Steve Chen sold YouTube for $1.65 billion to Google. Hurley worked in eBay's PayPal division—one of his tasks involved designing the original PayPal logo — before starting YouTube with fellow PayPal colleagues Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. Hurley was primarily responsible for the tagging and video-sharing aspects of YouTube.

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]

Google American multinational Internet and technology corporation

Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Apple and Facebook.

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 the company's initial seed round in April 2009. [18]

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. [19]

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. [20]

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


Karim has published articles on programming in Dr. Dobb's Journal , including one on loading rendering and animating Quake models. [25]

See also


  1. Sources vary regarding the year that 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]

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  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. 1 2 3 4 Helft, Miguel (12 October 2006). "With YouTube, Student Hits Jackpot Again". The New York Times.
  5. 1 2 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
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  15. Welcome to Engineering at Illinois, University of Illinois
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