As YouTube Turns 14, Here’s What Its Founders Are up to These Days

As YouTube turns 14, here’s a look at what the founders are doing these days. 

Published14 Feb 2019, 02:11 AM IST
Tech News
5 min read

It was on 14 February 2005 that three former PayPal employees launched a video streaming website that the world today knows as YouTube.

The website which is considered to be the second largest search engine, celebrates its fourteenth anniversary on this day. YouTube has been the go-to platform for anyone who wants to watch video content on the internet.

The men who founded YouTube, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim and Chad Hurley sold YouTube to Google for a sum of $1.65 billion (Rs 1.16 lakh crores approximately) in 2006. Post that, the three have been away from the spotlight, investing and experimenting with different business ventures.

Here’s a quick peek into the lives of the founders of YouTube and what they are up to now.

Jawed Karim

We all know that YouTube’s parent company Google has an India connect ever since Sundar Pichai was made its chief. But, not many of us know that one of the YouTube founders, Jawed Karim too has his roots very close to India, Bangladesh to be precise.

 Jawed Karim in August 2008. 
Jawed Karim in August 2008. 
(Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Born to a Bangladeshi father, Naimul Karim, and German mother Christine Karim, 39-year-old Jawed Karim himself was born in Merseburg, East Germany and is the first person to have uploaded a video on YouTube titled “Me at the Zoo” which has over 61 million views today.

After YouTube was sold, Jawed Karim received 137,443 shares of the stock which holds a net worth of almost $140 million. Jawed wasn’t much involved in YouTube’s management and workings due to his studies which is why he received a lesser share than the other two founders.

After YouTube, Jawed started his own venture, Youniversity Ventures which is known today as Y Ventures. The company primarily focuses on the internet consumer space and works with students and first-time entrepreneurs. In April 2009, Karim was part of the investors who made initial investment in a San Francisco-based company which runs a hospitality service today and is known to many as Airbnb.

According to polygon.com, there have been rumours that Karim is set to make a comeback into the video streaming space after he ran a poll 8 months ago on his YouTube page asking his 3,00,000 subscribers (currently 4,31,000) whether he should post another video on the platform.

The poll received a good response with more than 5,000 votes and 650 comments which lead to Karim putting out another poll asking: What genre should the video be?

Karim got over 5,000 votes for his poll in over 13 hours. 
Karim got over 5,000 votes for his poll in over 13 hours. 
(Photo Courtesy: YouTube/Jawed)
He even asked users what kind of content they want him to make this time. 
He even asked users what kind of content they want him to make this time. 
(Photo: YouTube/Jawed)

Karim hasn’t responded on the post after that and hasn’t said anything on the matter yet. Who knows? Maybe, “Me at the Zoo Part 2” is in the pipeline.

There is no information online as to where Karim is working nor does he have any active social media accounts except his YouTube channel. Ironically, the man who is responsible for getting people hooked to binge watching videos online is himself aloof.

Chad Hurley

Chad Hurley was the mind responsible for the tagging and video-sharing aspects of YouTube. Since he was much involved with the working of the whole YouTube ecosystem, he was the one who walked away with the major chunk of the shares received from Google’s acquisition of YouTube.

 Chad Hurley from 2013. 
Chad Hurley from 2013. 
(Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Chad Hurley was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was appointed as the first CEO of YouTube in 2005. In 2010, Hurley stepped down and later decided to start another video sharing venture in 2013 called ‘MixBit’.

This was in collaboration with his fellow YouTube founder Steven Chen. MixBit is today known as Zeen and was acquired by cloud-based video conferencing service provider BlueJeans in August 2018.

Chad also launched an internet company in 2011 by the name ‘AVOS Systems,’ along with Chen and Vijay Karunamurthy.

He is currently one of the co-owners of Major Soccer League (MLS) football club, Los Angeles Football Club and NBA basketball team Golden State Warriors.

Chad Hurley isn’t very active on social media and his last Twitter post was back in April 2018! Seems soccer and basketball have kept Chad really busy.

Steve Chen

Steve Shih Chen is a Taipei born American entrepreneur and one of the founders of YouTube. Chen was also a former employee at Facebook, after which he went on to launch the video streaming platform, YouTube.

Steve Chen in 2018. 
Steve Chen in 2018. 
(Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Steve Chen stuck with Chad Hurley and started AVOS Systems, which later went to acquire Delicious, a social bookmarking web service from Yahoo. After bidding goodbye to AVOS in 2014 he went on to become a partner at Google Ventures, where he is currently working as an advisor.

In 2016, Steve Chen founded an online site called Nom which was a live cooking platform targeted at foodies. However, this venture wasn’t very lucrative and was shut down in 2017 with its Twitter feed switched to private and Facebook page left idle since March, 2017.

Steve isn’t a social media junkie yet makes sure his followers are updated on what he is up to. He has been active on social media with his last Facebook post dated 30 January this year.

The last tweet that he put out was a picture with Chris Kelly, who is the co-owner of the NBA basket ball team Sacramento Kings.

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