Jawed Karim

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Jawed Karim
Jawed Karim 2008.jpg
Jawed Karim in 2008
Born (1979-10-28) 28 October 1979 (age 37)
Merseburg, East Germany (Present day Germany)
Residence Palo Alto, California[1][2]
Alma mater University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Stanford University
Known for Co-founder of YouTube

Jawed Karim (born 28 October 1979) is a German-American Internet entrepreneur, who co-founded YouTube and was the first person to upload a video on it. The video he released was named 'Me at the zoo' and as of 2017 has reached 36 million views. Many of the core components of PayPal, including its real-time anti-internet fraud system, were also designed and implemented by Karim.

Personal life[edit]

Karim was born in Merseburg, East Germany. His father, Naimul Karim, is a researcher from Bangladesh.[3] His mother, Christine Karim, is a German scientist and research associate professor of biochemistry at the University of Minnesota. He had crossed the inner German border with his family in 1981, growing up in Neuss, West Germany. Karim grew up in Germany and his family moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1992. Karim graduated from Saint Paul Central High School 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, earning his Bachelor of Science in computer science. He subsequently earned a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University.

Karim in 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.[4]

While working at PayPal, he met Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. The three later founded the YouTube video sharing website in 2005.[5] YouTube's first-ever video, Me at the zoo, was uploaded by Karim on 23 April 2005.[6]

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.[7] As a result, he took a much lower share in the company compared to Hurley and Chen.[8] 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.[9]

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. In his lecture he mentioned Wikipedia as being an innovative social experiment. Karim returned again to the University of Illinois in May 2007 as the 136th and youngest Commencement Speaker in the school's history.[10][11]

In March 2008, Karim launched a venture fund called Youniversity Ventures, with the goal of helping current and former university students to develop and launch their business ideas.[12]

Response to Google+ integration[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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] Google subsequently dropped its Google+ requirement across all products, beginning with YouTube.[16]


Karim has published articles on programming in Dr. Dobbs Journal, including one on loading rendering and animating Quake models.[17]


  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. ^ http://www.ib-article.com/2012/07/biography-of-jawed-karim-founder-of.html
  4. ^ "Speakers, Graphics Conference". 
  5. ^ Video websites pop up, invite postings, USA Today, 21 November 2005
  6. ^ Karim, Jawed (23 April 2005). "Me at the zoo, YouTube's first ever video". 
  7. ^ Helft, Miguel (12 October 2006). "With YouTube, Student Hits Jackpot Again". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2006/10/jawed_who_meet.php
  9. ^ Helft, Miguel (7 February 2007). "YouTube's Payoff: Hundreds of Millions for the Founders". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ Welcome to Engineering at Illinois, University of Illinois
  11. ^ 136th Commencement Address, University of Illinois, 13 May 2007.
  12. ^ "YouTube Co-Founder Starts Venture Capital Firm". Mashable. 20 March 2008. 
  13. ^ "YouTube faces backlash for Google+ integration". CNN. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Google Plus Finally Gives Up on Its Ineffective, Dangerous Real-Name Policy". Slate. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Google is dropping its Google+ requirement across all products, starting with YouTube". VentureBeat. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "Dr. Dobbs Article, A Windows 3D Model Viewer for OpenGL". 

External links[edit]