YouTube was founded by three former PayPal employees: Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. The trio were early employees of PayPal, which left them enriched after the company was bought by eBay. Hurley had studied design at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. According to a story that has often been repeated in the media, Hurley and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos that had been shot at a dinner party at Chen’s apartment in San Francisco.
Here is a brief overview of each of the founders:
- Steve Chen is a Taiwanese-American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known as one of the co-founders of YouTube. Chen is also a co-founder of the venture capital firm GV (formerly Google Ventures).
- Chad Hurley is an American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known as one of the co-founders of YouTube. Hurley is also the co-founder of the venture capital firm 021 Capital.
- Jawed Karim is a German-American Internet entrepreneur and software engineer. He is best known as one of the co-founders of YouTube. Karim is also a venture capitalist and angel investor.
YouTube has since grown into one of the most popular websites in the world, with over 2 billion active users. The company was acquired by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion.