February 15, 2005: The domain name http://www.youtube.com is activated. The video sharing site was started by three former employees of PayPal, an e-commerce site used for fund transfers for online vendors. YouTube videos are usually user-generated video but some media organizations also use the site. Anyone with computer access can view videos, but only registered users can upload them. There are certain limitations regarding uploaded media including content and copyright issues. Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim sold the company to Google, Inc. in November 2006 for $1.65 billion in stock.
Steve Chen was born in Taiwan and moved to the US when he was eight. He was involved with Facebook in its early years. He remains with YouTube as Chief Technical Officer. Chad Hurly, a Pennsylvania native, is a user interface guru. He was the person responsible for the tagging and video sharing aspects of YouTube. He remains Chief Executive Officer of the company. Jawed Karim was born in East Germany and moved to the US as a teen. While at PayPal, he worked with real-time anti-fraud systems. He left YouTube after the Goggle buyout to return to college for post-grad work. He recently began a venture fund called Youniversity Ventures.
The three young men registered the domain name and then spent the next few months developing the website. The first video uploaded was Me at the Zoo and is Karim’s trip to the San Diego zoo. It was uploaded on April 23, 2005 and is still available. Beta testers were permitted to upload videos beginning in May 2005 and the site went live in November of that year. By July 2006 there were more than 65,000 videos arriving daily and more than 100 millions videos were viewed each day. YouTube had more than 5 billion views in July 2008. Today, about 48 hours worth of video are uploaded every minute.
The bandwidth used by YouTube in 2007 was more than the entire Internet used in 2000. In March 2008 estimates put the cost of daily bandwidth usage at $1 million. They are the third most visited site on the Internet, as rated by Alexa, after Facebook and Google with 800,000,000 unique visitors per month. Nothing is without criticism and this is no exception. Even with warnings, many copyrighted videos have made it online. Privacy issues are also at stake and there have been instances of inappropriate videos placed for public viewing. Legal groups have been invoked.
Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable. – William Pollard
We must beware of needless innovation, especially when guided by logic. – Winston Churchill
Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation. – Milan Kundera
Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth. – Peter F. Drucker
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