Inspired by Flickr, the three friends collaborated to make the idea of an online video platform a reality. Can you picture a time when you don’t have access to YouTube? No, right. Indeed, YouTube has become an inseparable part of our daily lives. Though the co-founders are no longer directly associated with the video-sharing platform, the platform’s popularity has been skyrocketing. Steven Shih Chen – the co-founder and former CTO of YouTube – is celebrating his 45th birthday today. Here are some interesting but less-known facts about Steven Chen, a Taiwanese-American Internet entrepreneur.
Date of Birth: August 18, 1978
Net Worth: Unknown ($300 Million as of 2012)
- Hailing from Taiwan, Steven Chen’s family immigrated to the United States when he was eight. He dropped out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999 to join PayPal. Surprisingly, PayPal became a common platform for the three YouTube co-founders to get to know each other. Two of them are Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim.
- Not many people know that Steve Chen was one of the first 20 employees of Facebook Inc. After a few months, he left the social media company to launch his own business, YouTube.
- On February 14, 2005, also known as Valentine’s Day, Steve Chen was talking with Chad Hurley about ideas for a new venture. After discussing the rough concept of a video hosting service that would accept video uploads, transcode the videos, and make the videos playable in a browser, the discussion moved on to the naming and logo design, which they both completed that night. The name YouTube is a mash-up of two words. The ‘You’ focuses on the identity of the content creator as well as the characters in the content. The term ‘Tube’ refers to a television.
- The first video on YouTube, “Me at the Zoo,” was uploaded on 23 April 2005 by the co-founder Jawed Karim, shot at San Diego Zoo. Soon after a year, the portal had 100 million videos in its archives.
- On 16 October 2006, YouTube was sold to Google for $1.65 billion, with 625,366 shares of Google received by Steve Chen.
- About 15 years ago, exactly on June 19, 2007, the first localized version of YouTube was launched in APAC.
- Today, over 2 billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month, in over 100 countries around the world, across 80 languages. Surprisingly, that’s almost one-third of all people on the Internet.
- In May 2010, Steve Chen co-founded AVOS Systems with his YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. Later in 2013, AVOS Systems transformed from an incubator into a single company focused on a single product MixBit, a mobile video platform. In 2014, Steve Chen left AVOS to join Google Ventures.
- In September 2014, Steve Chen co-founded Nom.com, a live-streaming food network, with YouTube’s first head of engineering, Vijay Karunamurthy. Chen was working as a Chief technology officer (CTO). However, in 2017, the company was shut down.
- In 2019, Steve Chen moved back to Taiwan with the ambition to help Taiwanese startups. In late 2020, Chen teamed up with veteran money manager Jack Fu to launch a hedge fund that uses artificial intelligence to pick stocks and fixed-income assets.
- Steve Chen has received a lot of accolades for his inventions, building, and rebuilding things. On 15 May 2011, Chen was listed among the “15 Asian Scientists To Watch” by Asian Scientist Magazine. On May 5, 2018, Steve Chen was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and received the Order of Lincoln award, which is the state’s highest honour for professional achievement and public service.
- Following YouTube’s huge success, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley both expressed their thoughts, saying, “We feel this is just the tip of the iceberg.” These words depict there is still a lot more to achieve and fresh projects in the pipeline.
Disclaimer: The article is a part of the B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from across Industries, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators, or renewed leaders who moved the industry with their exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribing to your daily newsletter.
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