Flashback 2005: YouTube Is Born

Twelve years ago this month, Jawed Karim uploaded the first video to the new YouTube video-sharing website he and his partners Chad Hurley and Steve Chen had just created.

The video (link below) was a prolific work that would stand the test of time. Just kidding. Actually, it was “Me at the zoo,” a lame 19-second clip shot at an unidentified zoo. It’s clear that Karim had no idea what he and his pals were on to.

We’re thinking the powers-that-be at Sequoia Capital, which funded the startup to the tune of $11.5 million, might have been just a tad horrified by YouTube’s maiden post.

In May 2005, YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site. The first video to attract a million views was a Nike advertisement featuring Brazilian soccer Ronaldinho posted in November 2005. By mid-December the site was getting 8 million views a day and was officially launched on December 15, following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital.

YouTube was acquired by Google in October 2006 for $1.6 billion.

Today, YouTube claims more than a billion users who watch every imaginable kind of video—most of which are a bit more inspired than Karim’s initial attempt at video sharing and many of which are downright… (well let you fill in the blank).

Word to the wise: When you’re doing something in public for the first time—something for posterity—step back for a moment to ponder how what you’re about to do will hold up years from now.

thehun's picture

the content of the video is irrelevant here, and clearly the investors funded the idea not the video production, which they could have done it by investing in Hollywood, not in Silicon Valley. Turning 11.5 mill into 1.6 bill in a year is just pure American genius, good for them! ;)