Hi. I’m Steve Chen. I’ve been a computer geek since I was born which isn’t really hard because I was born in nineteen-seventy-nine. I went to Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy and then studied Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and did I mention I like Math? And Science?
I was recruited fresh out of college by a classmate who was forming a little Internet service I like to call PayPal. And while working at PayPal I met this chucklehead:
Hi. I’m Chad Hurley. I’ve been an entrepreneur since the day I hauled a bunch of my paintings onto our lawn in suburban Philadelphia and sold them. I was five. Come on – that’s so cute you almost forget my name is Chad. A crap-load of years later I studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. One day I picked up Wired magazine and read about PayPal and so I emailed the new company about a job. During my actual job interview I designed a little thing I like to call the PayPal logo.
Which they still use. Anyway, at Paypal I met Steve Chen, and together we’re Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.
So. It’s January 2005, right? And Chen and I had some videos from a dinner party that we wanted to share with our friends but, like, the whole email thing wasn’t working because the files were too large. So – know what we did? This is such. A hoot. We got together in my garage and designed a simple way to share video images! Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s a little thing we like to call:
Just like that. We were kind of like a garage band except without the band.
Chen’s all about the brains and I’m all about
the brawn user interface. And what Chen and I like to call Good Idea Number One was allowing our users to post their own videos. And what we like to call Good Idea Number Two is letting our users paste YouTube clips right into their own Web pages.
But we should also acknowledge a little something we like to call Lazy Sunday.
This popular December 2005 Saturday Night Live skit was quickly posted to our fledgling YouTube site which helped spread our popularity like the brush fires of the Los Padres National forest. And now – less than a year later – YouTube’s library contains over 100 million videos.
Also? We sold the company yesterday to Google for 1.65 billion dollars! According to brainiac Chen that’s one point six-five of two groups of three zeros after the initial 1,000. But I’d rather quote a very famous rapper, “There’s so many zeros on my check it’s like Ooooooooooh.”