The Third Man Behind YouTube

by Cem Basman

Jawed Karim is the third of the three founders of YouTube, which Google has agreed to buy for $1.65 billion. In 2002 he hit already a jackpot when PayPal was bought by eBay. He was than an early employee of PayPal. Sometimes the lightning strikes twice.

Jawed was born and raised in Germany. He is of Bangladeshi and German descent. A humble guy working on his master's degree at Stanford to become a professor. Not a clown like the other two. I'm impressed.


Now as you mention the German heritage, there's of course this big question: Would it have been possible to start YouTube in Germany? Would it have been able to become that successful here? I'm kind of sad when I say "I don't think so!".

Martin Hiegl, 2006-10-12

i don't think something like youtube could have been started here. we have the lack of creative and risk-taking seed and early stage VC's. If you look at sequoia (you tube's VC), you can see that they invested in almost all now well known nasdaq companies at very early stages. Try to get a Volksbank clerk to do this...

jan herud, 2006-10-12

Just forget the banks in Germany.

I worked for one of the German big banks for several years. Still a long time ago, but I remember quite well, the answer which one of our credit-manager gave me, when asking him, why we did so few startup financing:
"Lets other banks loose their money on these startups. We will just deal with those companies, who will survive the first five years ..."

I am quite sure, things did not change a lot since then (1983!)

Jörg Weisner, 2006-10-12

Would it have been possible to start YouTube in Germany?

Yes. Don't forget a success story like openBC. And forget the "banks". It's people who create and do business. Not "banks".

Cem Basman, 2006-10-12

The editor and author of the article

need to check their mathmatical skills..

"Mr. Karim, who is 27"

then later in the article it states

"Mr. Karim was born in East Germany in 1972"

Carl Tyler, 2006-10-12

Carl, not only their mathematical but their historical, too.

Cem Basman, 2006-10-12

very basic this statement from Karim in the mentioned report as well:

Asked what he thought of the acquisition price, Mr. Karim said: “It sounded good to me.” When a reporter looked puzzled, he raised his eyebrows and added: “I was amazed.”

Karsten Ernst, 2006-10-12

> "Mr. Karim was born in East Germany in 1972"

The editor and/or author seem to follow Now the article gives 1979 as Jawed's year of birth.

> Carl, not only their mathematical but their historical, too.

I missed that: What is the problem there?

Besides the fact that you couldn't really easily "move" from East Germany to West Germany in 1980...

Thomas Griesbaum, 2006-10-12

Jörg and Jan, you are confusing banks with venture capitalists. Banks take money from regular people and work with it, but these regular people typically depend on their money, so they are less risk-affine. Therefore, banks have a legal regulation which requires them to very soundly check the risk structure when giving out larger credits.

Venture capitalists however, are very affine to risks, hence the venture in the name. They get there money from people who are looking for high interests and are willing to accept higher risks. VCs then spread their investments, assuming that many if not most blow up in void, but few become the big bangs like delicious, youtube, etc. pp.

When this bank manager you are quoting said that, he was perfectly doing his job. If he were a vc manager, he should have been hanged by the balls. The point in Germany is that there don't seem to be as many venture capitalists or at least not as much venture capital with them as it is the case in the Silicon Valley. And therefore it is harder to get the funding for such start-ups in Germany than it is over there.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2006-10-13

Why Clowns???

If u have just made a Billion Deal with Google I would like to see your face.

Why do so many people envy those boys??

the Idea was awesome and they are rich clowns. I donT think they will ever read this here...

Cu jens

Jens Gansert, 2006-10-13

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