A World Without a YouTube.

A World Without a YouTube.

Back in 2004, times were tough. The cost of video recording devices was dropping. More people were able to afford cameras than ever before. So when you found yourself driving home with your hopped up son, post-oral surgery, wondering if this was real life, you were only able to share the hilarious video with your close friends and family.

In 2005 we started hearing about this little startup called YouTube. Needless to say, we were all very excited. And while the first YouTube video ever posted was nothing to write home about, it got us excited at the possibilities. Now we had a better way to watch more crotch shot skateboard accidents and Numa Numa lip-syncing heroes.

In the Beginning

YouTube's beginnings started out like any other Silicon Valley startup. Chad Hurley studied design at Indiana University in Pennsylvania. Steve Chen studied computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The two of them began working at PayPal shortly after graduating college. It was here that they met many of the employees they would eventually bring on to start YouTube.

The problem was, in 2005 there were several photo sharing websites popping up all over the place but no easy way to share videos. Chad and Steve attended a dinner party in San Francisco, where they shot some video of the event. The two quickly realized there was no easy way to share their video. So Chad and Steve got together and decided to fix the problem. In classic startup style, (and the pile of cash they both received after eBay purchased PayPal in 2002) they began working in an interim office located inside a garage.

The very first YouTube page. May 2005.

The very first YouTube page. May 2005.


On February 14, 2005, the domain name, "YouTube.com" was first registered. In a few short months, the ability to upload videos was live. On April 23, 2005, the world could now enjoy watching Jawed Karim, the third co-founder of YouTube, in a thrilling video titled "Me at the Zoo." It was an exciting time for YouTube. The growth was beyond what they could have ever expected. In 2006, they became the fastest growing website on the internet. They were already streaming 100 million video views per day.

20 million 12-17-year-olds were visiting YouTube.com every single month. By the fall of 2006, this massive new website could not be ignored anymore. The search giant, Google, approached the founders and offered $1.65 BILLION dollars in stock to purchase YouTube. On November 13, 2006 the deal closed and YouTube was now part of Google. Later reports showed the founders coming away with $721 million profit. Not bad for a year and a half of hard work.

So the next time you post your business' marketing video (or your friend lighting his farts on fire), remember back to your pre-2005 self and be thankful it's so easy now.

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