Steven Chen is an American internet entrepreneur, best known as a co-founder of YouTube. Though his is not a household name, his innovations have permanently changed the way that we communicate. In the ten years since the creation of YouTube and its subsequent popularity, his creation has revolutionized the viral video model, making it easier for us to document and share parts of our lives with people all over the world. Never one to linger past his time, Chen left YouTube after it was sold to Google. He later went on to co-found AVOS Systems, Inc. and create ‘MixBit’, a video-sharing app. His work on the cutting edge of technology keeps him relevant a decade after he came onto the scene, and he has been noted as one to watch in the technological field by many sources. He is known for his secrecy in regards to his upcoming projects, as well as for being finance savvy, a reason that made him a multimillionaire. However, Chen does not just sit on his wealth; he uses his keen eye to reinvest his earnings, and also makes donations to charities and other organizations of his choice. He currently lives in San Francisco, California and works with Google Ventures to find and fund the next generation of technological innovations.
Childhood & Early Life
Steven Shih Chen was born on 18th August 1978, in Taipei, Taiwan. He and his family immigrated to the United States in 1993, and settled in Illinois.
After graduating from ‘Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy’, where he finished high school, he attended the ‘University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign’. He graduated in 2002 with a degree in computer science.
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Chen worked at ‘PayPal’ when he met Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim, the other two founders of ‘YouTube’. He then moved from ‘PayPal’ to work for ‘Facebook’, which he quit several months after to found ‘YouTube’.
In 2005, he and the other two co-founders launched ‘YouTube’ and Chen held the position of Chief Technology Officer. The site grew rapidly, and within months they announced that they were receiving 100 million video views every day, and that 65,000 new videos were uploaded per day.
In 2006, the site was ranked as the 10th most popular website. That June, they entered into a marketing partnership with NBC. They sold the company that year to Google for the price of $1.65 billion dollar in stock.
Chen started another internet company, ‘AVOS Systems, Inc.’, with Chad Hurley and Vijay Karunamurthy. In April 2011, AVOS purchased ‘Delicious’, a social bookmarking website, from ‘Yahoo’.
In May 2011 they purchased ‘Tap 11’, a social analytics company; however, they sold Tap 11 last year. AVOS’ sole focus as a company right now is ‘MixBit’, an app that allows you to create and share short videos. It is in direct competition with ‘Instagram’ and ‘Vine’.
In 2014, he joined ‘Google Ventures’, a subsidiary of Google which provides funding to technology companies in all stages of development. They invest in startups from a variety of fields, from computer software to healthcare.
Chen is best known for the creation of ‘YouTube’ in 2005. After receiving a startup investment from Sequoia Capital to the tune of $11.5 million the founding team offered a beta test to the public in May, and officially launched the site in November.
After their incredible growth, Chen and his partners sold the company. Chen received 625,366 shares of Google, which were reported to be worth $326 million, and an additional 68,721 in trust.
‘YouTube’ is currently the major provider of online video in the United States, and is ranked third behind Google and Facebook as one of the most visited sites on the web.
Awards & Achievements
In 2005, Chen was named one of the “50 People Who Matter Now” in business by the magazine Business 2.0. He and his partner were praised for their humility and for revolutionizing the video sharing industry with the viral video model.
In 2008, he and Hurley were recognized by the ‘Producer’s Guild of America’. They received the ‘Vanguard Award’, which is given to those who have outstanding achievements in new media and technology formats.
Personal Life & Legacy
Chen is married to Park Ji-hyun (now Jamie Chen), a product marketing manager for Google Korea. The couple exchanged the wedding vows in 2009 and welcomed their son a year later.
Chen’s net worth is currently estimated at $300 million dollars. It is expected to increase as his technological investments increase.
This famous internet entrepreneur’s wife Jamie is a trustee of the ‘Asian Art Museum of San Francisco’. They provide a huge amount of support to the institution.