STEM History:

Steven Chen  


Taiwanese American Internet Entrepreneur 

Birth/Death Dates

August 25, 1978-


Steven Chen was born in Taiwan and moved to the United States with his family when he was eight. He is one of three co-founders and the first Chief Technology Officer of the video-sharing website YouTube. Additionally, he co-founded the business incubator Avos Systems, creators of the mobile video platform MixBit, and worked as an entrepreneur in residence at Google Ventures. 

Educational Background

Chen studied computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign but left college to work for PayPal and then Facebook before founding YouTube.

Struggles this Innovator Overcame

As YouTube grew, the company needed new equipment and better broadband to accommodate increasing users. Additionally, the company faced lawsuits and increased demands to remove videos due to users uploading copyrighted material. These rising costs led to the need to find a buyer for the company.

Problems this Innovator Solved

Chen and YouTube co-founder Hurley were looking for an easy way to share videos of a party they had attended. Digital photos were already being shared on websites like Flickr, but there was a need for a similarly easy way to share videos that didn’t require downloading software.

How this inventor changed the world (or at least their corner of it)

In 2005, Chen founded YouTube with Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim, whom he had met when they were co-workers at PayPal. Chen served as Chief Technology Officer and was named by Business 2.0 as one of “The 50 people who matter now” in June 2006.

On October 16, 2006, Chen and Hurley sold YouTube to Google, Inc. for $1.65 billion. Later, they started an Internet company, AVOS Systems, which acquired Delicious, a social bookmarking web service, from Yahoo! Inc.

Chen was listed as one of the “15 Asian Scientists to Watch” by Asian Scientist Magazine on May 15, 2011.

Lasting changes from this inventor’s work or how they trailblazed

YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, after Google Search, and has approximately 2.5 billion active monthly users,