Fifteen years after founding YouTube, Steve Chen remains at the vanguard of the global digital revolution. As a keynote speaker, Steve Chen draws on an impressively varied career spent on the cutting edge.
In 2005, Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim came up with a simple, efficient way to share videos online. Less than a year after launching the site, the two had built it into a global phenomenon. Soon after, Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion, and Chen continued to lead the platform’s growth.
With Google, Chen oversaw all areas of YouTube’s development, from engineering to product design and site operations. As an engineer, he designed the massive data centers that make the service possible. He also developed features that turned YouTube into a full-fledged social media platform and entertainment hub.
Chen’s personal story is as riveting as his list of professional accomplishments. Born in Taiwan, he moved with his family to suburban Chicago when he was eight years old. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in computer science, he became one of PayPal’s first employees. There he met Hurley and Karim before becoming one of Facebook’s early employees. Having participated in the rise of two internet giants, Chen founded one himself just a few months after joining Facebook, and the rest is history. Recently, in 2019, Chen won an Emmy award for lifetime achievement.
For years, Chen worked with Google Ventures, helping start-ups hone their business models and scale up. Today, Chen lives in Taiwan, where he lends his talents to developing the Taiwanese start-up ecosystem.