5.14.2007

Jawed Karim's Commencement Address

Christine Hurt, of the Conglomerate Junior Scholars Workshop for untenured law professors, has this write up of Jawed Karim's commencement address at UIUC yesterday:

Karim's speech was great. It was short, it was funny, and it had video clips. He advised students to always be open to opportunity and to take risks while you can (like leaving college while still young to try something brand new). He apologized for ruining their gpa's by inventing YouTube! He was self-deprecating when reminding students that things don't work right away. In 1997, Karim's application to the University of Illinois' computer science department was rejected. He wrote a letter asking them to reconsider, which they did. (I would like to see a copy of this letter. I've seen letters from law school candidates asking for their admissions decisions to be reconsidered, and they generally only confirm initial judgments!) He also talked about how lame YouTube was in the beginning until users started uploading their own videos -- a concept that the founders had not envisioned.

The funniest line of the speech came when Karim explained that YouTube was launched on February 14, 2005. I am paraphrasing, but he said something akin to: "One of the best things about being a computer science major is that Valentine's Day is just like any other day."


I, um, missed the ceremony for undisclosable reasons.

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