YouTube was founded on Feb 4, 2005, by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, when they worked for PayPal. Hurley had studied design at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Chen and Karim
The original idea for YouTube was a video version of an online dating service, and had been influenced by the website "hot or not", but the idea didn't take off and the co-founders soon pivoted YouTube to become a more general video sharing site.
Karim said the inspiration for YouTube first came from Janet Jackson's role in the 2004 Super Bowl incident, and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. However, Chen and Hurley say they thought of the idea of YouTube as a place to upload videos they had taken at a dinner party in San Francisco.
Jawed Karim uploaded the first video "Me at the zoo" at the San Diego Zoo. After a Beta testing period, the site launched in Dec 2005, and a Nike ad featuring Ronaldinho became the first video to receive one million views.