10 years of YouTube, 20 years of Amazon

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the first video on YouTube, posted by co-founder Jawed Karim.

Since it was bought by Google, for $1.65bn in 2006, YouTube has essentially replaced television for a generation of young people.

It has spawned an entire industry of digital enterainment companies – and made successes of unlikely characters such as Joseph Garrett whose Minecraft videos are said to make him more than £200,000 a month.

And celebrating 20 years of sales this month is Amazon, whose first customer was John Wainwright, an Australian software engineer based in Sunnyvale, California.

On 3 April 1995, he became the first non-company customer when he purchased Fluid Concepts And Creative Analogies: Computer Models Of The Fundamental Mechanisms Of Thought by Douglas Hofstadte for $27.95.

While YouTube’s Jawed Karim went on to launch a venture fund in 2008, now called Yventures, John Wainwright passed on a chance to join his friend Shel Kaphan at Amazon.

Kaphan was Amazon’s first employee and had asked Wainwright to create an account.

“He sent me an email and said, ‘Create an account and order some books,’” said Wainwright. “I thought I was going to get some free books out of it. But they took my credit card and charged it!

“I keep in touch with him from time to time. He left Amazon with a huge fortune, a ridiculous amount of money.”

Wainwright subsequently co-founded CrowdScience, an audience measurement and targeting platform, which was bought by YuMe in 2013.

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