Emmett Shear is an American Tech entrepreneur who is best known for co-founding the streaming platform Twitch. He is currently the CEO of OpenAI after the departure of Sam Altman, OpenAI is a non-profit research company focused on developing safe and beneficial artificial intelligence.
Early Life and Education
Emmett Shear was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1983, Shear developed an early interest in technology, starting to code at a young age. He attended The Northwest School, where he met Justin Kan, who would become his co-founder in the future. After graduating high school, Shear went on to study computer science at Yale University. While there, he met Michael Seibel, who would also join the team behind Twitch.
In 2006, inspired by the rise of self-broadcasting platforms like Ustream, Shear, Kan, and Seibel launched Justin.tv, an online platform that allowed anyone to broadcast live video of themselves. The platform quickly gained traction, particularly among gamers who used it to share their gameplay. In 2011, the company rebranded as Twitch, focusing specifically on the gaming community.
Twitch’s Success and Acquisition by Amazon
Twitch became a phenomenon, revolutionizing the way people watch and interact with video games. The platform’s popularity soared, attracting millions of users and generating significant revenue from subscriptions, advertising, and e-commerce. In 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch for a staggering $1 billion, recognizing the platform’s potential to connect gamers and influence the video game industry.
In November 2023, Shear took on a new challenge, becoming the CEO of OpenAI, a non-profit research company dedicated to developing safe and beneficial artificial intelligence.
Awards and Recognition
Shear’s contributions to the technology industry have been recognized through various accolades. He has been listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30, highlighting his achievements among young entrepreneurs. In addition, he received the Ernst & Young Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, further solidifying his reputation as a visionary leader in tech.