It was the summer of 1995 when a young Russian-American Stanford grad named Sergey Brin met another Stanford grad named Lawrence “Larry” Page.
Initially, Sergey and Larry did not get along well with each other. They would endlessly argue on almost anything relating to technology.
However, both Page and Brin had one thing in common. They wanted to make it easier for people to extract information from extremely large data sets.
With this vision in mind, Page and Brin set up a small company in a rented garage in 1998. Today, the company has become a multi-billion dollar business with the largest office in the world. Here’s a sneak peek into the success story of Larry Page and Sergey Brin and their company: Google.
The Early Life
Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin was born in Moscow, Russia, on August 21, 1973. The family moved to the United States in 1979. As a child, Sergey was always interested in mathematics and computers, just like his father. Sergey went on to study computer engineering at the University of Maryland. He then went on to pursue a Master’s Degree in computer science from Stanford University.
Larry Page was born on March 26, 1973, in Michigan. By the age of six, Page had developed a liking for computers after watching his father work on computers every day. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. Page then finished his Master’s degree in the same field from Stanford University.
Page met Brin when he signed up for a PhD in computer science at Stanford. Brin was assigned to show Page around the campus. Through initial interactions, they both discovered a shared interest in extracting patterns from large volumes of data.
After a rocky start, the two became friends and worked together on a research project to explore various backlinks on the internet. They then developed an algorithm called PageRank, which was able to produce better results than all search engines at that time.
Google- Initial Years
After the success of PageRank, the two budding techpreneurs established a startup called Google. The name was inspired by the mathematical term googol, which represents the number one followed by 100 zeros. Google also represented the dream of Brin and Page- to develop a search engine that could organize a limitless amount of information over the internet.
By mid-1998, Google was getting nearly 10,000 search results a day. This growth in business prompted the two founders to expand their business by investing in disk space and drafting a formal business plan.
Throughout the late 90s and early 2000s, the amount of Google searches increased worldwide. The company was growing and receiving exceedingly favorable reviews from users. Brin and Page were then able to hire proper web developers to design a unique website for their business.
In the year 2004, Google went public. The company was able to raise nearly $1.7 billion through an IPO. Google also became the first company to allocate and distribute its stocks through computers rather than relying on Wall Street bankers.
Unlike Dell, Microsoft, and Apple, Google never manufactured any computers or accessories. The company’s sole reason of existence has been to provide its users with the most powerful search engine in the world. And over the past few years, it seems the company has succeeded to do so.
The very fact that the term “google it” has now become a proper verb speaks volumes about the company’s success. From a small company with a turnover of a few hundred dollars, Google has now become a $740 billion business empire.
Google’s famous headquarters in Mountain View, California, is surely something to boast about. The company has the largest office in the world, and it also offers the highest number of amenities to its employees. The campus spans over 2 million square feet of office space and is known for its relaxed environment, casual dress code, and perks.
Much of Google’s success has relied on its innovation and business strategies. Firstly, Google was the first ever business to create complex algorithms to help people sort out online information quickly. Until previously, search engines had relied on content editors and researchers to look for links to specific queries. However, Google was able to automate the entire process.
Secondly, Google focused more on quality. The initial PageRank algorithm only displayed trusted search results that contained inbound links from reputed websites. The algorithm also made use of keyword frequency and page titles to simplify search results.
During the initial years of its operations, Google wasn’t making enough money through its search engine. At this point, Brin and Page decided to make some money out of their services. They introduced a concept of running paid ads for businesses and individuals across Google’s search engine results pages, which laid the foundation for Google AdWords. Today, AdWords is considered to be one of the most powerful and effective paid marketing tools in the world.
Once Google AdWords kicked off, the company witnessed a massive surge in their profits. The company’s next target was to ensure continual growth through old-fashioned mergers and acquisitions. YouTube was one of the earliest and most successful acquisitions of Google.
The company then began to diversify. In 2004, Gmail was launched. The system was capable of sending and receiving emails in an instant. With the development in technology, Google was able to create Google Drive, which gave all Gmail users the chance to upload their important files on a secured cloud-based server.
Today, Google is among the top ten Fortune 500 companies. The combined net worth of Sergey Brin and Larry Page exceeds $100 billion, making them two of the richest men in the world. What started as a simple idea to extract useful information from tones of cluttered data has now become a globally-recognized entity.
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by Bobby J Davidson
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