Friday, April 18, 2008

Sergey Brin and Larry Page - Founders of Google

Google was co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University and the company was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 7, 1998. Google's initial public offering took place on August 19, 2004, raising US$1.67 billion, making it worth US$23 billion. Google has continued its growth through a series of new product developments, acquisitions, and partnerships. Environmentalism, philanthropy, and positive employee relations have been important tenets during Google's growth, the latter resulting in being identified multiple times as Fortune Magazine's #1 Best Place to Work. The company's unofficial slogan is "Don't be evil", however Google is not without controversy related to its business practices; there are concerns regarding the privacy of personal information, copyright, censorship, and discontinuation of services.

Be Innovative:
Google began in January 1996, as a research project by Larry Page, who was soon joined by Sergey Brin, two Ph.D. students at Stanford University, California. They hypothesized that a search engine that analyzed the relationships between websites would produce better ranking of results than existing techniques, which ranked results according to the number of times the search term appeared on a page. Their search engine was originally nicknamed "BackRub" because the system checked backlinks to estimate a site's importance. A small search engine called Rankdex was already exploring a similar strategy.

Convinced that the pages with the most links to them from other highly relevant web pages must be the most relevant pages associated with the search, Page and Brin tested their thesis as part of their studies, and laid the foundation for their search engine. Originally, the search engine used the Stanford University website with the domain The domain was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated as Google Inc. on September 7, 1998 at a friend's garage in Menlo Park, California. The total initial investment raised for the new company eventually amounted to almost US$1.1 million, including a US$100,000 check by Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems.

In March 1999, the company moved into offices in Palo Alto, home to several other noted Silicon Valley technology startups. After quickly outgrowing two other sites, the company leased a complex of buildings in Mountain View at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway from Silicon Graphics (SGI) in 2003. The company has remained at this location ever since, and the complex has since come to be known as the Googleplex (a play on the word googolplex, a 1 followed by a googol zeros). In 2006, Google bought the property from SGI for US$319 million.

The Google search engine attracted a loyal following among the growing number of Internet users, who liked its simple design and usability. In 2000, Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords. The ads were text-based to maintain an uncluttered page design and to maximize page loading speed. Keywords were sold based on a combination of price bid and clickthroughs, with bidding starting at US$.05 per click. This model of selling keyword advertising was pioneered by (later renamed Overture Services, before being acquired by Yahoo! and rebranded as Yahoo! Search Marketing). While many of its dot-com rivals failed in the new Internet marketplace, Google quietly rose in stature while generating revenue.


How Google Became Great
Don't Be Too Complacent:
[Brin sees the success of Google in broad terms. “To me, this is about preserving history and making it available to everyone,” he says. Meanwhile, Page refuses to stop and reflect, claiming that the work is never done. “In a couple of years, I may be blown away by it, but now I’m just involved and worry about it,” he says. “I don’t want to be too complacent.”]

Complacent: pleased, esp. with oneself or one's merits, advantages, situation, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied


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