What would you do if your start-up was offered $100,000? You’d probably set up your company properly and get down to work, which is what Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page did 14 years ago today.
It was September 4 1998 when, after two years as a college project, Brin and Page founded what is now one of the world’s largest companies. Google start out as a project called BackRub which was originally designed to be franchised out to other companies but after rejections from industry giants like Yahoo! the Google guys set up on their own.
There are two stories about how Google got its name – officially the company says that Google was “a play on the word ‘googol,’ a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros.” Although the oft suggest rumour is that when Google received its first investment the cheque was made out to “Google Inc” rather than “Googol Inc.” so they decided to create the company with the misspelled name.
David Cheriton’s $100,000 investment in Google back in 1998 is today worth more than $1 billion. According to Cheriton, speaking to Bloomberg, the reason he decided to invest came largely down to the young start-up’s promoters. Cheriton says that Brin and Page’s business knowledge, as much as their technical knowledge, led him to believe that they could build the company into a success.
Today, Google says it has spent over 1 million computing hours building its index (and counting).
Some 14 years on Google has created one of the largest websites in the world, two operating systems; one of the largest email applications; industry leading ad systems; a few social networks, some more successful than others, including YouTube – the world’s largest video sharing site. Not bad for a company that started in a garage.
Happy Birthday Google