Google — one of the most prominent names in the technology industry today, was founded about twenty years ago by two techpreneurs in their early 20s, namely Larry Paige and Sergey Brin. Today, their combined net worth is little over $100 billion. How did they get there? Here is all about the background and success of Google’s Founders Larry Paige and Sergey Brin!
If you’ve ever used the internet, then you’d know what Google is. This is how big Google LLC—the company founded by Larry Paige and Sergey Brin, has become today. While most people are quick to associate Google LLC with the search engine of the same name, it comprises of a lot more including software, hardware, cloud computing services, and online advertising technologies.
In 2017, Google was ranked as the world’s most valuable brand, with a brand value of over $245 billion. So, how did Google get there? And more importantly, what was the role Google’s founders Larry Paige and Sergey Brin played in it? Continue reading to find out.
The Background and Success of Larry Paige
Larry Paige—the co-founder of Google, was born on March 26, 1973 in East Lansing, Michigan. Paige’s father was a PhD in computer science from the University of Michigan and a computer science professor at the Michigan State University. His mother was a computer programming instructor at Michigan State University and Lyman Briggs College.
This clearly shows how Larry Paige developed an interest in computers and technology. In fact, recalling his childhood, Paige said in an interview that his house ‘‘was usually a mess, with computers, science, and technology magazines and Popular Science magazines all over the place”
Larry Paige holds a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in computer science from Stanford University. As a student at the University of Michigan, Paige used Lego bricks to create an inkjet printer as he believed that it was possible to print large poster cheaply using inkjet cartridges. After reverse-engineering the ink cartridge, Paige built of the mechanics and electronics to drive it.
Additionally, Paige proposed to the school to replace its bus system with a PRT system—a monorail with separate cars for every passenger. At the same time, he developed a business plan for a company that would use software to build a music synthesizer.
After completing his Masters from Stanford, Paige enrolled in a computer science PhD program at the same university. Looking for a dissertation topic, Paige started to explore the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web. Terry Winograd—Paige’s supervisor, encourage him to pursue the idea. And, Paige says this was the best advice he ever received.
At the same time, Paige considered research in autonomous cars and telepresence. Considering them to be valuable information for that page, Larry Paige focused on finding out which web pages link to a given web page. Paige nicknamed his research project ‘Backrub’ and soon he was joined in his research by a fellow Stanford PhD student Sergey Brin. Together, they authored a research paper titled ‘The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine’, which went onto become the most downloaded scientific document in the history of the internet.
The Background and Success of Sergey Brin
Sergey Brin—the other founder of Google, was born on August 21, 1973 in Moscow, Russia. Brin’s father is a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland and his mother a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Sergey Brin spent his childhood with his parents and paternal grandmother in three-room apartment.
In 1979, Sergey Brin, along with his family, emigrated to the United States. Brin completed his elementary education from Paint Branch School in Adelphi, Maryland but received further education at home. Brin’s father encouraged him to learn mathematics and his family helped him retain his Russian-language skills.
In 1990, Sergey Brin enrolled in the University of Maryland from where he graduated with Bachelor of Science in 1993, with honors in computer science and mathematics. Soon after, Brin started his graduate study in computer science at Stanford University on a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation. At an orientation for new students at Stanford, he met Larry Page and the rest is etched in history.
The Founding of Google and The Success that Followed
While still at Stanford, Page and Brin set up a simple search page for users using the former’s HTML programming skills. Simultaneously, they started searching for computer parts that they could use to assemble the computing power required to handle searches by multiple users. Additional servers were required to process the queries as the search engine grew in popularity among Stanford users. In 1996—the initial version of Google, was made available to internet users and in 1998, Brin and Page incorporated Google Inc., with the initial domain name ‘Googol’.
In August 1998, Google received its first major funding—a $100,000 contribution from Sun Microsystems’ founder Andy Bechtolsheim. In June 1999, the company announced a new $25 million round of funding, with major investments from venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
By June 2000, Google had indexed one billion Internet URLs, making it the most comprehensive search engine on the Web at the time. Four years later, Google’s initial public offering (IPO) took place and since then, there has been no looking back for the company or its founders.
The success of Google’s founders Larry Paige and Sergey Brin are an inspiration for those who want to be an entrepreneur. We are very pro-entrepreneurial over here. We wish you much success in all that you do.
Remember what Henry Ford once said: Whether you think you can… Or whether you think you can’t… You’re Right!
by Bobby J Davidson
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