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Saturday, February 26, 2005

A Fantastic Article: The Story of Google by John Heilemann

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Spare forty-five minutes of your time to read The Story of Google.

The Story of Google - Journey to the (Revoltionary*, Evil-Hating, Cash-Crazy, and Possibly Self-Destructive) Center of Google by John Heilemann in the features section of Men.Style.com.
[via John Battelle's Search blog]

Note: * I think the word revoltionary is misspelled. Shouldn't it be revolutionary?

Note: The article has small font. To increase the font size in Firefox use Ctrl and + keys.

Interesting excerpts from the article.

The rise of Google is a tale often told as a Silicon Valley classic. Two precocious Stanford grad-student nerds swept up in the fever of the Internet boom invent technology that profoundly changes the experience of the Web; they drop out and start a company (in a garage) that achieves iconic status; they stage a historic public offering, achieving vast wealth and fame.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin are, in Silicon Valley terms, of a different generation...By then the pair had determined they had no use for many of the Valley’s customs. At every stage in their quest to build what Larry describes as not a conventional company...They’ve displayed indifference, even contempt, for Wall Street...

Advertising turned Google into a commercial juggernaut. In 2001 the company had $87 million in revenues and was barely in the black; two years later, its sales had soared to $1.5 billion and its operating profit to more than $340 million....All eyes in the Valley and on Wall Street turned to the Google IPO.

...Larry and Sergey and the question of what they’ve learned. Having...ignored the prevailing wisdom in Silicon Valleyinventing a search engine when everyone knew search was dead; building a business on Internet advertising when everyone knew it was impossible; antagonizing two revered VCs whose rings they should have been kissing—the boys have undoubtedly learned that conventional wisdom often isn’t wisdom at all. But salutary as that lesson is, there’s also a danger to it....Similarly, it would be easy for the boys to conclude that dissing Wall Street carries no penalty. In the IPO, they told investment bankers and investors to go pound sand—and they wound up happy billionaires. Today their message to shareholders remains: Trust us, or put your money elsewhere.

- Info: Corporate History of Google.
- Fun: Try a GoogleFight between Google and God.

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