There would probably be millions of articles on the web about Google, one of the most respected web companies in the world. We too have more than a hundred posts on this web site! Though Google started as a search engine with a simplistic and plain homepage, they expanded into several different fields including self-driving cars!
What separated Google from others is that they held on to their core beliefs and kept innovating at a tremendous pace. And they’ve had their share of successes (for example, the Chrome web browser, Gmail email service etc.) and failures (Orkut social networking comes to mind immediately).
Here are a few rare facts about Google you probably didn’t know. Enjoy, and as always, let us know what you think.
When launched in 1998, Google had only 26 million pages in its index. The search engine used just 40GB of storage (ten 4 GB hard drives encased in a Lego/Duplo tower). At the time of writing, the database has now grown to 60 trillion pages!
FYI, the primary colors used in the Google logo were probably inspired from the colors of the building blocks used to make the tower that housed the original hard disks.
The first funding was from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems. He wrote a check for $100,000 in the name of Google. Though extremely enthusiastic, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were flummoxed because they hadn’t formed the company yet and so there was no way to cash the check.
Since 2006, Google has reverted to the date on which they put their first birthday doodle – 27 September. No one knows for sure why this particular date has been chosen as the birthday because the company was incorporated in the 4th of the month.
Google came out of co-founder Larry Page’s PhD project called BackRub at Stanford University. After teaming up with Sergey Brin, the two rented a house in Menlo Park about 2 miles from the university and set up their office in the garage.
The house was owned by Susan Wojcicki who was a business management graduate. She later applied for a job and became Google’s first marketing manager. At the time of writing, she the CEO of YouTube!
Google launched their IPO (Initial Public Offering) on the 19th of August 2004. The price was set to $85 per share and the first trade took place at 11:56 EST. In the letter for the company’s securities registration form, the two founders wrote, “Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.“
This was quite apt because the number of shares floated on that day was 14,142,135. If you’ve done a little bit of maths in school you’ll recognise this number as the square root of 2!
Trust Larry Page and Sergey Brin to be geeks forever!
Let us know what you think about these or if you know of a rare fact about Google that we have left.
In 2005, Opera CEO, Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, announced that he would swim across the Atlantic from Norway to the US if the version 8 of web browser received a million downloads in 4 days. The number was reached in just 2 days and Tetzchner went ahead with the challenge, though in vain. [more...]