Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Google Story, part 2

This blog series is not a biography on the Google founders, but just a brief look at what made the company so successful in so little time. Without spending any money in advertisement, Google expanded its popularity by the millions rather quickly. If you want to know more details about the founders, I suggest you buy the wonderful book, The Google Story by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed.

Here are my notes.

From the Introduction

Google was created by two Stanford students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. We’ll learn some more about them later, but for now let’s take a look at one of the best-kept secrets at Googleplex, the company headquarters at Silicon Valley.

Google’s biggest is secret is this; to power its search, Google employees assemble and customize hundreds of thousands of PCs, which are run on Google-patented programs. “No word in the English language exists to describe this seamless melding of hardware and software at such a massive scale, so we have named it Googleware.” The PCs are stacked one on top of the other in refrigerator-size racks in secure facilities at Googleplex. When a PC burns out, it is not replaced, but another PC takes over. There’s no human intervention.

When the Google stock became public on August 19, 2004 at $85 per share, it soared to $300 in less than a year.

What makes Google different from other companies is that instead of thinking of ways to make money and build products for that, their engineers think of ways to solve a problem, and only later do they think of ways to make a profit.

This is Google’s charm. If you take a look at their homepage, there are no banners, no ads, and no clutter, but just a simple and friendly logo (Take a look and compare with rival Yahoo!). This says a lot about their philosophy, since the home page is considered to be the most valuable piece of online real estate property.

Google’s appeal is so universal that to google, means to search. It has become a verb in English and in many other languages around the world.

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