When 22-year-old Lawrence Page and 21-year-old Sergey Brin met for the first time at the Computer Science department of Stanford University, they disagreed with each other on almost everything. Page had recently arrived at Stanford for a PhD in computer science after graduating from Michigan University, and Brin, also a PhD student, was responsible for showing him around the campus.
As 1995 passed and 1996 arrived, a partnership between Page and Brin was formed that changed the course of history. Together, the duo had developed BackRub, an algorithm that crawled the web to understand its mathematical hierarchy and rank the web pages according to the number of the reputed links directed at them. The search engine got the name Google from the mathematical term “googol” which refers to one followed by 100 zeroes.
On September 15, 1997, Page and Brin registered a domain name for their search engine. Before this, their search engine was eating up most of Stanford’s bandwidth. The new domain name was Google.com. In August 1998, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems — a computer hardware and software company that was facing market competition at the time — Andy Bechtolsheim wrote a $100,000 cheque to Google, a company that did not exist at the time.
On September 4, Page and Brin got the company registered in California and opened a bank account in the newly registered company’s name to make use of Bechtolsheim’s cheque.
They set up the new company’s office in Susan Wojcicki’s garage in California. Wojcicki went on to become Google’s marketing manager the following year and is now YouTube’s CEO. From there Google went on a journey of rapid growth to become one of the biggest tech giants in the world.
Google celebrates September 15 as its “domain-iversary,” marking the beginning of a remarkable journey that has hardly left anyone untouched from its significance.
Today, Google not only offers its core search engine service but has expanded everywhere from cloud-based productivity software such as Docs, Sheets and Slides, to smartphone manufacturing such as Pixel phones. Google has contributed a significant amount of research and developments in software technology and artificial intelligence. Recently, the tech-giant has also achieved a major breakthrough in quantum computing.
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