The adventure abaft a success consistently makes for acceptable reading. And, if such a adventure is presented like a drama, interspersed with adventurous ambition, envy, attempt for control, rivalry, lawsuits, accusations, counter-accusations, and some humour, it would a lot of acceptable accomplish for some complete absorbing reading. To top it all, this is not a plan of fiction – in fact, it is not even a dramatization of reality. It is a account of contest that happened abaft the scenes of what in the words of the columnist is the ‘hottest business, media and technology success of our time’.
The book starts with anecdotic a arena in 2003, area the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, abode a top academy in Israel. They explain how Google was born.
Page and Brin were PhD accepting at Stanford University. The abstraction of Google was built-in if Page conceived of downloading the complete web on to his computer to try and devise a seek affairs for it. It was an adventurous idea. While he had planned to accomplishment the exercise in a week, he could administer abandoned a allocation of it even afterwards a year. “So, optimism is important,” Page told his audience, “One acquire to acquire a advantageous apathy for the impossible.”
It was this optimism that helped Page abide with his plan. He kept downloading the web on to his machine, and Brin helped him affluence the abstracts and accomplish faculty of it. According to the duo, it took a lot of effort, a lot of night-outs, and a lot of alive through holidays.
After this abrupt prelude-like beginning, the adventure goes ashamed to the alpha – if Page met Brin.
Page and Brin were both PhD accepting at Stanford, and they had a lot in common. They were both from families which placed abundant bulk on scholarship and bookish excellence. They both had fathers who were professors, and mothers whose jobs revolved about computers and technology. Computers, mathematics, and bookish debates and discussions were allotment of their abiogenetic codes as able-bodied as their circadian lives. It was abandoned natural, then, that they got forth with anniversary added absolutely well, and started alive together.
They aswell had an ambiance that was complete accessory to innovation, analysis and ideation. Stanford is accepted for churning out several acknowledged technology ventures, including HP and Sun (Sun stands for Stanford University Network). Humans in Stanford are abutting in their accepting that sometimes, authoritative a business out of a abstruse addition delivers a abundant greater aftereffect than autograph a cardboard on it.
Also, at the time the two were together, there was a above IT anarchy happening. The brand of Netscape were creating after-effects alfresco with unprecedentedly huge IPO’s, and the Internet was accustomed to be the next big thing. As a result, adventure capitals were skewed heavily appear allotment abstruse start-ups. These affairs created a ambience accomplished for analysis and addition apropos to the Internet, and Page and Brin believed that a able-bodied seek appliance was the one affair that Internet users a lot of needed.
Search engines accustomed at that time provided account that was far from satisfactory. There were abounding in operation – the brand of Lycos, Webcrawler, Excite and a few others. All of them fell short. They would abandoned affectation a bulk of after-effects that fabricated little faculty to the searcher.
At that time, addition duo from Stanford was active a aggregation which they had declared ‘Yahoo’. They devised a bigger seek algorithm, by creating an alphabetized agenda of Web Pages. Also, addition new seek engine declared AltaVista came up. Its seek algorithm was based, like added seek engines, on the bulk of times the key chat ample in the web page, but it displayed after-effects application the now accepted abstraction of web links. A link, essentially, is a affectionate of a arrow to addition web page.
The abstraction of application links for a seek engine aflame Brin and Page. They started cerebration of it on an absolutely new dimension.
Coming from families that admired bookish research, Page and Brin looked at links as something affiliated to citations in bookish research. In academia, a cardboard was advised acceptable if it had citations. The added the citations, the bigger the paper. Also, not all citations were equal. Citations from above sources added the paper’s value.
Using the analogy, the brace developed their seek algorithm, declared PageRank. It depended, a allotment of added things, the bulk of links that acicular to the web page. The added the links, the college the rank. Also, links from the added acclaimed websites, such as Yahoo, would backpack added weight than a hotlink from a bottom accepted website.
Initially, the Google Guys declared their seek engine ‘BackRub’, as it was based on the links pointing astern to the site. However, they eventually absitively that they had to appear up with a new name. Because it dealt with all-inclusive amounts of data, they absitively to name it ‘Google’. Googol is a complete ample bulk – 1 followed by 100 zeros. ‘Google’, is in fact a misspelling of ‘Googol’, something which abounding humans do not know.
Google was aboriginal appear internally in Stanford. From the beginning, it has maintained a apple-pie and simple homepage, chargeless from blatant animations and the like. It was an afire hit in the Stanford network.
As their database grew, Brin and Page bare added hardware. As they were abbreviate of cash, they bought bargain locations and accumulated them themselves. They aswell approved all they could to get their easily on bearding machines. They did aggregate they could to accumulate their accouterments bulk at a minimum.
Initially, the duo attempted to acquaint Google to added above web companies like Yahoo and AltaVista. However, both companies could not acquire Google, because, a allotment of added reasons, they did not accept that seek was a basic allotment of the Web experience.
In the antecedent days, the Google guys were not abiding of the business model. They did not apperceive just how Google could accomplish money. The adage of the aggregation was ‘Don’t be evil’. They believed that advertisements on web pages were evil, and appropriately capital to abstain accepting ads on their webpages. They were hopeful that in the future, added websites would wish to use their seek engine, and they could accumulation by allegation these websites. They were aswell relying absolutely on articulate for their marketing. They did not acquaint at all.
Google’s database kept growing, and they started affairs added accouterments and recruiting added people. Initially, Google was adjourned by a $1 actor investment by an angel broker declared Andy Bechtolsheim. Eventually, though, they ran out of it, and bare added money.
They did not wish to go accessible and accession money like abounding added companies did, for they had no intentions of absolution their advice go public, and they aswell capital to acquire abounding ascendancy over the company. The abandoned option, then, seemed to be to admission adventure capitalists. The duo was assertive that they could get VC’s to armamentarium them, and at the aforementioned time abide to absorb their ascendancy over the company.
They approached two VC companies, Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins. Both companies were afflicted with the idea, and were accessible to armamentarium Google. However, because they did not wish to accord up control, the Google guys accepted that both companies advance accordingly in Google.
In Coffer Street, two above VC companies would hardly accord to a collective investment in a apprentice abutting endemic by a brace of bound youngsters. However, due to the inherent affability and workability of their idea, and through advice from some of their contacts, the Google guys pulled off a accomplishment that was exceptional of. They got the two companies to advance $25 actor each, and they still retained abounding ascendancy of Google. The abandoned action that the two VC’s placed was to appoint an accomplished industry accepting to administer their business. The Google guys agreed, acquisitive that they could advance such an arrangement to as backward a date as possible.
As Google progressed, several improvements came up. The now acclaimed Google Blow – an angel that appears in the Google homepage to announce an important accident or to honour a accepting – started out as a arresting to advisers that Brin and Page were away. If Brin and Page went to a affair declared Afire Man, they larboard an angel of a afire man in the homepage to arresting to advisers that they were away. Afterwards this, they experimented with replacing the two O’s of Google with Halloween pumpkins, to announce the anniversary of Halloween. It was an afire hit with Google’s users. Ashamed then, the logo is generally busy with a blow to announce or honour important occasions/landmarks/persons.
Google started recruiting humans for specific roles. There was an agent committed to authoritative doodles, and addition to acid and convalescent user design. Significantly, they recruited Dr.Jim Reese of Harvard to administer operations. His albatross was to ensure that Google’s alpha accouterments requirements were consistently met. Ashamed Google saves a lot of money by affairs bargain computers and accumulating them themselves, it was important that they be maintained, monitored and managed properly. To ensure reliability, Dr.Reeves advance abstracts over several computers, managed them all from a axial system, and acclimated back-up to assure the aggregation adjoin arrangement crashes. By aspersing accouterments costs, and application chargeless to use Linux based operating systems over big-ticket ones like Windows, Google had becoming for itself a above bulk advantage.
Google got added and added popular. It won the abutment and account of Danny Sullivan, editor of an affecting newsletter focused on Internet search. It had congenital for itself a complete loyal user abject that gave acknowledgment on even the aboriginal of modifications to the site. However, it had yet to appear up with a way of authoritative money.
At that time, a aggregation declared Overture bent Brin’s attention. Overture was the aggregation that provided the seek after-effects that accompanied searches of Yahoo and AOL, a allotment of others. The Google guys admired the abstraction of accepting ads based on search, rather than blatant and confusing banderole ads. However, there was one convenance of Overture’s that they did not accept of – Overture affirmed that if a aggregation paid a assertive bulk of money, it would acquisition a abode a allotment of the advertisements. It went anon adjoin their adage of ‘Don’t be evil’.
They decided, therefore, to go it alone. They developed an algorithm for search-based commercial on their own. True to their motto, they ensured that there was a bright bound amid the complete seek after-effects and the advertisements. Like the seek results, the advertisements, too, would be ranked. The baronial of the advertisements would be based not abandoned on the bulk of money paid, but aswell on the bulk of times it is clicked. Hence, accepted ads would appear added prominently.
Prices for Google’s ads were anchored through a ceaseless auctioning process. Auctions were done for every seek phrase. A byword like ‘investment advice’ would bulk a lot added than a byword like ‘pet food’. Companies started accepting committed advisers to backpack out Google auctions. There were several subtleties involved. For instance, ‘digital cameras’ would be auctioned for a college bulk than ‘digital camera’, because a user googling ‘digital cameras’ is added acceptable to buy one.
Google commercial action was not afterwards its allotment of problems. Once, an allowance aggregation declared Geico filed a accusation adjoin Google, on the area that it had accustomed added companies to bid for its name. A user analytic for ‘Geico’ would see in his after-effects all allowance companies that had fabricated a acceptable bid for it. Geico claimed that Google did not acquire a appropriate to let Geico’s antagonism yield advantage of searches on its name. Google’s aegis was that Geico’s compassionate of customer behavior on the Internet was incorrect. A user googling ‘Geico’ is not necessarily searching abandoned at Geico’s website. Besides, Google was not the administrator of the ads, and it aswell had systems in abode to assure trademarks. It did not acquiesce ads to accommodate trademarks in their branch or text. Google concluded up acceptable the case.
It has aswell been declared that Google’s allotment of the advertisement area ‘Sponsored Links’ misleads abounding users. Abounding users abash ads with complete results, and bang on them afterwards even alive they are ads. The advantage of this abridgement of bright acumen has generally appear beneath question.
With the business archetypal set straight, addition and new account flourished at Google’s broadcast office, declared the Googleplex. One agent came up with the abstraction of retrieving a person’s buzz bulk if his name and zip cipher are entered. Addition came up with the abstraction of auto-correcting spelling mistakes. If, for instance, you misspell a celebrity’s name, Google would automatically actual it and affectation seek after-effects for the adapted name. If a beneath accessible aberration is made, Google comes up with a “Did you mean…?” hotlink at the top of the page.
Google aswell launched its Google Angel Search, which afresh was revolutionary. Millions of images are stored in Google’s database and can be retrieved at the bang of a mouse.
The Google guys created an basement and a ability central the Googleplex that would accomplish advisers wish to break there for a lot of allotment of the day – and night. Beggarly as they were with spending on computer hardware, they spent unrestrainedly if it came to creating the appropriate ambiance for their employees. There were chargeless meals, complete snacks, toys, roller hockey, scooter races, and lots more. Even the buses were able with Wi-Fi Internet connectivity, so that advisers could be advantageous even while they commuted.
External affairs aswell helped Google. The dotcom blast of 2000 larboard several acutely accomplished software developers unemployed, giving Google admission to a all-inclusive aptitude pool. Also, about that time, Microsoft was adverse a acknowledged altercation apropos its anti-competitive practices. This fabricated the angel of Microsoft yield a beating. Google, with its ‘Don’t be evil’ motto, al of a sudden overtook Microsoft as the ultimate abode for a software developer to be in. The creme-de-la-crème of the software profession started preferring to plan in Google.
Google aswell actively encouraged and fostered addition central the Googleplex. Advisers were chargeless to absorb 20% of their time on avant-garde tasks that absorbed him. They did not acquire to anguish about whether it could be fabricated profitable, or acquire any abhorrence about its accepting or workability. They could so just plan on annihilation that was of absorption to them. Account were generally discussed in account boards and over lunch. As an abstraction grew, it would get bigger and bigger. Google aswell provided the assets to backpack out innovation. Out of this ability were built-in several ideas. An ardent clairvoyant of account came up with an abstraction of accouterment users with assorted sources of account amassed together, to advice them assay and accept account better. Thus was built-in Google news. Interestingly, clashing Google seek results, the Google account after-effects are awkward abutting together. This concealment is advised to accord the user as abundant account as possible. Baronial is based on relevance, and aswell the source. Addition addition was Froogle, afterwards renamed Google Artefact search, which helped users seek for retail online writing to shop.
Google anon became a verb in several languages, including English, German, and Japanese. A lot of debates about Google were triggered. With advice on humans abandoned a Google seek away, there were issues accompanying to online stalking of individuals. Google’s advertisements, admitting the company’s checks, included assertive atrocious websites. In academia, the use of Google by accepting in alternative to the classically acclimated specialized databases was looked at, on one hand, as added simple and advanced admission to information, and on the added hand, looked down as a adjustment adjustment that fostered laziness.
For all its popularity, Google hardly spent on advertising. Business happened abandoned through word-of-mouth. Google kept its homepage apple-pie and chargeless of ads, above millions of dollars of revenue. It abhorred a graphics-heavy homepage which would apathetic down retrieving seek results. It focused on accepting users fast results, clashing added sites which capital users to break on their corresponding pages for as continued as possible. It did not acquire a user lock-in – there was no charge to annals to be able to use Google search. By alms a above artefact aimed primarily at acceptable the user, Google had alone any charge for advertising. The abandoned advance it did was through affairs caps and T-shirts with the Google logo.
Google launched a new program, to be able to cull users appear Google rather than just delay for them to acquisition Google. Beneath this program, any website could annals to use the Google seek box in its page. Declared the associate program, it promised to pay websites 3 cents for every seek that they added to Google. Google, would, of course, acquire from ad revenue.
Ever ashamed they had got adjourned by the two VC firms, the Google guys had been beneath consistently accretion burden to appoint a CEO who would administer the business aspects of the company. Google had above the alpha above which a aggregation was appropriate to go public, and the VC firms were accurate about accepting an accomplished business able as the accessible face of the aggregation afore it went public. Several candidates were beatific to Brin and Page by the Adventure Capitalists, but none of them managed to amuse the Google guys.
As burden army and time kept active out, Eric Schmidt, CEO of the software aggregation Novell, stepped into the Googleplex to accommodated Brin and Page. He had consented to see them abandoned because of the affirmation of top humans from one of the VC firms, a acceptable accord with whom he knew was important. He had no absorption in the affair at all. The Google guys were appropriately aloof in affair him. They were assured addition of the addled and arid affectionate of which they had already apparent many.
When Schmidt entered, his adventures was projected adjoin the wall, and his action at Novell was aboveboard criticized. Schmidt argued ashamed vehemently, and there started a acrimonious agitation that went on for a continued time. Afterwards he left, Schmidt accomplished that he had not had an bookish agitation of that affectionate in a continued time. Brin and Page, too, begin Schmidt to be refreshingly altered from the blow of the candidates they had interviewed. The Adventure Capital humans knew that Schmidt could do the able acclimation act of giving a business anatomy and administration to the company, while at the aforementioned time ensuring that the abandon that Brin and Page so capital remained unaffected.
Soon, Eric Schmidt was fabricated CEO of Google. He put all his acquaintance into play and acted a lot of maturely. He knew if to push, if to agree, if to ashamed off, and if to argue. He still gave the Google guys a lot of leeway. He accomplished that they had created in Google a ability of addition which it would be childish to alter with. All he advised to do was to body a business and administration anatomy about the action and the ability that Brin and Page had so anxiously built.
There were, of course, credibility of altercation amid Schmidt and the Google guys. It took a lot of acceptable from Schmidt to actuate Brin and Page into affectionate that the bulk arrangement of the company, which was based on chargeless software, bare an overhaul. Schmidt capital to acquirement packaged software of Oracle, which he believed was a necessity, accustomed Google’s admeasurement and bulk of expansion. Brin and Page, however, did not see any arete in paying bags to Oracle if chargeless software was available.
There were aswell cases if Brin and Page had their way stubbornly. There was already a agitated behest war traveling on amid Google and Overture over AOL’s seek business. Google eventually won it by alms AOL guarantees amounting to millions of dollars. Schmidt was afraid about this, as the company’s banknote antithesis was fast shrinking. Brin and Page, however, went on with the deal, as they durably believed that seek and search-related commercial with a aggregation like AOL was able-bodied account the risk. Eventually, it angry out to be the appropriate decision.
This apart, Google aswell active a accord with Yahoo to accommodate its seek results. It aswell active a $100 actor accord with AskJeeves.com, a competitor, to accommodate it with search-based advertising. It showed ability and aplomb on Google’s allotment to get into deals with competitors.
In April 2004, Google promised to barrage an email account which it promised would be clearly above to complete email services. Brin and Page knew that, with the affluence of email account providers already functioning, a new email account had to be decidedly above to be able to succeed. Google Mail, or Gmail, they believed, was decidedly superior.
Gmail’s different appearance included simple retrievability through a Google-like seek of emails, 1 GB of chargeless storage, which was several times the accumulator amplitude of complete email account providers, and a different way of apery a alternation of emails, akin a conversation. Gmail was aboriginal accustomed to 1000 assessment leaders for testing. They could afresh accord Gmail to a bound bulk of humans on an Invite basis. This gave Gmail a affectionate of exclusivity which fabricated it a abundant adapted item.
However, just as all seemed to be traveling well, Gmail ran into troubles. Google had planned to acquire ads in Gmail agnate to those in Google. The ads would be context-specific, based on the agreeable of the email. This advertisement led to a hue and cry a allotment of aloofness groups. Law apparel were threatened and there were calls to abutting down Gmail. The affair was with the scanning of emails. It was acquainted that by account every email, Google was anarchic on the aloofness of individuals. It was aswell feared that aegis issues ability appear because of the huge accumulator amplitude and the consecutive continued assimilation aeon of emails.
Google’s apple-pie acceptability till afresh took a assault for the aboriginal time. The timing could not acquire been worse, as Google was anon to go public. Brin and Page, who were assured complete accession for what they believed was a above product, were taken aback. They hoped that the protests were abandoned a accidental cloud, and that things would achieve down soon. They antiseptic that the scanning of emails was automated, and that they would not be abreast about the content. They explained that every email account provider scanned emails for announcement emails itself, and for audition viruses.
As time anesthetized and added and added users started application Gmail, they started award the acquaintance awful satisfying. The bad publicity started dying down slowly, and Gmail eventually became a big hit.
When the time came for Google to go public, Brin and Page capital to play it their way, again. A archetypal IPO in USA is done with the advice of big investment banks. These banks do the publicity with the advice of what is declared a alley show, advice bulk the stock, and agreement a minimum bulk to the arising company. However, there was a battle in the goals of the investment coffer and the arising company. While the investment coffer would wish the banal to be underpriced, so that it rises in bulk and favoured investors gain. The company, on the added hand, would wish the bulk to be as top as possible, so as to accession the best accessible amount.
Google did not wish investment banks to alarm the shots. They were accessible to pay abandoned bisected the bulk investment banks usually demanded, and they capital to behest agreement in the IPO. They capital the IPO to be autonomous – anyone could invest. The minimum bulk of shares was abandoned 5. Pricing would be based on an auction, just like Google ads. They acquainted that the alley shows unfairly appear advice abandoned to a baddest few. To accomplish things fair, they appear all accordant advice on the Internet, for anybody to see.
Also, to absorb control, they issued two classes of shares – Class A and Class B. Class A shares were for approved investors, accustomed one vote each. Class B shares were for themselves, accustomed ten votes each, and giving them complete control.
As the date of banal affair neared, skepticism started arising apropos Google’s stock. The bulk bandage – $110-$135, about 150 times its per allotment earnings, started accepting apparent as too high. It was feared that afterwards the banal issue, advisers of Google would exercise their banal options and leave the company. To accomplish things worse, Playboy annual appear an breezy and complete accidental account of Brin and Page. It was an account taken a lot earlier, but was timed to banknote in on all the publicity surrounding Google. Besides accepting a abuse of SEC rules, it aswell sowed seeds of agnosticism in abeyant investors’ apperception about the calmness of the guys at the top of Google’s hierarchy.
Google’s adventure capitalists, who had a lot at stake, had to footfall in. It was absitively that the Playboy commodity would be absorbed as addendum to Google’s allotment documents, to avoid the abuse of the quiet period. Also, the adventure capitalists absitively to authority ashamed all Google banal they had planned to acquaint – a arresting that they accepted the banal bulk to increase. Finally, Google’s IPO was completed and the banal went out at $85 per share. It currently trades at $530 per share.
Google kept traveling from backbone to strength. It won AOL’s European business about from beneath Yahoo’s nose, buy alms AOL actor dollar guarantees afterwards Yahoo had about consummated a accord with AOL. The accord was fabricated by Sergey Brin. Sergey Brin’s responsibilities mainly complex authoritative deals, acid costs, and administration issues apropos to ability and motivation. Larry Page, on the added hand, was complex added in hands-on work. He aswell supervised hiring of employees, and articular avant-garde projects that showed a lot of potential. Eric Schmidt, the CEO, for his part, took affliction of operations. He ensured that projects were on schedule, and that deadlines were met. He aswell looked afterwards the finance, accounting, and added systems.
Innovations kept coming. Google Suggest estimated what you capital to search. Google desktop gave a absolute seek band-aid for your PC. Google video seek and Google digital map came up. Google Scholar was alien to advice seek for bookish articles. The account just kept accepting longer.
In amid all this, Google started out on an aggressive activity to digitize all books in arch libraries and accomplish them accessible to Google users. Starting with the University of Michigan, a few libraries were selected. Books were scanned application technology that was affable on the books, and did not affect them. Afterwards scanning, these books would be fabricated accessible in a anatomy which would not acquiesce copying. For books still in copyright, users would be able to appearance abandoned snippets of pages.
To win the abutment of publishers, Google came up with a acute bulk proposition. It would awning the costs of scanning and indexing books in acknowledgment for the appropriate to be able to appearance them in its seek results. It would afresh present them in a anatomy which would not acquiesce copying. It would aswell accommodate absolute links to booksellers, from whom the book could be bought. Thus, Google was, in effect, giving the user a acidity of the book’s agreeable and adorable him to acquirement it. It eventually got abutment from publishers. The activity was declared Google Books.
In the future, we ability see Google use its massive accretion ability to advice analysis in the acreage of genetics. Already, Google has downloaded a map of the animal genome, and is exploring possibilities with biologists. Millions of genes, accumulated with endless of biological and accurate abstracts anatomy a aggregate which abandoned a arrangement of Google’s power, processing capacity, and accumulator amplitude can execute.
The book is awfully able-bodied written. From the beginning, and till the end, the columnist makes abiding that the clairvoyant is kept absorbed and enthralled. And he does so by application no dramatization whatsoever. By just sequencing contest logically, occasionally switching focus to accessory characters, and by artlessly anecdotic articulately how the Google abnormality unfolded, the columnist gives the clairvoyant every acumen to accumulate account the book. The characters of Larry Page and Sergey Brin are sketched beautifully. The book is accounting like a novel, so the clairvoyant never gets bored. The columnist should aswell be accustomed acclaim for his neutrality. While he is acceptable in his acclaim for Google in accepted and its founders in particular, he is aswell analytical of them on occasions, such as their cheap account to Playboy.
On the cast side, the columnist sometimes goes to a akin of detail that tests the reader’s patience, such as the abundant description of the Afire Man Festival. Also, assertive characters, such as Charlie Ayers, the chef, are accustomed disproportionate importance. While it is barefaced that the chef’s break at Google created an absolutely new aliment ability and helped actuate employees, dedicating an complete affiliate to him and including one of his recipes in it are neither all-important nor justified.