vergence of opposites that gave birth to Google, the two firms — normally fiercely competitive, but seeing eye-to-eye on the value of this new investment — both took seats on the board of directors. Mike Moritz of Sequoia and John Doerr of 
Kleiner Perkins — who between them had helped grow Sun Microsytems, Intuit, Amazon, and Yahoo! — joined Ram Shriram, CEO of Junglee, at the ping pong table that served as formal boardroom furniture. In short order, key hires began to fill t
he company's modest offices. Omid Kordestani left Netscape to accept a position as vice president of business development and sales, and Urs Hφlzle was hired away from UC Santa Barbara as vice president of engineering. It quickly became obv
ious that more space was needed. At one point the office became so cramped that employees couldn't stand up from their desks without others tucking their chairs in first. The gridlock was alleviated with the move to the Googleplex, Google's
 current headquarters in Mountain View, California. And tucked away in one corner of the two-story structure, the Google kernel continued to grow — attracting staff and clients and drawing attention from users and the press. AOL/Netscape se
lected Google as its web search service and helped push traffic levels past 3 million searches per day. Clearly, Google had evolved. What had been a college research project was now a real company offering a service that was in great demand
.  On September 21, 1999, the beta label came off the website. Still Google continued to expand. The Italian portal Virgilio signed on as a client, as did Virgin Net, the UK's leading online entertainment guide. The spate of recognition tha
t followed included a Technical Excellence Award for Innovation in Web Application Development from PC Magazine and inclusion in several "best of" lists, culminating with Google's appearance on Time magazine's Top Ten Best Cybertech list fo
r 1999.  At the Googleplex, a unique company culture was evolving. To maximize the flexibility of the work space, large rubber exercise balls were repurposed as highly mobile office chairs in an open environment free of cubicle walls. While
 computers on the desktops were fully powered, the desks themselves were wooden doors held up by pairs of sawhorses. Lava lamps began sprouting like multi-hued mushrooms. Large dogs roamed the halls — among them Yoshka, a massive but gentle
 Leonberger. After a rigorous review process, Charlie Ayers was hired as company chef, bringing with him an eclectic repertoire of health-conscious recipes he developed while cooking for the Grateful Dead. Sections of the parking lot were r
oped off for twice-weekly roller hockey games. Larry and Sergey led weekly TGIF meetings in the open space among the desks, which easily accommodated the company's 60-odd employees.  The informal atmosphere bred both collegiality and an acc
elerated exchange of ideas. Google staffers made many incremental improvements to the search engine itself and added such enhancements as the Google Directory (based on Netscape's Open Directory Project) and the ability to search via wirele
ss devices. Google also began thinking globally, with the introduction of ten language versions for users who preferred to search in their native tongues.  We love you, Google users!Google's features and performance attracted new users at a
n astounding rate. The broad appeal of Google search became apparent when the site was awarded both a Webby Award and a People's Voice Award for technical achievement in May 2000. Sergey's and Larry's five-word acceptance speech: "We love y
ou, Google users!" The following month, Google officially became the world's largest search engine with its introduction of a billion-page index — the first time so much of the web's content had been made available in a searchable format.  
Through careful marshalling of its resources, Google had avoided the need for additional rounds of funding beyond its original venture round. Already clients were signing up to use Google's search technology on their own sites. With the lau
nch of a keyword-targeted advertising program, Google added another revenue stream that began moving the company into the black. By mid-2000, these efforts were beginning to show real results. On June 26, Google and Yahoo! announced a partn
ership that solidified the company's reputation — not just as a provider of great technology, but as a substantial business answering 18 million user queries every day. In the months that followed, partnership deals were announced on all fr
onts, with China's leading portal NetEase and NEC's BIGLOBE portal in Japan both adding Google search to their sites. The Google ToolbarTo extend the power of its keyword-targeted advertising to smaller businesses, Google introduced AdWords
, a self-service ad program that could be activated online with a credit card in a matter of minutes. And in late 2000, to enhance users' power to search from anywhere on the web, Google introduced the Google Toolbar. This innovative browse
r plug-in made it possible to use Google search without visiting the Google homepage, either using the toolbar's search box or right-clicking on text within a web page, as well as enabling the highlighting of keywords in search results. The
 Google Toolbar would prove enormously popular and has since been downloaded by millions of users. As 2000 ended, Google was already handling more than 100 million search queries a day — and continued to look for new ways to connect people 
with the information they needed, whenever and wherever they needed it. They reached out first to a population with a never-ending need for knowledge — students, educators, and researchers — paying homage to Google's academic roots by offer
ing free search services to schools, universities, and other educational institutions worldwide. Realizing that people aren't always at their desks when questions pop into their heads, Google set out to put wireless search into as many hand
s as possible. The first half of 2001 saw a series of partnerships and innovations that would bring Google search to a worldwide audience of mobile users. Wireless Internet users in Asia, Japanese users of i-mode mobile phones, Sprint PCS, 
Cingular, and AT&T Wireless customers, and other wireless device users throughout the world gained untethered access to the 1.6 billion web documents in Google's growing index.According to Google lore, company founders Larry Page and Sergey
 Brin were not terribly fond of each other when they first met as Stanford University graduate students in computer science in 1995. Larry was a 24-year-old University of Michigan alumnus on a weekend visit; Sergey, 23, was among a group of
 students assigned to show him around. They argued about every topic they discussed. Their strong opinions and divergent viewpoints would eventually find common ground in a unique approach to solving one of computing's biggest challenges: r
etrieving relevant information from a massive set of data. By January of 1996, Larry and Sergey had begun collaboration on a search engine called BackRub, named for its unique ability to analyze the "back links" pointing to a given website.
 Larry, who had always enjoyed tinkering with machinery and had gained some notoriety for building a working printer out of Lego™ bricks, took on the task of creating a new kind of server environment that used low-end PCs instead of big exp
ensive machines. Afflicted by the perennial shortage of cash common to graduate students everywhere, the pair took to haunting the department's loading docks in hopes of tracking down newly arrived computers that they could borrow for their
 network. A year later, their unique approach to link analysis was earning BackRub a growing reputation among those who had seen it. Buzz about the new search technology began to build as word spread around campus. Larry and Sergey continue
d working to perfect their technology through the first half of 1998. Following a path that would become a key tenet of the Google way, they bought a terabyte of disks at bargain prices and built their own computer housings in Larry's dorm 
room, which became Google's first data center. Meanwhile Sergey set up a business office, and the two began calling on potential partners who might want to license a search technology better than any then available. Despite the dotcom fever
 of the day, they had little interest in building a company of their  own around the technology they had developed. Among those they called on was friend and Yahoo! founder David Filo. Filo agreed that their technology was solid, but encour
aged Larry and Sergey to grow the service themselves by starting a search engine company. "When it's fully developed and scalable," he told them, "let's talk again." Others were less interested in Google, as it was now known. One portal CEO
 told them, "As long as we're 80 percent as good as our competitors, that's good enough. Our users don't really care about search." Unable to interest the major portal players of the day, Larry and Sergey decided to make a go of it on their
 own. All they needed was a little cash to move out of the dorm — and to pay off the credit cards they had maxed out buying a terabyte of memory. So they wrote up a business plan, put their Ph.D. plans on hold, and went looking for an angel
 investor. Their first visit was with a friend of a faculty member. Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, was used to taking the long view. One look at their demo and he knew Google had potential — a lot of potential. 
But though his interest had been piqued, he was pressed for time. As Sergey tells it, "We met him very early one morning on the porch of a Stanford faculty member's home in Palo Alto. We gave him a quick demo. He had to run off somewhere, s
o he said, 'Instead of us discussing all the details, why don't I just write you a check?' It was made out to Google Inc. and was for $100,000." The investment created a small dilemma. Since there was no legal entity known as "Google Inc.,"
 there was no way to deposit the check. It sat in Larry's desk drawer for a couple of weeks while he and Sergey scrambled to set up a corporation and locate other funders among family, friends, and acquaintances. Ultimately they brought in 
a total initial investment of almost $1 million. In September 1998, Google Inc. opened its door in Menlo Park, California. The door came with a remote control, as it was attached to the garage of a friend who sublet space to the new corpora

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