20 years ago, the Americans Sergey Brin (45) and Larry Page (45) changed the digital world forever. The two computer scientists set up Google, a company that wanted to familiarize its users with the messy world of the worldwide web.
What started as a doctoral project on a university campus grew into one of the largest corporations in the world.
To put the year-old Google in the spotlight, we give some fun facts, starting with the fact that Google actually does not know itself when the company exactly is celebrating its birthday. In short: somewhere in September.
The company was registered as a company on September 4, 1998. That is why, according to many, we celebrate Google’s 20th anniversary today. But in 2002, Google announced its birthday with the typical Google Doodle on September 27th. Confusingly, they celebrated their fifth year of life on 8 September the following year, on 7 September in 2004 and on 26 September in 2005. In 2006 they apparently cut the knot and since then candles are blown on September 27th.
That they are called Google, everyone is pretty sure of that. However, that was not always the case. The project was known as “BackRub” in 1996 and was later renamed Google, a reference to “googol”, the number 1 with a hundred zeros. The astronomical number symbolizes the enormous amount of information processed by the search engine.
That the company has a special bond with the T-rex you will have noticed when the Chrome browser did not and a small T-rex appeared. There is a larger one in the company’s garden. That is not to make their employees fear for their lives in a Jurassic Park-like experience if they do not do their job well, but to remind them that Google should never die out.
The goats of Google
The T-rex is not the only animal with an important function at Google. There are also the goats from Google. Programming was probably not on their resume but they can mow the lawn in a very environmentally friendly way, so they argue with Google.
High technology… lego blocks
When the makers Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed the first Google server in 1996, they built it into a tower of lego blocks.
In addition to lego blocks, we also find other anachronistic elements at Google. Those who have homesick past times can turn to them for the games Atari Breakout and Pacman. Simply enter the names of the historical games and play. Solitaire and Oxo (Tic-Tac-Toe) are also included in Google’s free game package.
Answer to the question of life
Anyone who does not want to waste time with silly games and has been plagued all his life by the pressing demand for “Life, the Universe and Everything” is relieved by Google from his suffering. Google has the answer: 42. It is a reference to the famous book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams.
Go to space with Google
We remain in extraterrestrial spheres. On google.com/mars you can peek at the alien neighbours. Google has made the maps that NASA made of Mars available to the general public. It is something different than Google Maps.
Enter the word “skew”, do not be alarmed. You are not drunk. The results actually appear skewed.
Leaning results (2)
When Google does not work, everything is skewed. During a breakdown in the giant, internet traffic dropped by 40 percent overall.
Salary: 1 dollar per year
What cannot go down any further is the salary of the founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin who still work for the company. Their salary is 1 dollar per year. But that does not mean that they have to spend the night with their goats in the garden. They own a large share of the shares and generate income through investments. Their private assets amount to an estimated 45 billion dollars.
Not only the salary of the founders is binary, their debut on Twitter was written in binary code.
“I’m 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 01111001 00001010”.
For the normal mortals among us: that means “I’m feeling lucky”.
That Google was often “lucky” or already had a lot of luck, is beyond dispute. Yet not all their projects were successful. Think of the social media platform Google Plus, the tool for project management Wave, the modular smartphone Ara and the Skype competitor Google Hangouts, Knol, a project that focused on articles written by users on a range of topics and Google’s data bank Google Glass.
Who works at Google is a “Googler”. Who is new to the company is a “Noogler”.
Code of conduct
Whether you are a googler or a noogler, you have to behave well. Until 2018 there was even explicitly in the code of conduct of the media giant: “Do not be evil”. That is not a biblical reference but serves as a reminder of the great responsibility that rests on the shoulders of his employees.
“’Do not be evil’ is about giving our users unbiased access, focusing on their needs and offering them the best products and services, or just doing the right thing: obeying the law, acting honourably and treating colleagues courteously and respectfully “, was still available until 2018.
In the meantime, they have replaced ‘do not be evil’ with ‘do what is right’.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE YOUNG LIFE OF THE TECHNOLOGY GUIDER
January 1996 – Stanford University in California, USA
Doctoral researchers Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Stanford University are dissatisfied with existing search engines that generate random results based on purely text analysis.
In the context of their doctoral project, they develop an algorithm PageRank, named after Larry, which organizes pages according to importance: a method that maps all links between web pages and at the same time determines the importance of the links. The algorithm was patented in 2001.
The project was first nicknamed “BackRub” and was then renamed Google, a reference to “googol”, the number 1 with a hundred zeros. The astronomical number symbolizes the enormous amount of information processed by the search engine.
September 15, 1997
This day marks the beginning of the domain name google.com.
Andy Bechtolsheim, Jeff Bezos (Amazon), David Cheriton (Stanford University), and Ram Shriram are the first investors.
September 4, 1998, Palo Alto in California
Google is registered as a company in a friend’s garage.
Page and Brin approach the existing search company Excite in early 1997 with the question whether they want to take over their program. Asking price: one million dollars. They even brought their price down to $ 750,000 but Excite did not accept it. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is now worth between 810 and 880 billion US dollars (Source: ANP, 2 August).
Although Google did not want that in the beginning, from then on, they allow advertisements on the site based on key words. Since 2000, Google is the largest search engine in the world.
Google moves to a larger office building and the word “Google” is included in the dictionary.
August 19, 2004
Google is going to the stock market with more than 19 million shares at 85 dollars.
Google buys Keyhole and makes Google Earth from it.
Google buys $50 million Android, the operating system that enables 80 percent of smartphones today.
Google purchases YouTube for 1.65 billion in Google shares.
Google has 1 billion users per month. 96 percent of the revenue comes from advertising.
The parent company Alphabet is founded.
Google has to pay a fine of $2.4 billion due to unfair competition: they misused the dominant market position of its search engine to give its online shopping service Google Shopping an unlawful advantage on its competitors.
In 2018 they still have to pay 4.34 billion dollars due to unfair competition with the mobile operating system Android.
Source: Bild, Android Authority, TechCrunch, Quote, Google