When you've got Bill Gates worried, you know you're doing something right. Sergey Brin and Larry Page first met on the campus of Stanford University in 1995. What transpired as a result of this meeting forever changed the way we search the internet. Nearly 20 years later, the search engine with a funny sounding name is one of the world's largest and most powerful companies.
The Birth of Google. Sergey Brin was born in Russia, to mathematician parents, and moved to the U.S. at a young age. Larry Page grew up in Michigan. Both of his parents were computer scientists, and at a time when few people were. Their bond was their irreverence for convention, their creativity and a belief that the two could change the world. And while they may have come up short on that front, the two forward thinkers did change the entire complexity of the World Wide Web.
Few people probably remember, but in the late 1990s internet searches took forever to conduct and produced results that were often irrelevant. The two computer science geeks had an idea that would change that. Using backlinks as a way to gauge value, they created an algorithm that would only display search results of the highest quality.
The Adolescent Years. On September 15th, 1997 Brin and Page registered Google as a website. Shortly after, while sitting on a friend's porch at Stanford, they received a fortuitous visit that would launch their company. Sun Microsystems' co-founder, Andy Bechtolsheim, pulled up in his sports car and wrote the two a check for $100,000. A check they couldn't even cash yet, as they hadn't properly set up Google as a business.
At the time, there were already five search engines, and many believed that a sixth would be useless. However, it didn't take long to convince venture capitalists of their vision, and they eventually received the start-up capital they so desperately needed.
Google: All Grown Up. On August 19th, 2004, Google went public and opened at just over $100 per share, earning the company 23 billion dollars. Brin and Page have been aggressive in acquiring assets that fit their vision, such as YouTube and Android. They've also been active in development, adding Google Maps, Google News, Google Earth, and in response to Facebook's incredible success - Google+.
In 2012 alone, Google earned over 50 billion dollars in revenue. They've made our lives easier by organizing the world's information. They've changed the way we get that information. And even changed the way we talk, as the proper noun is now regularly used as a verb.