I have owned the Google Story book for over a year now. Recently, I picked it up and started to read it and could not put it down.
Everybody knows Google. I have used Google as my search engine of choice since around 2000 and I had an idea of their history, but not in great detail. The book is not an offical Google endorsed book, but a book written with the help and permission of the Google management team and it is aimed to bring the story of how Google has grown from a University idea into one of the leading companies in the world.
The book is approx 300 pages. With most of it being of interest. Some of it I must admit that I scanned through as it covered aspects not of great interest to me. What I did really like where the first few chapters about how Google started. Google was founded by two friends, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, both Ph.D. students at Stanford university. They had an idea to improve the way that search was done on the Internet. They found it strange that it was hard to find official company websites by typing in the name of that company. It appeared that the existing search offerings from companies such as Dogpile and AltaVista returned sites that were related to the official companies.
What I really liked about this book was the attitude of Sergey and Larry in their quest for success. They had such a strong belief in what they were doing and they were committed to the decision that they had made. At the time of Google’s inception, Yahoo were a massive player in the search marketplace. Doors were closed in Brin and Page’s face because the assumed difficulty in taking on such a giant as Yahoo, at their own game. Never once did Sergey or Larry falter. They kept their belief in what they were doing and did not listen to the negative people around them. If they would have done, we probably would not have had the Google that we have today.
It makes me wonder how many other companies with great ideas have been stifled at the growth stage because of lack of funding due to the investors not truly understanding the opportunity. Larry and Sergey raised $25 million without even a solid plan as to how they were going to monetize the search traffic. Maybe the days are gone when you can raise that sort of cash against an idea, and I don’t think those days ever came in the UK where getting money to fund an idea is becoming harder than ever, with investors reticent to offer seed investment to grow these fantastic ideas.
So, good book, motivating, and well done to Sergey and Larry because they deserve the success that they have achieved. It shows that if you have a good ethos and culture, good product, and happy staff, then the profits will eventually come. Well, in the case of Google they certainly did!