Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, met by chance on a Stanford University tour in the summer of 1995.
Page, at the time, was working on a PhD research project involving the mathematical properties of the link structure on the internet. The research project, “BackRub”, used an algorithm to follow the links in a webpage and analyze all the connections. The PageRank algorithm generated a popularity index for each web page based on the quantity and quality of incoming links. By 1998 Google’s web crawler had indexed 60 million URLs and the company had been formally incorporated.
In the next few years Google became the gateway to the internet for
the masses, as well as a traffic director that could make or break a
company with its search rankings. Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Earth
demonstrated the company’s aspiration to move beyond simple web queries,
and its ability to merge playfulness with unparalleled functionality.
While other companies were busy cramming more motion ads on their homepages and squeezing every last hour of productivity out of employees, Google created an enjoyable experience for every party involved, including users, employees, and investors. Google’s success has come as a direct result of keeping people happy.
Part of a series
by Ben Morrow
December 17, 2008
University of Texas at Dallas
School of Management