Sunshine and Google: Unknown Google Facts

The Google StoryBeginning this month and stretching through September, my hometown of Erie, PA gets some wonderfully beautiful weather. For the past few weeks, on the beautiful days, I’ve been spending more time away from my laptop and more traditional work and more time outside enjoying the sunshine with a good book.

My spare time during the day for the past few weeks has consisted of me lounging in the sun with either my GMAT preparation book (which I’m taking tomorrow, by the way, wish me luck!) or The Google Story, Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Time, by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed.

This book is a page turner, to say the least. As an individual who is fascinated by Google and all their products, it makes me appreciate the brand even more, making my relationship with the company more personal and one on one. The book reads more as a narrative and less as a documented history of how the company got started, giving you several different points of view so that you can really get a feel as to what happened and why Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin made many of the decisions that they did.

I would recommend this book over and over again to anybody who uses Google or is interested in the internet at all. Although I haven’t completed the book yet (I’m on page 92!), it was published in 2005, so I’m sure there’s a good chunk of Google’s newer features that is missing from the story. However, this will be rectified with the NEW! revised version that is to be released in September of 2008. If you haven’t already read The Google Story, check it out!

As I already mentioned, I haven’t completed the book yet. Although, if I had the time, I could easily read through it in a day or two because it is such a page turner. Nevertheless, I’ve come across some interesting facts about Google that I wanted to share. I’m sure I’ll come across several more, so as to not overwhelm you all at once, here’s part one of things you may have never knew about Google, found on the first 59 pages of The Google Story:

  • Instead of purchasing supercomputers, Google secretly assembles each and every PC itself in its massive network inside secure facilities.
  • Even after Google had secured $25 million in investor money and was operating for quite some time, they still had not found a way to make money off of their search engine.
  • The first “google doodle” served as an “out of office” message, as the Google team was at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada.
    The first Google Doodle
  • At Google, individual employees are expected to allot 20% of their time to exploring “whatever ideas interest them the most.”
  • A special Google project is working towards a time when people can google their own genes.
  • The term “google” means “a very large number,” and is misspelled. the correct spelling is googol.
  • While in high school, Google founder Larry built a working inkjet printer out of Legos.
  • The first version of the Google’s search engine was named “BackRub,” because it dealt with the incoming, or “back” links to web pages. The logo for this version was a black and white scanned image of Larry’s left hand.
  • After Larry and Sergey got the $100,000 check that their first major investor, Andy Bechtolsheim handed them after meeting them for the first time, they went out to celebrate at Burger King.
  • Larry and Sergey taught a college course on search engines while at Stanford.

Did you find these facts interesting? Sign up for my RSS feed in a reader or via email to stay informed for when I post some more unknown facts about Google! Also, be sure to check out The Google Story, to get the full story on the incredibly successful corporation.


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