In the early days of the internet, finding things you actually wanted to look at was a bit of a punt in the dark. Then, the likes of Ask Jeeves, Bing, and Yahoo popped up to help you hop from one page to another. By today’s standards, it was all very charming, jittery, and slow. To begin with, Google was just another search engine. Then, somewhere along the way, ‘Google’ became a verb, and a quarter of a century later, it’s not only the planet’s largest search engine, but a tech superpower, with tendrils in everything from AI to quantum computing. Its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are centi-billionaires; 25 years in, the company’s influence shows no sign of slowing down.
It all started in 1996 when Page and Brin – two Stanford computer nerds – came up with the idea for a more efficient search engine. They puzzled away at it for two years, before investor Andy Bechtolsheim wrote them a $100,000 cheque. Page and Brin sank the money into an office in the garage of their friend Susan Wojcicki, who just so happened to become CEO of YouTube. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and entrepreneur Ram Shriram also served as angel investors in 1998. Page and Brin landed on the name Google.com the same year.
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