Late one night, a group of excited people congregated in the office of Larry Page, co-founder of Google, over a bottle of champagne. Around 80 people came to watch the event from outside, curious about what was going on. The event was the signing of the AOL contract that was the culmination of months of hard work.
Google co-founders Page and Brin have a unique relationship. The duo share an office, which is said to be one of the most exciting places in the company. The founder-led company dynamic is an important factor in Google's success.
Everything at Google has turned out perfectly, making it hard to determine which decisions were good and which were bad. Co-founder Larry Page remarks that they could have started the company earlier, but were working on their PhD's. Also, it would have been difficult to achieve the same thing five years ago because the market was not as advanced -- and technology was more expensive and less established.
Google competed with several other companies, including Overture, for the AOL deal. Though Overture offered more money because they are a public company, Google offered more ideas about additional services for AOL customers. The AOL CEO decided to make the decision that was best for the customers and went with Google, recalls co-founder Larry Page.
Google makes money through selling targeted advertising on its site, which is more effective than broad-based advertising. In addition, they receive revenue from providing search capabilities to other companies, says co-founder Larry Page. Surprisingly, the model used today is remarkably similar to the original business model presented to venture capitalists.
A large amount of time is spent in the hiring process at Google because the company is serious about employing only the very best people. Because of the high profile of the company, they receive over a thousand resumes a day, according to co-founder Larry Page and CEO Eric Schmidt. Many hires result from these resumes, but only after comprehensive reference checks.
Google's mission, according to its founder Larry Page, is to organize the world's information, making it universally accessible and useful. They still believe that search can get a lot better and are working hard to make it so. Google has a global focus and is aiming to do things that matter to everyone around the world.
Google tries to keep an entertaining and enriching corporate culture by taking company trips and implementing a dog-friendly policy.At the same time, the company tries to maintain an entrepreneurial culture by forming small teams that act like individual startups. The founders have discovered that the groups tend to become more traditional as they grow larger.
Larry Page and co-founder Sergey Brin started Google while at Stanford working on their PhD's. When the company grew too big to be run from their dorm rooms, the founders made a pitch to a computer science professor who wrote them a $100,000 check on the spot. As of 2002, it is a company of almost 400 people, it handles over 1500 million searches a day, and it has been profitable for over a year.