Sept. 7, 1998: If the Check Says ‘Google Inc.,’ We’re ‘Google Inc.’

By Tony Long 

09.07.07 | 2:00 AM

Google co-founders Larry Page (left) and Sergey Brin (right) field
questions from an audience in front of a backdrop patterned with their
company logo.

Photo: Associated Press / Noah Berger

Handed a check for $100,000 made out to "Google Inc.," Sergey Brin and
Larry Page figure they better incorporate their fledgling search
engine. So they do.

Brin and Page, who met while grad students at Stanford University
and — according to company lore — took an instant disliking for one
another, nevertheless found a common interest in the idea of devising a
reliable method for retrieving what you want from the endless amounts
of information available on the internet.

Their technology was solid, but not solid enough to impress either
the money boys or the major internet portals, so they continued
struggling for financial support. Enter Andy Bechtolsheim, a founder of
Sun Microsystems, who was one of the few to see the true potential of
what Brin and Page had wrought. During their presentation to him,
Bechtolsheim said he had to duck out for another meeting and offered to
write them a check.

It was that hundred-grander, made out to Google Inc.,
that got the ball (and the bank) rolling. Brin and Page incorporated,
managing to attract other investors, with an initial investment of
around $1 million.

With its first corporate headquarters located in a friend’s garage
in Menlo Park, California, Google’s search engine was already getting
10,000 queries a day while still in beta.

The following year, Google moved into a real office in Palo Alto,
saw its staff explode to eight employees, and by late 1999 was
answering 500,000 queries per day. That arc has pretty much continued
to this day.


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