Google Story

The Google Story provides a number of interesting lessons and insights into developing a high performance team.  Rick is available to lead a small team discussion - excellent for small business teams looking to energize the start of an innovative team.  Receive a free pdf of Rick's complete analysis - put Google Story in the subject line.

Author: David A. Vise

An interesting historical perspective on the years leading up to the development of Google through the first year after Google's initial public offering. Vise gives insights as to the how and why Google developed - not just as a technology, but also as to the company and its culture.


* the two founders were second generation computer scientists - a rarity - parents of both founders were professors in computer science, mathematics, and space science - additionally so were their grandparents - both grew up in a university environment

* both founders grew up in the Montessori system and households with continuous philosophical and scientific debate - Montessori - do what interests the student during ages 6-12, then hard labor where you apply hard work and focus through the teen years

* 5 years to go from graduate project to billion dollar company - mining data on the internet for user search inquires

* the page ranking was the PhD thesis

* Google's "blankness" was because they couldn't afford a graphic artist to make it look fancy - the simple design resonated with users and they adopted the look in an internet world gone made with obnoxious colors and blinking banners - sometimes simplicity is best

* Google is a perfect case study from the concepts of the Innovator's Dilemma (a book about why big companies fail and how small companies innovate) - they pitched their concept to Alta Vista - the dominant search engine of the day (had the majority of the market share) - they wanted $1m and then they would go back to being PhD students - Alta Vista was owned by DEC - of course, Alta Vista said that they weren't going to pay for it and they didn't want it as searching wasn't in their core competency - their current thought process was that searching is a generic commodity and by itself would never make any money - DEC was another big company that really blew it - didn't know what to do with innovative technology - DEC wasn't the only one - Excite, Yahoo (they suggested that they go start their own business - Yahoo at the time was only interested in human entered rankings)

* Bechtolsheim's three things he looks for when investing in a company - 1) better technology that solves real problems that people can understand 2) business has the potential to raise real profits 3) passionate founders that are capable - he gave them $100,000 (it was a nice round number and he didn't ask for anything in return) to build the computer network (using stacks of inexpensive computers) they needed to get the company going prior to them even having a company - what impressed him the most is that they were to spend the money on real tangible hardware - not on a bunch of advertising (which was the current trend of the day) - possibly the most important nugget of advice Bechtolsheim gave them was in order to resolve item 2 on his list, they would have to sell advertising as part of the user's search query (something that at the time they were reluctant to do as they didn't want bias in their reporting)

Rick has further analysis on Google's culture for innovation, business model, and other lessons learned.  Receive a free pdf of Rick's complete analysis - put Google Story in the subject line.