Inside the garage where Google was founded in 1998

Inside the garage where Google was founded in 1998
Inside the garage where Google was founded in 1998
Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin rented the garage when the company only had a few employees. (Getty Images)

This article is part of the Yahoo “It Happened Today” series

It is the technological giant that has transformed the way we use information, and is so present that it has turned into a verb: Google.

It all started in a garage.

Founded on September 4, 1998, Google has been around for 23 years and has definitely changed our lifestyle.

September 4 is also the date on which the company, founded by Stanford University graduate students Larry Page e Sergey Brin, was registered thanks to a $ 100,000 investment from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems.

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At the time, Google’s headquarters were nothing more than a garage located in the town of Menlo Park, California, complete with a ping pong table.

Page and Brin rented this space from Susan Wojcicki, the former head of marketing at Google and now executive director of YouTube, owned by Google.

Larry Page on the left, and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google. (Getty Images)

When Page and Brin if I send from their position as executive director and president of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, respectively, in December 2019, they wrote: “We never would have imagined, in 1998, when we moved our servers from a dormitory to a garage, to take this path ”.

A video tour filmed in 1998 by Harry Cheung, the sixth Google employee, shows Page at work in front of a computer in a rather disorganized looking garage.

Page and Brin rented the garage for $ 1,700 per month by Susan Wojcicki, who was working in the marketing department at Intel at the time.

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In an interview with 60 Minutes in 2019, Susan said, “My concern was the mortgage payments. This is why I was willing to rent the garage to any student. Then two students arrived. One was called Sergey Brin. And the other Larry Page. They are the founders of Google. But at the time they were just students. They looked like ordinary students”.

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Wojcicki would become Google’s sixteenth employee in 1999. That same year, the company left the garage after five months and moved to an office in Palo Alto. Its current headquarters, on Googleplex, it is found at Mountain View, in California, and covers 171,000 square meters.

But no one has forgotten about that garage yet. To celebrate its special history, in 2006 Google he bought the house of about 176 square meters with that garage attached; the figure was not disclosed, but similar properties in the area cost as much as $ 1.3 million at the time.

Susan Wojcicki, Google’s former chief executive and now YouTube CEO, gives a speech in the garage where Google was born on the 15th anniversary of the company’s founding in 2013. (Reuters)

In 2013, to celebrate its 15th anniversary, Google has returned to the garage and opened the doors to the press, with a speech by Wojcicki. “Even though a lot of things have changed at Google, inside we have remained the same,” he said.

Five years later, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary, Google recreated the appearance of the garage as it was in 1998 and made it available for public exploration via Street View on Google Maps.

The virtual tour shows a computer desktop with the beta version of Google and the exclamation point that would later be removed from the logo.

The Googleplex, Google’s current (and most lavish) headquarters in Mountain View, California. (PA)

At the end of the corridor, on a blackboard you can read the message “Google world headquarters”.

The Google blog post announcing the Street View tour read: “Larry and Sergey were particularly happy that the use of the washer and dryer was included in the rent.”

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