Sunday, September 07, 2008

Google is ten years old today

It was ten years ago today, on September 7th, 1998, that Sergey Brin and Larry Page took some investment capital and a database algorithm and from it spawned Google: the search engine that more than anything else transformed the Internet from a technological novelty into an indispensable application.

I used Google on the first day it was announced, in one of the computer labs at Elon. Even then I thought this was the most superior search engine of the lot that I'd been using up 'til then. In a few months Google supplanted those. And there hasn't been a day that's gone by whenever I've had to use the Internet (which is most) that I haven't employed Google.

Back then it ran on four computers. Today Google has a vast campus in California and data centers all over the place. The company has developed its own operating system, is about to roll out a cell phone, and has just applied for a patent on what many are calling the "Google Navy". All that innovation might make Google, on the basis of a ratio between ideas attempted and ideas that are profitable, the most successful company in American history.

Here's a story at ABC News about how far Google has come in its first ten years. Maybe in another ten we'll be able to teleport to the Google Space Station to join the festivities for the twentieth anniversary.