The Google Story

Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google as a research project while studying at Standford University. From there they have grow Google into a worldwide household name and one of the largest companies (by market value, not revenue or employees) in the world.

The Google story follows the incredible rise of the company, its culture of innovation and its “Don’t be evil” philosophy. The growth in the Google business is mind blowing, for me at least. Founded in 1998 here is their revenue growth

Google’s Revenue HistoryThegooglestory


  Revenue (US$ in millions) 

















Google is an only in America story. You simply couldn’t have build a company like this in New Zealand for 3 very clear reasons:

  1. Our IT network simply wouldn’t be able to handle the volume and you would have to move off shore in your 1st or 2nd year.
  2. We simply would have enough IT people available to be employed to build the system.
  3. In the 2nd year they raised $25million (about NZ$48million at the time) in Venture Capital. You would not raise that sort of money in NZ.

All that said, it is a remarkable story and has some key lessons:

  1. Keep your project teams to 3 – 5 people. Anything more slows down innovation.
  2. They have a 20% rule to drive innovation. Their engineers spend 1 day a week working on any project or idea they like. If it is good enough it may get funded and launched as a product.
  3. An awesome employee culture meant they employed people for less and stole people from other huge companies in their formative years. Without it they probably wouldn't have made it.

Book Summary

The Google Story
David A Vise

Genres             Google, Business
Pages               325
Readability       4 (1 = Easy, 5 = Hard)
Enjoyment        4 (1 = Never Read, 5 = Remarkable)

Finally, now that I have read the Google Story it makes me think it would be almost impossible to take on Google in their core brand (not that I was thinking about it). I still think some of the lessons of my previous post apply, but it fails to acknowledge just how intelligent the founders of Google are.

One thought on “The Google Story

  1. Books (The Google Story)

    The thing that I think blows me away the most about The Google Story is the intelligence of it’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. If you are a closest IT geek and entrepreneur like me you will probably enjoy


Comments are closed.