And the answer: Susan Wojcicki
In 1998, Google’s 16th employee and the current CEO of Youtube, Susan Wojcicki, lent out her garage to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. For $1,700 a month, the messy garage in Menlo Park, California was Google’s first unofficial headquarters.
The story of Google begins back in 1995, long before the idea of an office space had even crossed the mind of young Google founders Larry Page or Serge Brin. At Stanford University, Brin was assigned to show new-student Page around, and the two quickly struck up a friendship that was soon to become a partnership. Working from separate dorm rooms, Brin and Page created a search engine that used links to connect users to individual pages on the World Wide Web. They named the service “Backrub,” but quickly renamed it Google as a play on the mathematical expression of 1 followed by 100 zeros.
Over the next few years, the program began to generate interest from Silicon Valley investors. 24 years ago today, Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim wrote Page and Brin a check for $100,000, and Google Inc. was officially born. From there, they moved into Susan Wojciki’s garage to create their very first office—complete with a bright blue carpet, a ping pong table, and several chunky computers.
What began as a search engine has since expanded into an empire spanning more than 50 Internet services and products. From email to document creation and storage to even cell phones, Google is a top competitor in the tech market with versatile contributions. However, Google’s search engine remains its most popular and lucrative business, as nearly all of its revenue comes from Google advertising based on users’ search requests.
Learn more about the history of Google here.