Google has taken the first place in many things, and second place for the world’s most valuable brand; but even Google has its secrets. The global technology powerhouse has secured the fastest internet speeds in the world, eliminated a need for human drivers and has become a nearly 400-billion-dollar enterprise. Hidden beneath all of the facts that you’re sure to know, are a handful of ones that might surprise you.
Computer engineer, Larry Page, was studying at the University of Michigan and considered attending Stanford University for his Ph.D. At the time, Sergey Brin was already at the ivy league institution and was assigned to show Larry Page around campus.
2) Burning Man Google Doodle
Page and Brin created the doodle as a way to leave an out-of-office message behind the second “o” in the Google logo. The doodle was made in August of 1998, and it was put up as a way to let people know that they were headed off to the iconic Burning Man festival.
3) Google in a Garage
There are plenty of stories of tech companies in Silicon Valley getting their start-up in a run-down house or a garage, and that’s the case with Google. Surprisingly, the company got its start in the garage of Susan Wojcicki, who was the 16th person hired at Google. On top of that, she was also their first marketing manager and is now the CEO of YouTube (which is owned by Google.) Later, Google purchased the house that it got its start in, and then filled it up with snacks, candy, and hippy lava lamps.
4) The Grateful Dead and the Google Chef
Many people are aware that Google has full-time chefs available at their California headquarters, but what many don’t know, is that Chef Charlie Ayers used to be one of them. He stayed at Google for seven years, and served nearly 4,000 lunches and dinners to Google staff. Initially, Charlie Ayers was the chef for The Grateful Dead. He cooked their food in exchange for admission to their shows.
5) NYooglers Love Starbucks
Many concepts come together at Starbucks, and back in 2000, the New York arm of Google was unofficially kicked off over a couple of tall lattes. In 2000, it was made up of a one-person sales force and nearly two decades later, thousands of New York Googlers clock in at its New York office.
6) April Fool’s Day and Gmail
Today, Gmail is one of the most popular components of the Google platform. However, Silicon Valley has a tradition of hosting elaborate April Fool’s Day jokes. The company announced Gmail on April 1, 2004, and did it in a manner that had everyone thinking it was a prank. Gmail now serves millions of users all over the world.
7) Googlers Ride gBikes
Google has had a bike program set in place since 2007, and it started off with a fleet of blue bikes. Over time, the bikes changed colors, and name. Now called gBikes, there are over 1000 of them that cover the Googleplex. In another fun fact, there are no locks on any of the bikes. Googlers merely take one when they need it, and drop it off at the closest entryway when they’re finished.
8) The Power of Mozza Sticks
One of the biggest deals ever made was the agreement between YouTube and Google. Steven Chen, co-founder of YouTube, has said in multiple interviews that they didn’t want to meet at offices. They all ended up at a Denny’s in California, where they snacked on Mozza sticks and shook hands in an informal agreement of the 2006 deal. Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube, which isn’t a bad deal. Not when you think about how it’s turned into the most-watched video platform in the world.
9) Google Fights Vampires
Nowadays the verb “to Google” is used in everyday jargon. However, the first time that it got used on television and mainstream media was during a 2002 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
10) Google is Generous
The massive Googleplex was built in Mountain View, California, and has only expanded since its been built. In 2006, the company made an incredibly generous offer and now provides free Wi-Fi. It doesn’t matter where you are in the city, as long as you have a device, you can connect to the internet for free. That includes your house and your business.
The list of surprising Google facts is almost endless and just makes it easier to understand why Google is such a trusted tech magnate. The company is unique, full of personality, and unlike other companies that you’re going to find elsewhere. Their unconventional methods and determination to remain different from the rest indeed make you wonder… What’s really happening at the Googleplex? Maybe Stan, the Google dinosaur, knows.
Do you know any interesting Google facts? Leave them below.