Larry Page (Lawrence Edward Page; born on 26 March, 1973) is an internationally known entrepreneur as he co-founded Google. He served Alphabet, Google’s parent company, as a chief executive officer until 2019. Today, Larry Page is a controlling shareholder and board member of Alphabet.
Biography of Larry Page
Larry Page was born in Lansing, Michigan, and he grew up as a middle child along with his older brother, Carl Victor Jr., and his younger sister, Beverly. His father, Carl, worked as a computer science professor at Michigan State University.
His mother, Gloria, lectured in computer programing at Lyman Brigs College. Larry Page was therefore raised by parents with a strong technological background. His parents also provided all children with technological gadgets such as computers and informative books relating to technology.
Partially because he was surrounded by many technologies, Larry Page became highly interested in these gadgets since his childhood. He additionally quickly became familiarized with technological terminologies, which could have helped his entrepreneurial mindset to evolve. Before turning twelve years old, Larry Page already stated that he would establish his own company one day. Moreover, Larry was in addition to tech stuff, also interested in musical instruments such as a saxophone, which he played often.
Larry Page first went to Okemos Montessori School. He continued his education by attending East Lansing High School. Due to his background and interests, Larry already knew he would build a career in computer science. During his education, he played his saxophone occasionally in school. After completing high school, Larry applied for a bachelor’s computer engineering program at the University of Michigan. He completed the computer science program, and he developed further by enrolling in the computer science master’s program at Stanford University in California.
In 2006, he met Lucinda Southworth, and they married one year later on Necker Island, Richard Branson’s private island in the British Virgin Islands. His wedding was attended by many internationally known people, such as Richard Branson himself and Donald Trump. Lucinda has always been actively involved in charitable initiatives. Together with Larry Page, they established the Carl Victor Page Memorial Foundation. This foundation raises funds for social issues such as programs focusing on medicines, education, and poverty. For example, Larry and Lucinda have donated $15 million to provide aid during the West African Ebola epidemic between 2013 and 2016. Larry Page and Lucinda have two children whose names are unknown. Their first child was a boy, who was born in 2009. Their other child was born in 2011. His or her identity is still unknown.
Education of Larry Page
Larry Page has a Montessori educational background. Montessori education originated from Italy, and it believes that every child has a natural tendency to develop. Montessori education uses specially designed teaching materials and focuses on one skill before going to the next. Due to this educational approach, Larry Page learned to be self-motivated, and he solely used his creativity on things he’d be interested in. At the same time, Larry learned to collaborate with children of different ages and backgrounds, which was a stimulus to share knowledge and learn from each other.
At the University of Michigan, Page participated in a three-year-long solar car project. The project’s goal was to create a car driven by solar energy that should participate in a solar car race. Because of the long duration of the project and his limited time at the university, he was mainly involved in the project’s early phase. His contributions to the project were mostly in the signal electronics sub-team. The solar car, Maize & Blue, was finished 11th in the 1993 world solar car challenge.
Larry’s decision to follow a computer science master program at Stanford University changed his life and that of all world inhabitants, as it led to the establishment of Google. Page’s research assignment at the university was to analyze how online web pages are linked. In that time, search results were only visualized in terms of the frequency of appearance of keywords on web pages. As a result, the search results on a specific keyword were not relevant. This triggered Larry Page to design a mechanism that ranks pages based on linked pages. This should provide relevant search results. However, Larry Page did not have all the knowledge to create this mechanism. Hence, he invited Sergey Bin to assist him with the project execution, as his expertise was data mining, which is the process of identifying patterns in large data sets.
The story of Google (it was first called Backrub) started in 1995 when Larry Page invited Sergey Bin to work along with him to create a search engine that ranks pages based on link pages. When they first met, Larry was still a freshman, and Sergey, who already studied at Stanford, was assigned to guide Larry Page. Within a year, Sergey and Larry decided to execute their project from their student accommodation. They were discussing renaming Backrub. They came across the idea to call their search engine Google, which is derived from the mathematical expression googol, which is written as the number 1, followed by hundred zeroes. Larry’s and Sergey’s mission was to make all information accessible and useful for everyone.
It did not happen overnight, but after a couple of years, Google drew attention from both investors and academic communities. Within three years since the establishment of Backrub, Larry Page and Sergey received their first investment of more or less $100k from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun. This investment enabled the couple to invest in more human resources. By this time, the student accommodation was not suitable anymore to fulfill the needs of their employees. For this reason, they invested in a new office as well, which was the garage of Susan Wojcicki, an employee of Larry and Sergey, whom today serves as a chief executive officer of YouTube.
Larry Page’s idea to create Google was innovative, and the couple agreed that they want to continue running their business based on creative ideas. Google was supposed to be different from the common perspectives about firms. Hence, Larry and Sergey created a ten-things list that describes Google’s moral code. For instance, the list states that ‘great’ isn’t good enough because great is just something good; it is a starting point, but it has no endpoint. Something great can always become better, and therefore, Google likes to set unrealistic goals to stimulate creativity and innovation. Another point of the list is that people are not required to be at their desks because the required information is accessible everywhere. People are mobile and have access to many technologies such as laptops, telephones, and the internet. With these resources, work can be done effectively from any location.
Today, Google offers hundreds of (tangible) products, services, and (online) tools. For instance, Google offers smartphones, tablets, cars, cloud storage, email services, internet services, social networks, computers, drones, and airborne wind turbines. In addition to this, Google has ongoing Moonshots projects such as the Free Space Optics project, a project designed to provide areas with high-speed internet without extensive digging and placing internet lines.
Despite Google’s successes, Larry Page and its employees had to overcome and still are facing many challenges, such as the increasing complex privacy regulations. For example, Google has been criticized for its data collection methods. Google has a significant influence on the public as the company has access to almost everyone’s information who uses its products.
On the other hand, Larry’s and Sergey’s company is actively involved in philanthropic initiatives to provide back to the community. In its previous years, Google provided billions of dollars to non-profit organizations to fight prejudice and build a more unbiased society around the globe. The company additionally provides funds to improve renewable energy systems and fight infectious diseases.
Currently, Google employs around 60k people in about 50 countries. The company has extended its product portfolio extensively as it is not solely a search engine anymore.
Sergey Brin (Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin; born on 21 August 1973) is an American computer scientist with a Russian background. During their time in Moscow, Sergey’s parents announced that the family has to relocate to another country since both lost their jobs in Moscow. As a result, Sergey’s parents fulfilled temporary positions before they had the chance to emigrate to the United States. At this time, Sergey was around six years old.
In the United States, Sergey’s father worked as a mathematics teacher at the University of Maryland, and his mother became a researcher at NASA’s Godard Space Flight Center, an organization dedicated to building spacecraft, instruments, and technologies to study the earth, the sun, the solar system, and the universe.
Sergey Brin was schooled at home, where he was taught Russian and mathematics while he also attended Paint Branch Montessori School in Maryland. Brin next went to Eleanor Roosevelt High School and later studied mathematics and computer science at the University of Maryland, a public land-grant research university in College Park, Maryland. He continued his studies at Stanford University.
At Stanford, Sergey met Larry Page. The two started off on the wrong foot as they did not agree on a lot with each other. However, within a year, the couple became right partners and started the Google project, in that time known as Backrub. Larry Page needed Sergey because of his data mining skills. Additionally, they authored the research paper “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.”
Together with Larry Page, they created the PageRank algorithm, an algorithm used by Google Search to rank web pages in their search engine results. Sergey and Larry Page shared knowledge in order to come up with the best ideas. They gathered parts from second-hand computers to create the equipment they needed. Within a year after launching Backrub, they already indexed more than 75 million HTML URLs (Uniform Resource Locator).
Sergey previously served as Google’s president, but he resigned from his position in 2019. Along with Larry Page, they were named in the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35 in 2002. They were also awarded other awards such as the Marconi Foundation Prize and the American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award.
Larry Page quotes
- “It’s very hard to fail completely, if you aim high enough.”
- “Always work hard on something uncomfortably exciting!”
- “You never lose a dream, it just incubates as a hobby.”
- “Always deliver more than expected.”
- “Anything you can imagine probably is doable, you just have to imagine it and work on it.”
- “Almost everyone who has had an idea that’s somewhat revolutionary or wildly successful was first told they’re insane.”
- “We should be building great things that don’t exist.”
- “If you’re changing the world, you’re working on important things. You’re excited to get up in the morning.”
- “You need to get one thing done well, or else you don’t have permission to do anything else.”
- “You can be serious without a suit.”
Books and publications by Larry Page et al.
- 2011. Supercharging android: Google to acquire motorola mobility. Google: Official Blog.
- 2004. Letter from the Founders:‘An Owner’s Manual’for Google Shareholders. Google Inc., Form S-1 Registration, 29.
- 2004. Google Founders Talk Montessori.
- 2004. At Google. FAST COMPANY, 58-59.
- 1999. The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web: Stanford InfoLab. Navigation, findability and the usage of cultural heritage on the web: an exploratory study.
- 1998. What can you do with a web in your pocket?. IEEE Data Eng. Bull., 21(2), 37-47.
- 1994. The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.
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