The unknown story of the man behind Google – Larry Page

In today’s world, kids learn to use Google even before they can walk and the person to blame or reward is none other than Larry Page whose curiosity created the most useful resources of all time!

Larry Page was born in a family which had computing in its DNA and that is convincing enough to understand why Page was utterly fascinated by computers by the age of 6.

When Larry was 12 years old, he completed reading the biography of the eccentric inventor, Nicola Tesla and cried. Tesla died in poverty and was called the quintessential “mad scientist.” Page thus realized that big ideas aren’t enough. To make the world adopt innovation, ideas need to be commercialized and so he needs to start his own company. 13 years later, it indeed happened. Two boys started working on a revolutionary idea in a garage of Silicon Valley.

The foundation for innovation was instilled in Page from the very childhood. He was the first student in high school to use an early computer to complete a science project. While pursuing his bachelors from the University of Michigan, he created an inkjet printer using Lego Bricks and was also a member of solar car project team.

In one interview, Page said, “From a very early age, I decided that I want to invent things. So I became interested in Technology and Business. It’s not necessary to go to school to launch a business. I read a whole shelf of business books and that was basically all I needed’.

Larry Page was not a too social being. But his vision for future and his love and passion for technology helped him develop connections quite easily in graduate school.

Larry Page went on to pursue his masters from Stanford University where he met Sergey Brin. At first meeting, they didn’t get along with each other and fought over various issues. But as history would have it, they went on to become friends and later co-founders of the biggest search engine.

Page along with Sergey Brin were not always praised for their work as search engines already existed. It was their strong belief that changed the world as they thought to do things differently. As they would call it audaciously, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.

One day in July 2001, Page envisioned the World Wide Web in a completely new way by looking at the links between pages and decided to download the entire web. He jotted down his mind which became one of the most useful algorithms of this era – PageRank.

Larry Page accredits much of his success to the unconventional education he received where kids were encouraged to think, innovate and freely develop. Montessori’s goal of education was to develop individuals who could improve society and were not afraid of seemingly impossible tasks. Pupils were encouraged to take small-scale but real world problems and solve them in their own ways. And that’s how Google’s famous policy of letting employees invest 20% of their time in projects they believe in developed.

‘It’s important for a company to be a family: that people feel as if they’re part of the company and the company is like a family to them’.

larry page

Larry Page is not just the most visionary CEOs of all time but also a responsible entrepreneur. The reason is his infinite motivation that he derives from his grandfather. In an interview with Fortune magazine, Page said that the hardships of his grandfather made him make Google an entirely different kind of place to work in; where dreams are not crushed but encouraged to the most possible extent.

In his words, “My grandfather was an autoworker, and I have a weapon he manufactured to protect himself from the company that he would carry to work. It’s a big iron pipe with a hunk of lead on the head. I think about how far we’ve come as companies from those days, where workers had to protect themselves from the company. My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society. As a world, we’re doing a better job of that. My goal is for Google to lead, not follow.

Larry’s development as an entrepreneur can also be accredited to one amazing program at the University of Michigan. The program was called “Lead with Integrity. Disregard the Impossible. Do Something Extraordinary.” Participants were required to envision an ideal world where there was no place for poverty, crime, racism, sexism etc.  They were given complete freedom to take risks and think about the impossible. Page started imagining how he can change transportation. That can still be found in Google’s initiatives of developing self-driving cars.

We all know about the Steve Jobs story – how he was fired from his own company only to return after years to save the company. Larry Page is the Steve Jobs of Google. The investors of Google never preferred Larry Page to be the CEO. Like Steve, Page came strong with wilder ambitions and stronger resolution. Unlike Jobs who focused on doing one thing with utmost accuracy, Larry Page has an unending list of how he wants to change the world!

He once said, “I used to have this debate with Steve Jobs, and he would always say, ‘You guys are doing too much stuff.’ He did a good job of doing one or two things really well. We’d like to have a bigger impact on the world by doing more things.”

After so many years of commencement, people know Google not just as a search engine but much more. Google has made major investments in artificial intelligence, robotics, and delivery drones. It has invested in hundreds of startups and has acquired many visionary startups like Nest to make fully automated home a reality. It has put hundreds of millions behind Calico, an independent biotech firm hatched by Google.

‘What’s the sentence that sums up how to change the world? Always work on something uncomfortably exciting!’ – Larry Page

In 2015, Larry Page was named the best CEO in America and Google was named the most valuable brand in the world. In 2004, he was named as the Inventor of the Year by the magazine Research and Development.

Image Source: Reddit

Pratibha Goenka

Passionate about entrepreneurship. Loves to follow her heart. An avid startup analyzer, a voracious reader and an ardent traveler.