Google went public exactly 12 years ago today.
In the immediate aftermath, employees who made big money were warned not to buy BMWs (or else they’d get their windshields smashed) or check the stock ticker at work (or else they’d have to buy the person who caught them a share).
People who bought shares on August 19, 2004, and kept it have made off well, as the stock price of Google and new parent company Alphabet has skyrocketed.
If you bought one share of Google in 2004 at its initial public offering price of $85, it would be two shares worth $1,575 today, taking into account Google’s stock split.
That’s a stunning $1,752.94% change, or about 18.5x.
So, let’s assume that you bought more than one share:
If you bought ~$1,000 of stock (~11.76 shares) at the IPO price in 2004, you’d have ~$
If you’d invested $10,000, you’d have $
185,384.53, a gain of $175,384.
If you’d been high-rolling with a $100,000 investment, you’d have a stunning $1,853,022.60.
Not too shabby.
Although the company has changed tremendously in the past 12 years — there are now separate divisions for self-driving cars, curing death, and improving cities — the core search experience looks pretty much the same.
Thanks to The Internet Archive, we can revisit those early days and see exactly what Google used to look like:
The link called 'might-work-some-of-the-time-prototype that is much more up to date' would take you to this page:
By December, that was the official homepage, and if you navigated your way to 'Help!' you'd get this explanation:
Larry Page and Sergey Brin made the first Google Doodle in August 1998. They were heading to Burning Man in the Nevada desert and wanted people to know where the Google crew would be for a few days, so they added the festival's logo.
By the end of the year though, Google finally centered its logo and started promoting its ad program:
In 2001, the homepage looks largely the same, but other parts of the site are more fleshed out. Here's the culture page:
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