23 Amazing Things You Don’t Know About Google

larry page sergey brin google

[credit provider=”Flickr/nialkennedy” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/niallkennedy/2823089966/sizes/z/in/photostream/”]

Apple may have used “Think Different” as a logo for its marketing, but the founders of Google use it as their motto for life and business.Reading “In The Plex,” a book about Google by Steven Levy, we were struck by the numerous weird decisions and ideas from the search company’s founders. Some of them are well documented, but we were repeatedly surprised as we flipped through the book.

We’ve gathered a few of our favourite nuggets from the book and put them here.

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permalink=”dennis-crowley-warned-google-twitter-was-coming-1″
title=”Dennis Crowley warned Google Twitter was coming”
content=”When Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley was at Google he sent emails warning that Twitter was going to be a big deal, but he says ‘It all fell on deaf ears…they just weren’t interested in social at the time.’ Now Google is rumoured to have considered buying Twitter for a whopping $10 billion.”
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[slide
permalink=”dow-jones-the-parent-of-the-wall-street-journal-could-have-built-google-2″
title=”Dow Jones — the parent of the Wall Street Journal — could have built Google”
content=”Robin Li started out at IDD Information Services, a division of Dow Jones. He discovered you could use hyperlinks as a way to rank information on the web around the same time as Google. He told his boss at Dow Jones about it, but they didn’t really care since they weren’t an internet company.

Robin Li quit Dow Jones, and eventually launched Baidu, the search giant that crushed Google in China.”
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[slide
permalink=”after-google-got-its-first-angel-investment-larry-and-sergey-went-to-burger-king-for-breakfast-3″
title=”After Google got its first angel investment, Larry and Sergey went to Burger King for breakfast”
content=”Larry Page and Sergey Brin demoed their product for Andy Bechtolsheim. He took a brief look at it, and decided to give them a $100,000 check on the spot. They didn’t even have a bank account yet. He told them to deposit the check when they did. To celebrate they went to Burger King.”
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[slide
permalink=”googles-new-social-effort-1-is-being-panned-by-a-key-team-member-4″
title=”Google’s new social effort, “+1” is being panned by a “key team member””
content=”Here’s a juicy nugget buried in ‘In The Plex’. A ‘key team member’ says Google +1, its social effort, is ‘not Google at its best,’ and it is ‘reactive.'”
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[slide
permalink=”one-third-of-all-search-queries-are-first-time-searches-meaning-its-the-first-time-that-combination-of-words-has-ever-been-used-5″
title=”One third of all search queries are first time searches, meaning it’s the first time that combination of words has ever been used.”
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[slide
permalink=”larry-and-sergey-thought-it-would-be-cool-to-laser-google-onto-the-moon-6″
title=”Larry and Sergey thought it would be cool to laser Google onto the moon”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”of-all-the-ceos-google-interviewed-eric-schmidt-was-the-only-one-that-had-been-to-burning-man-which-was-a-major-plus-7″
title=”Of all the CEOs Google interviewed, Eric Schmidt was the only one that had been to burning man, which was a major plus.”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”larry-page-suggested-taking-goats-as-payments-from-customers-in-uzbekistan-8″
title=”Larry Page suggested taking goats as payments from customers in Uzbekistan”
content=”When Google was rolling out its ad system, it had to develop a payment infrastructure to accept money for ads. Not all countries take credit cards, so Larry Page suggested Google could take the local currency. In Uzbekistan, for instance, he suggested taking goats as a payment.”
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[slide
permalink=”terry-semel-laughed-at-sergey-and-larry-when-they-told-him-yahoos-acquisition-of-overture-meant-war-9″
title=”Terry Semel laughed at Sergey and Larry when they told him Yahoo’s acquisition of Overture meant war”
content=”Larry and Sergey stormed in to Yahoo after it bought Overture, and told Terry Semel it mean the companies were at war. Semel just responded by saying, ‘Are you going to bomb us?'”
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[slide
permalink=”aol-was-a-big-reason-google-thrived-10″
title=”AOL was a big reason Google thrived”
content=”Right when Google was figuring out how to make money on search, it had an opportunity to land a partnership with AOL. It would serve search results and ads for AOL. But, AOL wanted $50 million guaranteed from Google. It only had $10 million in the bank at the time. If it couldn’t deliver the results, the company would be bankrupted.

Google took a chance, and it paid off. It beat out Overture to win the AOL deal, and as soon as it started serving up search results for AOL it became a profit machine.”
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[slide
permalink=”googles-code-name-for-buzz-was-taco-town-it-was-based-on-this-snl-skit-11″
title=”Google’s code name for Buzz was “Taco Town.” It was based on this SNL skit.”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”it-took-google-25-interviews-before-it-decided-on-hiring-one-of-its-key-employees-12″
title=”It took Google 25 interviews before it decided on hiring one of its key employees”
content=”Kim Malone had to endure a 25 interview process before she was hired by Google. And she had the ‘perfect Google resume’ for a non-engineer according to Sheryl Sandberg.

Google would routinely do 20 interviews before hiring someone, even though it knew the usefulness of the interviews fell off after 4. Nowadays there are fewer interviews and it takes 45-60 days to go from interview to hired.”
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[slide
permalink=”larry-and-sergey-hate-golf-according-to-former-google-ad-man-jeff-levick-13″
title=””Larry and Sergey hate golf,” according to former Google ad man Jeff Levick”
content=”Levick also says, ‘Google has never sponsored a golf event and never will.’ It used to bum out Google ad sales people when they’d hear about some awesome Yahoo golf outing with ad agencies.

Ad boss Tim Armstrong would try to cheer his troops up by saying, ‘They have to take people on golf outings because they have nothing else.’

Maybe Google’s ad sales people should have been happy to have any job. Larry Page once asked, ‘Why do we need this team?’ when in a meeting about Google’s salesforce.”
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[slide
permalink=”new-google-employees-are-called-nooglers-and-during-their-first-friday-all-hands-meetings-they-have-to-wear-beanies-with-propellers-14″
title=”New Google employees are called “Nooglers” and during their first Friday all hands meetings they have to wear beanies with propellers”
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[slide
permalink=”some-googlers-decided-to-make-a-zip-line-to-connect-its-new-building-with-the-main-hq-the-city-of-mountain-view-shut-it-down-says-levy-15″
title=”Some Googlers decided to make a zip line to connect its new building with the main HQ. The city of Mountain View shut it down, says Levy.”
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[slide
permalink=”larry-and-sergey-smell-things-most-of-us-dont-smell-so-google-has-a-super-strong-air-filter-system-at-its-hq-16″
title=”Larry and Sergey “smell things most of us don’t smell” so Google has a super strong air filter system at its HQ”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”google-gives-employees-a-lot-of-swag-t-shirts-sweatshirts-and-even-a-backpack-filled-with-supplies-in-case-of-an-earthquake-17″
title=”Google gives employees a lot of swag — t-shirts, sweatshirts, and even a backpack filled with supplies in case of an earthquake”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”larry-and-sergey-are-obsessed-with-sat-scores-18″
title=”Larry and Sergey are obsessed with SAT scores”
content=”When the Google founders were interviewing 35-year old Stacy Sullivan for the top HR position they asked her what she got on her SATs. She wasn’t the only one. R.J. Pittman, 39 at the time, also says he was asked about his SATs while Google was wooing him. Google really thinks it needs that data to determine how smart you are.”
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[slide
permalink=”larry-page-wanted-investors-to-take-a-test-before-they-could-buy-google-stock-19″
title=”Larry Page wanted investors to take a test before they could buy Google stock”
content=”When Google was IPOing, Larry Page tried to make potential investors take a test just to make sure they really understood Google, and weren’t jumping on board because it was trendy. The SEC squashed the move.”
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[slide
permalink=”when-google-had-its-ipo-the-head-of-engineering-said-if-he-saw-fancy-sports-cars-in-the-parking-lot-bought-with-google-stock-he-would-smash-them-with-a-baseball-bat-20″
title=”When Google had its IPO, the head of engineering said if he saw fancy sports cars in the parking lot bought with Google stock he would smash them with a baseball bat”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”the-youtube-founders-offered-hot-women-100-for-every-10-videos-of-themselves-theyd-post-21″
title=”The YouTube founders offered hot women $100 for every 10 videos of themselves they’d post”
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[slide
permalink=”kai-fu-lee-told-microsoft-to-buy-google-in-2002-but-bill-gates-thought-the-price-was-too-high-22″
title=”Kai-Fu Lee told Microsoft to buy Google in 2002, but Bill Gates thought the price was too high.”
content=”‘It’s a company without revenue, but they’re asking for $2 billion. Those kids are crazy!’ said Gates.”
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[slide
permalink=”larry-page-says-think-big-even-if-you-fail-at-your-ambitious-thing-its-very-hard-to-fail-completely-23″
title=”Larry Page says think big: “Even if you fail at your ambitious thing, it’s very hard to fail completely.””
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”want-more-on-google-24″
title=”Want more on Google?”
content=”The 21 Most Important Googlers You’ve Never Heard Of »
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[/slideshow]