Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are without a doubt the most legendary and low-key characters in Silicon Valley. The news of both leaving this week is shocking, and it seems inevitable, because looking back at the important moments of the 23-year career of Page and Brin, this result is already showing signs. The picture is from Oriental IC, This article is from WeChat public account: New Intel (ID: AI_era) , source: theverge, author: Nick Statt, editor: Xiao Qin

No two tech company executives like Google co-founder Larry Page (Larry Page) and Sergey Bu Lin (Sergey Brin) is as mysterious and understated.

These two people, since founding Google more than 20 years ago as a graduate student in computer science at Stanford University, and then announced the reorganization of Google ’s parent company Alphabet about 5 years ago. There have been few public appearances in the past 5 years or so.

However, on Tuesday afternoon US time, Page and Brin issued a shocking statement: They will also give control of Alphabet to current Google CEO Sandar Pichai (Sundar Pichai) is actually a permanent exit from management.

Although this news sounds sudden, it feels inevitable. It seems that Page and Brin have not been deeply involved in the daily operations of the company for a long time. Now this statement is only an official announcement. It’s Sundar Pichaishow, from beginning to end. (Page and Brin will retain their controlling and seat on the board, and both plan to maintain regular communication with Pichai.)

For the two most mysterious technology leaders in a generation, leaving their company while the company’s market value is hovering near $ 1 trillion is actually a suitable ending. But it’s also a disturbing moment for Google. The search giant has been facing increasing scrutiny from employees, media agencies, activists, regulators and lawmakers since Page and Brin first retreated in the summer of 2005. Many of these controversies are caused by Page and Brin’s inventions, either because they didn’t foresee how Google could cause harm, or because they explicitly steered the company in a direction that violates standard corporate ethics.

In this context, it is important to review the important moments in their careers and how their actions have had a huge impact not only on the technology industry but also on the Internet and society itself. What Page and Brin created may last for decades, so understanding how Google has evolved to this day will be an important step in figuring out where it will go in the future.

Google Microlabel used from September 15, 1997 to September 27, 1998

1996-1999: Page and Brin meet at Stanford to create Google

August 1996: Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University, developed PAGERANK, and founded Google

Page and Brin met at Stanford University in 1995, when they were both at the school’s computer science graduate programs. The origin of Google is a story about the origin of an idea, and this idea is Page’s vision that the World Wide Web search engine can rank links based on how often they are linked by other pages. With the help of Brin, this idea became PageRank, the basic algorithm of Google Search. The search product went live on the Stanford University network in 1996.

1996: Brin’s resume hides “goals” detailing his future lifestyle

Brin’s 1996 resume is still available online at Stanford University ( Prior to founding Google, the projects he was working on at the time included a movie rating platform and a transcoding tool that turned academic papers into HTML files.

However, if you look closely at the source code of Brin’s resume page, you will find that Brin’s hidden “goal” is naked: “Big office, high income, less work. Frequent business trips abroad will be a bonus “Fortunately for Brin, he has enjoyed this lifestyle for the rest of Google’s career since he moved from co-president with Page to the company’s experimental division.

Source code of Brin resume page

1998: Page and Brin complain about an ad-supported search engine in a Stanford paper

Although Google is now one of the most powerful online advertising forces in the world, Page and Brin were initially not keen to turn their prototype search engine into an advertising sales machine. An article at Stanford entitled “Anatomy of a Large Hypertext Web Search Engine “ (The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine) The reason for such a search engine: it will not favor entities that pay high prices to improve rankings:

Generally, from a consumer perspective, the better the search engine, the fewer ads consumers need. This will of course erode the advertising-supported business model of existing search engines. However, there is always money from advertisers who want consumers to change products or buy brand new products. However, we believe that the advertising problem has led to enough mixed incentives, so it is important to have a competitive, transparent, academic search engine.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin

1999: Page and Brin try to sell Google for $ 1 million, then drop to $ 750,000

In 1998, Page and Brin officially formed Google, and cleverly changed the company ’s name from Backrub to Google.

In fact, according to Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, Page and Brin tried to sell Google to Internet portal Excite for $ 1 million in 1999. The well-known venture capitalist had negotiated with Page and Brin to reduce the price to $ 750,000, but Excite CEO George Bell still refused to accept the deal. Google’s market value is now close to $ 913 billion.

2000-2002:” No evil “slogan established, rejection of Yahoo acquisition, Schmidt era begins

2000: Google regards the slogan of “do no evil” as the primary value of a company

There are mixed opinions about the origin of “don’t do evil” (do n’t be evil) . Gmail inventor Paul Buchheit wrote on his personal blog in 2007 that he coined the term at a conference about company value as a “means to combat other companies, especially our competitors, at the time we looked at Come, this slogan is using users to some extent. ”

However, someone quoted Marissa Mayer, an early Google engineer and later Yahoo CEO, who wrote the phrase on a whiteboard in 1999. Buchheit also confirmed this statement, saying that after that meeting to discuss company values, Patel wrote the phrase on the company’s whiteboard to help it spread within the company.

No matter who the origins came from, Page and Brin agreed in about 2000 to make this slogan officially a company’s values. This sentence was later formally explained in the company’s prospectus and S-1 listing application. “We will adhere to the principle of” do no evil “, maintain user trust, and do not accept payment for search results,” Page said in S-1.

August 2001: Page resigns CEO post to Eric Schmidt

After officially registering and launching Google to the public in 1998, Page and Brin were in charge of managing the period when Google was one of the fastest growing companies in history. This responsibility is a bit too heavy for those who drop out of graduate school. Especially earlier in the year, Page made a high-profile attempt to fire all Google project managers, a move that was eventually reversed after his leadership was publicly dismissed.

Finally, at the request of investors, Page and Brin invited Novell’s CEO Eric Schmidt (Eric Schmidt) . Brin described Schmidt’s management as “paternalistic oversight” in a television interview in 2001 (parental supervision) . For Google’s shareholders and more experienced executive leadership within the company, this is a viable way to avoid the stubborn and unsociable Page while hurting the company while the company is growing exponentially.

Eric Schmidt

However, in the final analysis, Page has the ability to allow others to step in and control everything. This is an experience he will learn throughout his career. He recognizes that power and forward-looking leadership are not always inseparable. He and Brin You can both retain your influence and not oversee all aspects of your business. Although at the time, Page was very upset that he had to give control to non-engineers.

2002: Yahoo wants to buy Google for $ 3 billion, but Page and Brin reject it

If you go back in 2019 and learn about Yahoo’s final fate, you may find it hard to believe. In 2002, Yahoo was an unprecedented Internet giant that wanted to enter Google’s fast-growing search business. Yahoo was willing to pay as much as $ 3 billion for it, which was too high at the time because Yahoo CEO Terry Semel thought the startup’s revenue was sluggish.

Yahoo sees the value of Google, which is commendable-after all, Yahoo’s leadership is correct, and Google later became a great company-but Page and Brin are not planning to sell the company. Less than 3 years have passed since they were willing to sell Google for $ 750,000, and Google has grown into an entity that they think is worth more than 4,000 times that price.

Looking forward for about 15 years, Yahoo was sold to Verizon, and then merged into Oath, a media group that eventually changed its name to Verizon media. It is said that people are still using its email service.

2004-2008: Google goes public and acquires Android, YouTube, etc. with huge investment

August 2004: Google goes public with a market value of $ 27 billion; Page and Brin create Class B stocks with super voting rights

Just a few years after hiring Schmidt as CEO, Google is developing rapidly like a rocket, not only to the technology industry, but also to the entire US business sector. In August 2004, Google applied for an initial public offering of (ipo) , raising $ 1.7 billion, bringing Google’s valuation to $ 27 billion.

A particularly noteworthy aspect of Google’s IPO is that Page and Brin decided to create a so-called super-voting Class B stock, which only they, Schmidt, and a few other executives got. Class B stocks have 10 times the voting power of Class A stocks, which means that Page and Brin will receive more than 50% of the shares to maintain permanent control of the company, even after they officially step down.

At the time, Page called the move “a way to maximize long-term value.” Later, many well-known Silicon Valley companies including Facebook followed Page’s approach. Co-founders believe shareholders’ focus on short-term profits could jeopardize their goals. “We are creating a long-term and stable corporate structure. By investing in Google, you are making unusually long-term bets on this team, especially Sergey and me, and our innovative approach,” Page wrote.

August 2005: Page acquired ANDROID for $ 50 million without telling Schmidt

Paige mostOne of the prescient business computing was the rise of mobile computing, and he quickly moved in the summer of 2005 to acquire a small startup called Android for $ 50 million. When he did this, he did not tell Schmidt, who was also the CEO at the time, because Page believes that Android co-founder Andy Rubin (Andy Rubin) < / span> can help companies break into the mobile software market.

Of course, Android will continue to be the most popular mobile operating system in the world. In 2007, just after Rubin watched Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ (Steve Jobs) launch the launch of the original iPhone, the Android project The final correction is completed. Rubin was in a taxi in Las Vegas at the time. He watched the Apple conference through a webcast, and was shocked by the product released by Jobs. This anecdote is famous. But with the release of T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream in 2008, the first Android phone came out and laid the foundation for the world’s first open source mobile operating system.

October 2006: Susan Vosicki convinces Page and Brin to agree to buy YouTube

Susan Wojcick (Susan Wojcicki) is Google’s No. 16 employee and a founding employee of this company’s garage period. This means she has the trust of Page and Brin, but to get Google’s leadership to approve a $ 1.65 billion sky-high acquisition of an online video site called YouTube, she really needs to be persuasive.

Worski, who is in charge of Google’s own video platform, quickly decided that in this online videoWith fierce competition, YouTube is clearly the winner. So when Google still had the upper hand at the negotiating table, she quickly bought it. “I saw an opportunity to combine these two services,” Waxick recalled in the book Measure What Matters by venture capitalist John Doerr. I compiled some spreadsheets to justify the $ 1.65 billion acquisition price. … and convinced Larry and Sergey. “It turned out to be a wise decision to listen to Wasiki, despite the endless controversy at YouTube.

September 2008: Thanks to Sundar Pichai, Google released the CHROME browser

After Page and Brin hired a group of developers from Mozilla Firefox, with the advice of superstar product manager Sundar Pichai, Google set out to build a better web browser. Although the then-CEO Schmidt insisted that Google stay away from the browser, he later called it “the fierce browser war.” The final product is Chrome. Chrome eventually dominated the market, which was one of Pichai’s most amazing business successes, which made the product manager promote to CEO a few years later.

2011-2014: The end of the Schmidt era, Page returns, undercurrent surging

January 2011: Page re-appoints CEO, Schmidt becomes executive chairman

After 10 years at the helm of Google, Schmidt ended his term at Google with a cheeky tweet, saying: “Google no longer needs to be guarded by adults every day.” This is the largest in Google’s history Management changes, Page regained CEO and Schmidt became executive chairman.

All three have retained stocks with super voting rights, which gives them full control over the company’s direction, but the move marks a major shift for Google. In an interview with The New York Times, Page said: “One of my main goals is to make Google a big company with the agility, soul, passion, and speed of a startup.”

For Google, this is the beginning of a new era, with Page and Brin leveraging their control of the company, launching the Google X Lab and further exploring experimental hardware and long-term projects that are not in their core product range .

20June 2012: Brin demonstrated Google Glass with a live skydive demo

At that time, Brin’s official title was “co-founder” and he was mainly responsible for developing new products. He will be remembered forever as the first person to launch Google Glass. Google Glass is the first product developed by Google X (now called X) , this laboratory is also known as the “Moon Landing Factory” < span class = "text-remarks" label = "Remarks"> (moonshot factory) . Google Glass was an early attempt at head-mounted display devices, and criticism surrounding privacy issues, design, etc. made it a failed project.

At that time, Brin’s official title was “co-founder” and he was mainly responsible for developing new products. One will always remember that Brin was the first to launch the mass-produced facial computer Google Glass. Google X (now just X) , the first product developed, and the internal weasel project in the laboratory is called “Moon Explorer Factory,” Google Eyewear was an early attempt at head-up displays that would fail, while exposing privacy issues, design criticism, overall chaos, and chaotic launches.

But when Brin showed this device for the first time at the 2012 Google I / O conference, it seemed like the future really came down from the sky. Google hired a group of skydivers to jump off a plane over San Francisco. At the same time, the skydiving process was broadcast live through the Google Glass worn by the skydivers. Without a doubt, this is the most impressive technology demonstration since the iPhone was released, and this is what Page and Brin told the world that Google is not just developing boring web products. They signal to all people watching at the venue and online that Google will realize the future faster than any competitor.

2012: Page suffers from vocal cord paralysis

Most of 2012, Page was mostly silent, and the next year he revealed in an article on Google+ that he was suffering from rare vocal cord paralysis. This situation has affected at different stages of his life, but he was hit especially hard the year he regained control of Google. This caused him to miss the company’s I / O conference in 2012.

Although Page has continued to speak at the 2013 I / O Conference a few days after the condition was disclosed, this recognition of the condition will mark a significant reduction in Page’s speech activities. In the next few years, Page began not to participate in earnings conference calls, and rarely gave interviews to the media, because his condition affected his breathing, and his voice became quieter and hoarse.

May 2013: Page discusses his vision for GOOGLE ISLAND

One of Page’s most compelling speeches, and his last public speech, was at the Google I / O Conference in May 2013. A year ago, Brin announced the launch of Google Glass on the same occasion. That day, Page wore a bright red T-shirt and a black jacket, detailing his vision for the so-called Google Island: where technological advances can be moved away from stupid issues such as regulatory requirements and ethics Advance.

This speech is mainly Page’s repeating his desire for a different type of technology industry, which is not responsible for company interests, shareholders and advertising. He wanted a world where he could develop new technologies and benefit humanity.

But this is a weird speech, it feels like the beginning of Page’s transformation into a super rich, detached founder, or at least the first public omen, he can’t stand ordinary people day after day Struggling for the day. Of course, if you remember this, you will definitely think of the imaginative guess about life on Google Island written by tech journalist Mat Honan for Wired Magazine.

September 2013: Google founded CALICO, focusing on life extension

With the launch of Google X, the debut of Google Glass, and the unveiling of the company’s self-driving car project, the search giant turned its attention to science. Page is particularly interested in extending life. As a result, the company created Calico through its Google Ventures, a biotech company dedicated to fighting death. Led by Bill Maris, founding partner of Google Ventures, he hired Art Levinson, former CEO of Genentech.

This is another sign of Google’s willingness to invest heavily in issues that go far beyond online search and mobile operating systems. To date, however, Calico seems to have failed to make any meaningful progress in the life sciences, medicine, or biotechnology industries. It’s unclear what the company’s current focus is.

2014: Brin has an extramarital affair with employee Amanda Rosenberg

It can be said that back to the end of Brin ’s era at Google, he was full of energy, like Tony Stark. (Tony stark) like futuristic characters. But in early 2014, a series of disastrous news detailed his extramarital affairs with an employee of the Google Glass team.

As Google Glass appears to be transitioning from an experimental product of Google X to a mature product, Amanda Rosenberg (Amanda Rosenber) becomes The marketing manager of Google Glass began to develop a relationship with Brin. At that time, Brin was married to Anne Wojcicki, the sister of Google employee Susan Wojcicki. Anne Wojcicki was the founder and CEO of gene technology company 23andMe.

This incident is a rare but conspicuous stain on Brin’s career, although his shareholding in the company can prevent any attempt to oust him from office. Brin and Worswick divorceNow, it is said that after this incident, Page did not talk to his co-founder for a while. Rosenberg has recently begun public discussions of the impact of this incident on her career and personal life.

October 2014: Andy Rubin leaves Google, but Page chooses not to disclose allegations of sexual misconduct

Google is also working on another case of sexual misconduct, but this time it’s much more serious. At the end of 2013, Android co-founder Andy Rubin (Andy Rubin) left the company while Rubin was in charge of Google ’s Robotic Repeatant robotics. According to reports, Rubin was leaving peacefully. “I hope everything goes well with Andy,” Page said in a statement at the time. “With Android, he has created something truly amazing-with over 1 billion satisfied users.”

But behind the scenes, an employee accused Rubin of forcing her to have sex in a hotel room, and Rubin was fired. Google investigated the claim, determined it to be credible, and decided that Rubin had to leave, but Page, Brin and other members of the executive team were said to have decided not to disclose the information to the media.

Rubin left Google with a $ 90 million exit bonus and a $ 150 million stock award. Until October 2018, the New York Times published a report detailing the allegations against Rubin and how Google executives handled them. Rubin then founded Essential, a smartphone company, and Google decided to dissolve its robotics division and bring its most valuable asset to robotics maker Boston Dynamics (Boston Dynamics) to SoftBank.

Google’s parent company Alphabet is internally investigating how its executives handle sexual harassment. After many other incidents besides Rubin were exposed, a large-scale employee protest broke out in 2018 in Google, which was deemed to be against Google’s high-yield against Lu Bin mishandled the response.

2015-2019: Alphabet is established, Pecs and Brin gradually disappear

August 2015: Google reorganized into Alphabet

By the summer of 2015, Google was very different from when Page was CEO four years ago. The company is involved in self-driving cars, wearable technology, the Nexus smartphone line, and many other products and experimental studies that cover artificial intelligence, cloud computing and quantum computing, and even fiber optic internet.

Given this complexity, it’s time for Page and Brin to change. “Our company is working well today, but we think we can make it leaner and more responsible. So we are creating a new company,” Page wrote on his blog.

The new company was named Alphabet, and Page and Brin pulled from Google’s day-to-day management and served as Alphabet’s CEO and president, respectively. This process makes Google’s financial data easier to analyze, as various experimental departments are separated from Google. More importantly, Sundar Pichai was promoted to Google CEO.

In the careers of Page and Brin, this was the moment when the two decided to let go of the steering wheel, and also the beginning of their more serious retreat from the public view. Of course, the two still retain their shares with super voting rights, and Pichai reports directly to Page. During the reorganization, Google abandoned the official motto of “do no evil” and replaced it with the Alphabet code of conduct of “do the right thing.” (Page and Brin retained this sentence in a separate Google Code of Conduct.)

2016: Page begins investing in “flying cars”

After Page handed Google control entirely to Pichai and started as Alphabet’s CEO, he more or less disappeared from the public eye. He still makes regular appearances in the company’s plenary, and you can also see him and Brin on GoogleplexWander around the park. But he never spoke at an investor conference call, media, or product launch.

The last project he participated in was “flying cars”. More precisely, it is eVTOLs, short for vertical take-off and landing electric vehicles. Page is now involved in a number of startups as investors and consultants dedicated to bringing aerial electric vehicles to market. It’s unclear why he’s so interested in the technology, and why he’s invested money in this particular market during the years after Alphabet’s reorganization-he hasn’t been interviewed for his interests.

January 2017: Brin makes a rare public appearance in protest of Trump’s immigration order

After Peggy’s plan to disappear from public view in 2015, Brin has also become a hermit in a sense. It’s hard to find any information about what he has done over the years since becoming president of Alphabet and leaving Google. There are reports that he is building a huge “air yacht”, an aircraft that transports supplies for humanitarian missions. Last year, he joined the ranks of technology industry leaders and expressed concern about the rapid development of artificial intelligence. But the only news is that.

However, in January 2017, he appeared in his personal capacity at San Francisco International Airport to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration-related administrative orders; Brin was a Russian immigrant. This naturally made headlines, and Brin and Pichai also spoke shortly after the company promised to support immigration and oppose Trump’s executive order. Since then, Brin has never made a public appearance in support of any political cause.

Screenshot from Brightbutter News Network

September 2018: Brightbutter News leaks video of Page and Brian Google plenary after Trump ’s election

Although Page and Brin faded out of public view around 2015, he reportedlyThey were very active at Google’s famous weekly TGIY plenary. At this meeting, executives answer questions from employees and talk about important topics in the company and in the news. In 2016, shortly after the election of Donald Trump (Donald Trump) , one such meeting was leaked to two years later (Breitbart) .

Brin said at the beginning of the meeting: “Most people here are very frustrated and sad. I am very disgusted with this election, and I know many of you are the same. This is a stressful period, with our Many values ​​conflict. I think now is a good time to reflect …. It is clear that many people are different from our values. “

This may be the last time the public has seen Google’s co-founders speak in front of a crowd, and it’s even more certain after the announcement that the two will step down on Tuesday. Earlier this month, Pichai announced to employees that due to news leaks, Google will reduce the weekly all-staff meeting because Google’s leadership has faced increasing internal and external pressure since Alphabet’s reorganization. Although Page and Brin are no longer involved in the company’s operations, they still control the company because they have shares with super voting rights.

This article is from WeChat public account: New Intel (ID: AI_era) , source: theverge , Author: Nick Statt, Editor: Xiao Qin < / span>