Early Interview With Google’s Page & Brin

This week was Google’s 10 year anniversary. Can you believe Google is only 10 and yet one of the largest companies in the world? Anyways, there was a lot of noise about this anniversary and the media covered really well where Google is at right now and where it’s going to but we’ve seen very little about where Google is coming from.

Below is a snipet of an interview that Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin gave in January 1999 to Karsten Lemm, a correspondent for the German newsmagazine Stern. The full interview can be found here.

Do you generate any revenue at the moment?

Sergey: You caught us at an interesting time. Right now, we’re thinking about generating some revenue. We have a number of ways to doing that. One thing is we can put up some advertising. The key there is to put up advertising that will be really useful to our users and not slow down our site. That way we won’t push people away from our site, but we’ll still take in some revenue. Another way would be co-branding. Provide the back-end search engine to other sites.

How do you see Google develop? At some point, do you see yourselves on par with AltaVista, Excite, all these other established search engines?

Sergey: I would say no. We want to be on par with Yahoo, or Amazon, AOL. AltaVista, Excite and [the others] are by no means viewed as the winners. There’s no question, we want to be number one in market share in terms of search. And I think we can do that in not so long. Past that, it’s really hard to predict. There’s really no reason to set our sights low. If you do things right you can make a big jump over everybody else.

Boy, these guys were right on! As much as I hate Google, I have to admit the business model is impeccable!

13 thoughts on “Early Interview With Google’s Page & Brin

  1. Hi, I liked the interview since it made Google’s stand clear in many areas. Their webmaster tools are simply magnificent. And, as Matt Cutts of Google says, “A Link is a Link, no matter where it comes from”, it perhaps brings up the essence of what is SEO all abvout.

  2. Way back in 1999 when I saw first time Google as a Search engine I thought it also a site which helps in search. But its growth in this decade is unimaginable and huge. Their strategy, we won’t push people from our site to make revenue is one such things made them no.1 SE today.

  3. I first visited google.com way back in 1999. Today I live within google universe most of my working hours in connection for my SEO assignments. The landing page of the google is as simple looking as ever but once you dig into it is a ocean of information which no one can explore completely in their life time…..

  4. You are right man, we all dislike google for a reason or the other, but those guys arrived at the stage just at the appropriate time. Their timing was perfect and the business model unbeatable and they are making their dough. No one can begrudge them on that.

  5. Google may ruffle quite a few feathers, but you’re right about their business model being impeccable…especially since they were mere grad students when Google was conceived!

  6. Google is a Phenomena, there are in did very few very businesses in histry that have achieved such a fit as Google has done in just 10 year. As Sergey said …”If you do things right you can make a big jump over everybody else” …. they just did it right under 10 years. ….man you can’t beat that.

  7. Ah, I really enjoyed reaidng their interview as I love to Google , from past 5/6 years for my personal use I m on Google only, I like their history – it always encourges that if one has courge & passion then can touch every horizon :)

    And I agree iwth you Adrita by the point of SEO.

  8. I too understand this is one of the frank business deals on people interest. One must be always in lucrative growth

  9. Around the same time I was working for LookSmart in London. After a boozy team-bonding session, I remember cornering my boss and haranguing him for LookSmart´s lack of cojones. I told him we needed to be more aggressive in promoting ourselves as a brand name. He retorted that it would be better for us to build partnerships with better-known names in the industry.
    As it turned out, I was right. LookSmart closed its European offices after losing a deal with Microsoft. See, boss, it wasn´t the drink talking.

  10. Wow, this is fascinating to see this! It’s funny, when you think of a company as big as Google is now, it’s hard to imagine that at one point it was just a little startup. It’s hard to imagine that at one point Larry was just a regular entrepreneur with an idea! I can’t even FATHOM that there was a day when they were THINKING about generating revenue but hadn’t started yet… that there was a time when they were HOPING to compete with other search engines of the day (whereas now, they dominate to the nth degree)! It’s just wild. Happy 10 yr. Anniversary, Google!

  11. They are only 10?! Haven’t they come such a long way!
    I really admire that they set goals to be the best in their industry. With this forward thinking it shows that anyone can achieve what they really desire if they work hard at it.
    Good on them! :)

  12. I don’t see why everybody hates Google. I love them. I have been able to find exactly what I want, when I want it, no long loading pages, no ‘internet explorer cannot display this page’, they seem to have done everything just right. They deserve to be the best, and with such modest co-founders…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *