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!