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It was Larry Page who first hit on the idea of analyzing Internet links to rate their relevance to a given information search. At first Page was only interested in writing a fun and interesting dissertation, but he soon realized his idea had far greater potential. With his classmate Sergey Brin, he presented his work to acclaim at the World Wide Web conference in 1998. Within a year they had raised over $30 million to start a company, Google Inc., providing a free Web search service that can return an ordered list of results in a fraction of a second. The simple white page with the multi-colored logo was an immediate hit with Web surfers around the world. The web site generates enormous revenue by providing advertising space, linked by content to the results of a given search.
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Google was co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University and the company was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 7, 1998. Google's initial public offering took place on August 19, 2004, raising $1.67 billion, making it worth $23 billion. Through a series of new product developments, acquisitions and partnerships, the company has expanded its initial search and advertising business into other areas, including web-based email, online mapping, office productivity, and video sharing, among others.
"Brin and Page's innovation-friendly office culture (beyond the famous free food, there's the company's "20 Percent Time," which encourages engineers to spend a fifth of their time pursuing whatever projects ignite their interest) has created fertile ground for spectacular successes beyond search, including AdSense/AdWords, Google News, Google Maps, Google Earth, and Gmail. The company's belief in clean design and ethical ad sales, and its corporate philosophy - often simply stated as "Don't be evil" - continue to set the company apart."
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