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Book Excerpt: The Birth of Google

By - July 28, 2005

Cover13 08Wired is running an excerpt of my forthcoming book in the August issue, and it’s online starting today.

I’m of two minds about the excerpt – the book has much more to it than the history of Google – but on the other hand, I’m deeply pleased that the magazine I helped start is, 13 years later, excerpting my first book. It’s part of a cover package on the ten year anniversary of Web 1.0 (the Netscape IPO in August 1995 being the starting gun).

As with the entire book, I very much hope that any errors, omissions, or plain stupidity that is apparent in this work will be pointed out by you, the reader, and that I can address them here and in any future printings.

While you are on Wired’s site, you must read Kevin Kelly’s wonderful piece called “We are the Web.” He nails what we all missed in Web 1.0, what we are striving toward in Web 2.0, and then journeys into the world of Web 10.0….as only Kevin can.

It’s great fun to have two of Wired’s three founding editors (Kevin was the founding Executive Editor) in the same issue at the same time.


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7 thoughts on “Book Excerpt: The Birth of Google

  1. Just for the historical record, it’s a gimmick to date the Web (or even the commercial Web) from the Netscape IPO. I first browsed the Web in 2001, and the commercial Web started in 2003 or 2004, depending on how commercial you want it to be before counting. The very reason Netscape’s IPO was so big was that it followed on top of several years of explosive growth of the Web.

  2. Sorry, years in the previous post should obviously be 1991 for the start of the academic Web and 1993-4 for the commercial Web. It’s so long ago now…

  3. RichB says:

    The original Google hardware was held together with Meccano (or Lego, I forget). It would be nice to mention this in the article. Google also used to have a picture of this hardware linked from their homepage (this was in the very early days). Perhaps the book should contain this picture?

  4. Congrats John! You started one of my 2 favorite magaiznes and continue to make me think everytime I visit. I’m looking forward to your new book.

  5. Zoli Erdos says:

    Great reading! I had no clue the term PageRank is a play on Larry’s name, I simply thought of webpage … I guess better than BrinRank :-)

  6. I think the story of how Google came into its revenue model is as interesting as the story of how the founders cooked up the search engine itself.

  7. John Lin says:

    I think Jon Kleinberg was still a Ph.d. student at MIT when he was at IBM (I could be wrong), not a Cornell professor yet.