Larry Page co-founded Google (now known as Alphabet) with Sergey Brin and today, he is one of the world's wealthiest individuals. Most of his wealth comes from his stake in Alphabet, which has a market capitalization of $1.5trn.
According to Bloomberg, Larry Page has a total net worth of $122bn, making him the seventh richest person in the world and sitting close to Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison on the billionaire rich list.
Here we look at how Larry Page built Google into one of the world’s most prominent tech companies and how it turned him into a multi-billionaire in the process.
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Larry Page and Google
Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University in the late 1990s. They decided to work together on a tool that would revolutionise the way people find information on the internet - what we would now call a search engine.
While there were search engines at the time, many were poorly designed and had many flaws, making it hard to find the right information. Page and Brin set out to change that and build a tool that would be more efficient and accurate than any other option available.
The Stanford students began by developing a mathematical algorithm, which ranked web pages based on the number and quality of links pointing to them (a part of the ranking process that’s still used today). Initially, the founders named their search engine "Backrub" and tested it on the Stanford University website.
The results from the initial test were highly positive, and Page and Brin set out to take the platform to a wider audience. They registered the domain name "Google.com" in 1997 and started working on the project full-time, setting up their first office in a garage in Menlo Park, California. The duo only hired a handful of employees to begin with and worked tirelessly to refine their algorithm with the overall goal of making Google the most effective search engine product in the world.
In 1998, Google officially launched to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," and it soon became the world’s go-to search engine. The name Google has even become synonymous with searching the web for information.
And over the years, Google has branched out, taking its position in search to build out other services, using its data to help refine products and improve the user experience. Its Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive, and YouTube products are used by hundreds of millions of people around the world every day.
Larry Page’s net worth booms as Google expands
In October 2015, Google announced that it was rebranding itself as Alphabet. The move was designed to restructure all of the group’s individual divisions under one umbrella, better reflecting the diversified nature of the enterprise.
There were a couple of reasons behind the company’s decision.
First, Google had grown into a massive conglomerate of businesses and services. It had expanded into areas such as advertising, mobile operating systems, cloud services, artificial intelligence, and more.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has also played a huge role in Google moving forward with technology and staying competitive. According to Fortune, the use of AI has added more than $18 billion to the co-founders’ combined wealth. As Google continued to grow, it became increasingly challenging to manage all of these different businesses under one umbrella.
Second, Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Bri found themselves spending more time managing the company and less time working on these ambitious projects - the reason why they started the business in the first palace. By creating Alphabet, Page and Brin hoped to give themselves more time to focus on these new ventures.
Third, Google has faced increasing regulatory scrutiny in recent years, particularly in Europe. By creating Alphabet, Google hoped to separate its core search and advertising business from its other ventures to make it easier for Alphabet (and the Google subsidiary) to avoid regulatory scrutiny.
It was also an opportunity for Google to shed some of the negative ideas that had developed around the company. It has faced plenty of criticism over the years around issues such as privacy, censorship and market control. By splitting itself apart, and showing regulators its divisions are all working independently, the group heaped to present itself as a more responsible and innovative company.
The future of Alphabet
Google’s transition to Alphabet marked the company's shift from a search engine to one of the world’s most influential technology businesses, which today is responsible for billions of hours of user content every day.
Despite the fact that Page and Brin have taken a step back from the daily management of Alphabet, they have a long-term goal in mind. Alphabet is allowing the founders to look to the future, and follow their own interests, such as prolonging human life, and further work on AI and self-driving.
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Vaishali graduated in journalism from Leeds University and she has experience working with the likes of Leicester Mercury, Inews and The Week. She also comes from a marketing background, where she has done copywriting and content creation for businesses.
Currently writing about all things personal finance, Vaishali is passionate about finding the best deals around, whether it's the best credit cards or the cheapest personal loans, as well as sharing top money hacks to help people save and better manage their money.
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