Sunday, April 3, 2011

Making the Web Valuable

Who do you link to? The answer to understanding the connections between the billions of links on the web has created a company giant.

Larry Page, 38, co-founder of Google in 1998, is set to become CEO of the company tomorrow on April 4.

Page's parents were computer science professors in Michigan, and Larry, from a very early age, realized he wanted to invent things. "So I became really interested in technology...and business . . . probably from when I was 12, I knew I was going to start a company eventually."

Upon enrolling in a PhD program at Stanford University, Page was in search of a dissertation theme and considered exploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web understanding its link structure as a huge graph. He had reasoned that the "entire Web was loosely based on the premise of citation – after all, what is a link but a citation? If he could devise a method to count and qualify each backlink on the Web, the Web would become a more valuable place."

Sergey Brin, a fellow PhD student, and Page teamed up to develop the Page Rank algorithm and realized it could be used to develop a search engine far superior to existing ones.... and so we have Google today.

One writer anticipates that Page "has left little doubt about his top priority: to dissolve the bureaucracy and complacency that accompanied the company's rapid transformation into a 21st-century empire. Google is expected to end the year with more than 30,000 employees and $35-billion in annual revenue. (Page's fortune is valued at $19.8 billion.)

In Page's mind, the 13-year-old company needs to return to thinking and acting like a feisty startup. Rising Internet stars such as Facebook, Twitter and Groupon, all less than 8 years old, are developing products that could challenge Google and make its dominance of Internet search less lucrative."

Can Page help Google reach its full potential like Bill Gates has for Microsoft and Steve Jobs for Apple? Where lies the future growth for Google?