Within the last seven days, Google has altered and augmented my perceptions of tulips, mind control, Japanese platform shoes, violent African dictatorships, 3-D high-definition wallpaper, spicy chicken dishes, tiled hot tubs, biological image-processing schemes, Chihuahua hygiene, and many more critical topics. Clearly, thanks to Google, I am not the man I was seven days ago.
—John Gaeta, visual effects supervisor, the Matrix trilogy
Imagine doing that for someone? Imagine doing that for 90 million people a day? Larry Page and Sergey Brin can say they have changed the world. Their story, and that of Google, makes one of the most interesting tales of this century or the best "so far," as admits Brin, "the number-one factor that has contributed to our success over the past seven years has been luck."
It has been a dramatic journey from when Page and Brin celebrated milestones by going to Burger King for hamburgers and when they played roller hockey in the parking lot with employees. Those were the good-old-days. Google has moved on to the good new days and to a time when it has enormous responsibility to the public, to employees, and to shareholders.
"There are people who think we are plenty full of ourselves right now, but from inside at least, it doesn't look that way," said Craig Silverstein, Google's technology director and its first employee. "I think what keeps us humble is realizing how much further we have to go."
Google also presents one of ...