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Everything is impossible until it's not: August edition

How did a chance meeting at a university tour change all of our lives? Disruptive moments can be found in the most unexpected of places.


Everything is impossible — until it isn’t. At Strike, we’re looking back on disruptive moments that changed the world. From technology that has shaped our lives to feats of human strength and resilience that were never thought possible, every month we’ll bring you a moment in history that changed everything.

For any and every question, there’s a single place we all go. Not that long ago, it would have been considered impossible that the answer to every question on earth — from the most surreal and silly to the most serious — could be found in the palm of your hand. But in August 1998, with a $100,000 check, Google Inc. was born.

What’s the most popular type of dog in the UK? How wide is a stingray's wingspan? Are other people happy? What’s the best kind of cheese? Now, no matter what you’re asking, you’re going to Google. And it all started because of a relatively chance encounter — Larry Page met Sergey Brin when he was touring Stanford looking at grad schools.

Now, it’s estimated that ​​Google processes 63,000 searches every single second. "

Despite some initial disagreements — apparently, their first meeting didn't go so smoothly — the pair started working together the following year and started building what would one day become the world's most popular search engine.

Even though there were some missteps along the way (they originally called the search engine “Backrub” — we’re all happy that didn’t stick), they kept pushing the boundaries of how we could navigate the web and, ultimately, change the way we searched forever.

That $100,000 check allowed them to move from their dorms and set up offices in the garage. Though the company went through some rapid growth, they never lost their disruptive mindset or passion for innovation and tried to keep that same playful, exploratory spirit that got them started.

“Even in the beginning, things were unconventional: from Google’s initial server (made of Lego) to the first 'Doodle' in 1998: a stick figure in the logo announcing to site visitors that the entire staff was playing hooky at the Burning Man Festival,” the company explains. “'Don't be evil' captured the spirit of our intentionally unconventional methods. In the years that followed, the company expanded rapidly – hiring engineers, building a sales team and introducing the first company dog, Yoshka. Google outgrew the garage and eventually moved to its current headquarters (aka 'The Googleplex') in Mountain View, California. The spirit of doing things differently made the move. So did Yoshka.” 

Along with a company dog, famous doodles, and one of the world’s most recognizable logos, Google changed the way that we consume information. Now, it’s estimated that ​​Google processes 63,000 searches every single second — which just happens to be 5.6 billion searches per day and approximately 2 trillion searches in a year.

We go there for advice, for entertainment, for connection — it’s built into the fabric of our days, our works, and our lives. We use it to map our journies and plan our reunions. It is everywhere. In fact, “google” entered the dictionary in 2006 — not too bad for a chance meeting at a university tour and a $100,000 start-up check.

We're always looking to dream bigger and find ways to make the impossible possible. Next month, we'll be back with another moment that changed everything.