Tradition of Innovation: Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Co-founders | Summary and Q&A

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October 24, 2011
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Stanford
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Tradition of Innovation: Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Co-founders

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Summary

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google, discuss their time at Stanford and the impact of the university's culture of entrepreneurship on their success. They highlight the importance of bridging the gap between academia and the real world in order to bring about meaningful innovation.

Questions & Answers

Q: What was Larry Page's educational background at Stanford?

Larry Page studied computer science at Stanford from 1995 to 1998. Although he did not complete his PhD, he obtained his master's degree during this time.

Q: How did Larry Page and Sergey Brin meet?

Larry and Sergey first met during the PhD recruitment weekend at Stanford. They became good friends when Larry agreed to join Sergey and they started working together.

Q: What was Larry Page's initial idea that led to the creation of Google?

Larry had the idea of downloading all the links on the web and exploring potential applications for them. While it was not clear at that time what exactly they would do with the links, they eventually realized the potential for search, which eventually became Google.

Q: Why is the story of Google considered interesting?

The story of Google is interesting because it demonstrates the benefits of pure research. Larry and Sergey had no specific plan or direction initially, but their curiosity and experimentation led to the development of one of the most successful companies in the world.

Q: How has Stanford's culture of entrepreneurship influenced Larry and Sergey?

Stanford's culture of entrepreneurship and its expertise in making companies and bringing innovations to the world have had a profound impact on Larry and Sergey. They were attracted to Stanford because of this unique environment, which cultivates entrepreneurial thinking and has produced many important technology companies.

Q: How does Larry Page view Stanford's role in bridging the gap between academia and the real world?

Larry believes that the entrepreneurial culture at Stanford, combined with its expertise in commercialization, sets it apart from other universities. Stanford has successfully translated groundbreaking discoveries and advancements into real-world applications, thereby changing the world multiple times.

Q: What is missing in New York City's entrepreneurial ecosystem, according to Larry Page?

While Larry loves the energy and dynamics of New York City, he believes it lacks the same level of university-industry symbiosis found at Stanford. He hasn't seen the same scale of research and commercialization outside of Stanford, making it a unique opportunity for both the city and the university to expand their horizons.

Takeaways

Larry Page and Sergey Brin credit Stanford's entrepreneurial culture and expertise in commercialization as significant factors in their success with Google. They emphasize the importance of bridging the gap between academia and the real world to bring about meaningful innovation. They believe that Stanford's unique environment has fostered the creation of numerous important technology companies and that other universities can learn from its success. There is also a recognition that other cities, like New York City, can benefit from creating stronger university-industry partnerships to drive innovation and economic growth.

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