I have many friends in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who often wonder what their lives would have been like if they tried to execute some of the creative ideas they have had over the years. Many of them claim they didn’t act on their impulses because they were afraid their ideas weren’t good enough. They didn’t understand the concept back then of tweaking a good idea until it became a great one.
Obviously, the Google co-founders didn’t have any of those inhibitions. There were other search engine algorithms already in place when Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford in 1995. They started Google in 1998 because they felt their algorithm made more sense. It examined “the number and relevance of links between pages, not just the keywords on them.” Business Insider has a good story explaining this.
BI also explain how Page attended a conference given by an Italian science and math professor that changed his thinking about the efficiency of a search engine. In 1997, Massimo Marchiori of the University of Padua, Italy, shared information about a project he was working on called Hyper Search. The program scanned links between web sites, not the text in them.
Long story short, Page latched on to Marchiori after the seminar. He spent the day talking about algorithms, Marchiori remembers Page saying, “Man, I would like to develop your idea further.”
The net net. Page and Brin developed an algorithm that completely changed our lives. I am sure, however, they will have their own set of regrets when they reach our age.
Did you have an idea that ran away? Share it with us.