By Devasis Chattopadhyay
The Google Doodle showed that the organization turned 23 on September 27. Is that really so? How interesting.
Fascinatingly, even before Google was incorporated in 1998 as a formal corporate entity, the idea of the Doodle was born when Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google, used a temporary visual modification within the corporate logo to show their attendance at the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert in the U.S.A. The changed visual of the logo had a stick-figure drawn behind the second ‘o’ in the word, Google. The temporarily revised logo was intended as a fun message to attract the attention of then Google users to the fact that the founders were – out of office, and in case the servers crash where to find them, possibly. While the first doodle was relatively spontaneous, the idea of decorating the company logo to celebrate notable events was born and later on institutionalised.
Sergey Brin designed the original Google logo. And, since 1998’s Burning Man event logo, Google has been designing special and temporary alternate logos and placing them on their homepage intending to celebrate holidays, events, achievements, and people referred to as Google Doodle.
Introduced and initially designed by both the founders, an outside contractor designed the subsequent Google Doodles until the founders asked then-intern Dennis Hwang to design a logo for Bastille Day in 2000. From that point onward, a team of Google employees known as ‘Doodlers’ has organized and created Google Doodles.
Google’s corporate philosophy includes principles such as, ‘you can make money without doing evil’, ‘you can be serious without a suit’, and ‘work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun’ – basically, displaying the culture of freedom, experimentation, and improvisation. Doodlers weave all these attributes into Google Doodles.
Now coming back to the question of its birthday, Google’s original birthday was not on 27 September. It is a changed birthday adopted by Google management later.
While Google has now continued with the 27 of September as its official date of birth, there are many dates that can be considered as birthdays for the search engine. Google registered the primary domain name google.com on 15 September 1997. If one goes by 1997 as the year, then this is the 24 years of existence for Google. And, if we go back in time, Google, as a project, began in January 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, while they were both at Stanford University. If we consider 1996 as the year of its beginning, then Google is already a quarter-century old.
Officially, 4 September 1998 was the date of incorporation of Google, that should have been Google’s birthday. But in their infinite wisdom, the company at some later day chose 27 September as its birthday to celebrate the achievement of the milestone in terms of the number of pages that Google was indexing on the search engine, and those pages became significantly higher than its competitors. Because when Google had started its journey, it was not the biggest or the only search engine in the world, Yahoo was a lot bigger. However, Google slowly and steadily started dominating the entire market and practically obliterated the competition. For the past few years, Google has stuck with 27 September to commemorate that achievement, and might continue with 27 September as its birthday, until of course they alter the birthday again to commemorate something more significant. (IPA Service)