I was recently watching a new show called the “The Wall” which asks certain questions of contestants who are trying to make millions of dollars by answering them right. One of the questions that was asked was the “Google” name was derived from the word “googol” for a very large numerical number followed by how many zero’s?
The contestant was a former Marine who was on the show with his wife. I was rooting for him hard having been a Marine Scout/Sniper myself. It was good to see one of my own have a life changing opportunity.
When Larry Page and Sergey Brin were graduate students at Stanford University back in the 90’s, they were working on a search engine and called it Backrub, because their search engine searched through backlinks.
They realized that name wasn’t a good one for a company and their friend Sean suggested the word googolplex. Googol was a term that nine-year-old Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner came up with, after he asked him to come up with a name for a very large number, then to the power of one hundred.
When the “backrub” founders didn’t like Sean’s googolplex suggestion as the name for the new company, Larry Page said he’d like a smaller term and shorten the name to googol, which today reflects the company’s mission to “organize the immense, seemingly infinite amount of information available on the web.”
When they searched the net to see if the domain googol, Sean misspelled the world and searched for google.com. See his accident misspelling came up with a word that changed the entire world and way we live our lives……boom, Google was born.