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The latest news on Sergey Brin from Business Insider

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    sergey brin google glass

    We're learning more about why Google Glass failed, thanks to a report by The New York Times' Nick Bilton.

    Google stopped selling Google Glass in January.

    Glass was still an early prototype when Google made it available to fans and journalists in 2013.

    "The team within Google X knew the product wasn’t even close to ready for prime time," a former Google employee told Bilton.

    But company cofounder and Google X leader Sergey Brin wanted Glass to be released to the public so that Google could improve it with their feedback.

    That strategy backfired when journalists reviewed Glass like a fully-developed consumer product.

    One YouTube review called it "the worst product of all time." 

    Some people were also put off by Glass invading their privacy and worried it could be used to steal their personal information.

    Sergei Brin's romance with Glass marketing manager Amanda Rosenberg also reportedly contributed to Glass' downfall. Early team members left after news of the affair became public.

    Google Glass isn't technically dead forever — the company is simply no longer selling the original prototype unit. Google took it out of the X Lab and handed responsibility to Tony Fadell, a former Apple exec who now runs Google's Nest unit. He's working with Ivy Ross, a veteran of the retail and art worlds.

    SEE ALSO: Meet Amanda Rosenberg, The Google Employee Sergey Brin Is Reportedly Dating

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why Bethany Mota Has A Legion Of 10 Million Fans Waiting For Her Next YouTube Video


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    larry page sergey brin planes

    Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are going to sell about $4.4 billion worth of company shares, according to a new filing with the SEC (which we first spotted thanks to Footnoted). 

    It's basically an extension of a plan that was previously in place but expired at the end of January. 

    As of January 30, 2015, Brin and Page held approximately 44.6 million shares of Google Class B stock and another 44.6 million shares of Class C stock.

    Under the new trading plan just filed, they will sell approximately 2 million shares each of Class B common stock (which will automatically convert to Class A shares upon sales), as well as another 2 million shares each of their Class C non-voting stock.

    After the transactions are complete, they will collectively own about 40.6 million shares of Class B stock and another 40.6 million shares of Class C stock, the filing says.

    With both classes of Google stock trading at approximately $550 a share, the total 8 million shares they plan to sell translates to roughly $4.4 billion. The filing didn't specify when exactly the sale will take place, but it will be extended over a period of time to minimize market impact, the filing said.

    Even after Page and Brin sell $4.4 billion worth of shares, they'll retain majority control of Google. Following the sales, Brin and Page will own only 11.9% of Google's outstanding Class A and Class B common stock, yet still hold 52% of the voting power.

    This is possible because of Google's dual-class share structure. Class B shares, mostly owned by Brin, Page, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, hold 10X the voting power of the common Class A stock. It's why Class B shares are often called "Super-voting" shares. (The Class C stock, introduced in 2012, has no voting power at all. Here's an explainer if you're confused as to why Google would do this.)

    Google founders Larry Page and Sergey BrinDual-class structure is now pretty common among tech companies, as Facebook, Linkedin, and Box all have adopted this model. But Google was one of the first companies to bring this to the mainstream when it went public in 2004.

    It was very rare to see investors allow this type of structure because it gives too much control to insiders when a company is supposed to be publicly owned. Prior to Google, it was mostly family-run media companies, like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, that had this model, all under the name of protecting editorial independence.

    Google duly acknowledged this in its S1 back in 2004, as it wrote, “We are creating a corporate structure that is designed for stability over long time horizons...By investing in Google, you are placing an unusual long term bet on the team, especially Sergey and me, and on our innovative approach.”

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 5 Awesome Google Features You Didn't Know About


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    google Larry Page and Sergey Brin

    What would happen if you emailed Larry Page or Sergey Brin?

    There's a great thread on Quora where people dish about the email habits of some of tech's biggest stars. The answer for Google's cofounders is especially funny. 

    User David Shin wrote that when he worked at Google in 2006/2007, Page and Brin held a Q&A session. When someone asked how they manage their email, one of them (he can't remember which) responded like this:

    "When I open up my email, I start at the top and work my way down, and go as far as I feel like. Anything I don't get to will never be read. Some people end up amazed that they get an email response from a founder of Google in just 5 minutes. Others simply get what they expected (no reply)."

    So, if you have a burning question for Page or Brin, why not give an email message a try?

    (The founders' email addresses are pretty easy to guess.)

    Check out how six other tech execs manage their email here

    SEE ALSO: RISING STARS: Meet the men and women leading Google's most important products

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 14 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do


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    sergey brin

    Google used to be notorious for shooting job applicants brainteaser interview questions, like "how much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?" 

    The company has since ditched the riddles, but its overall hiring ethos has remained the same.

    Ultimately, Google has always sought out employees who are "smart creatives." It wants people that can combine their technical expertise with imagination and inventiveness.  

    Ken Auletta includes an anecdote that perfect highlights the company's techniques for sniffing out the right hires in his book "Googled: The End of the World As We Know It."

    For Google's first five years, cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin insisted that either one or both of them had to be included in the interview process for every single hire. That practice was still in effect in 2002, when the company needed to add someone to its legal team. A Harvard graduate named Alissa Lee scored an interview with Brin and Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond. Brin wanted to test Lee's technical chops:

    "I need you to draw me a contract," Brin said to Lee. "Don't spend a lot of time on it. Draft it and send it to me and David so we can review your work."

    And then the kicker:

    "I need the contract to be for me to sell my soul to the devil."

    Lee had 30 minutes to complete the assignment.

    She was so blown away by the "surreal oddity" of the subject matter, that she forgot to ask Brin for any specifics, like what he wanted to get in return for his soul. But instead of panicking or wasting time on incredulity, Lee dove in. 

    "He was looking for someone who could embrace a curveball even relish it, and thrive in the process of something unexpected," she reflects in Auletta's book. Her ability to have fun with the crazy assignment wowed both Drummond and Brin.

    Lee got the job and stayed at Google for seven years after that oddball interview, until 2009. 

    (And if you're worried about how Brin's contract aligned with Google's "Don't be evil" motto, fret not: no legally binding agreements were actually made that day.) 

    SEE ALSO: Google Fiber is working on a game-changing new way to measure of TV advertising

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    NOW WATCH: This is what happens to your brain and body when you check your phone before bed


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    Andy Rubin Android Illustration

    Back in the early 2000s, the idea behind Android seemed crazy.

    Carriers liked to control every aspect of phone launches, from the way phones were marketed to what they were called.

    So the proposal of an open software platform that would run across multiple phones regardless of what carrier sold the device seemed impossible back then.

    But Andy Rubin, the creator behind Android that left Google in late 2014, found one early supporter: Larry Page.

    Page, co-founder and CEO of Google, was the company's president of products when he heard about Rubin's idea around 2004. Google told Rubin the company had heard about Android and wanted to "help," a person that worked with Andy Rubin told Business Insider for our recent story about the history of Android.

    Rubin and one of his Android co-founders Nick Sears drove down to Google's Mountain View campus during the first week of January. The meeting included Page, Sergey Brin, and Georges Harik, a Google Ventures advisor and one of the company’s first 10 employees.

    Here's how the meeting went down, based on what we've heard:

    Page was dressed casually in jeans and a T-shirt. Brin wore no shoes but had a plastic Disney watch on his wrist. He sat near two candy jars and popped handfuls into his mouth.

    Page wasted no time and praised Rubin’s previous work. He called the T-Mobile Sidekick (which Rubin's previous startup Danger had created) one of the best phones he had ever seen.

    Brin jumped in with a few jokes. He also talked with Rubin in meticulous detail about the technology that powered the Sidekick.

    The meeting wasn’t all about praising Rubin. Brin wanted to test him too. He kept pressing Rubin about what he could have done differently to make the Sidekick even better, and why he chose to create the phone the way he did.

    It wasn’t an aggressive conversation but a collaborative exercise in problem solving.

    When Rubin and Sears walked out of that meeting, one thing was clear: Google was interested in Android. But it wasn’t clear why.

    Was Google their friend or foe? Was it developing its own mobile software and learning from the competition?

    Read the full story to learn about how Android became such a massive success>>

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 5 Awesome Google Features You Didn't Know About


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    Many of the Valley's elite turned up for Wednesday's party promoting season two of "Silicon Valley," a satirical comedy that's grown into a full-fledged hit for HBO.

    The new season premieres on Sunday, April 12, at 10 p.m. ET.

    Most of the cast appeared at the event. Notably missing was T.J. Miller, who caused an uproar in February when he hosted the Valley's version of the Oscars, the "Crunchies," and delivered remarks viewed by many as offensive.

    That was just the latest in the blurring of fact versus fiction, real versus unreal, in a show that has captured the absurdity of this singular place and time.

    First off, there are no sacred cows. The show's intentions were clear from its first poster, in which its band of hapless entrepreneurs strike the same self-important pose as the one famously associated with Steve Jobs.



    And who better to deliver cutting social satire than creator Mike Judge? He brought the world such unforgettable creations as the cult hit "Office Space" and '90s morons "Beavis and Butt-head," expertly skewering the world of work and meaningless culture.



    In season one, main character Richard (in burgundy hoodie) creates a music app containing a revolutionary compression algorithm. Gavin Belson, founder of Hooli, offers Richard $10 million for the algorithm, but Richard decides instead to grow his own company, Pied Piper, and accepts a $200,000 investment from quirky venture capitalist Peter Gregory. Belson seeks revenge and builds Nucleus to rival Pied Piper's algorithm.

    Also see, "Before He Died, Christopher Evan Welch Gave Us The Perfect Embodiment Of Tech-World Hubris."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Peter Thiel

    Even the most optimistic of today's big-dreaming tech luminaries — people like Peter Thiel, Larry Ellison, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page — know that living forever is a most-likely impossible goal.

    Yet they still want to defeat death.

    At the very least, they want to find a way to delay it as long as possible.

    The quest for eternal life goes back thousands of years with mostly unimpressive results. But since 1840, life expectancy in developed countries has risen from the low-to-mid 40s to about 80. We're living almost twice as long as we would have if we were born less than two centuries ago.

    So can we almost double life expectancy again, to 150?

    That's a goal that these Silicon Alley luminaries agreed was "worthy" and reasonable at a 2004 dinner party, held with some of the top scientists interested in prolonging life, according to a fascinating Washington Post profile by Ariana Eunjung Cha.

    And these billionaires don't just have money at their disposal, Cha notes in her detailed look at their efforts to defy death, they also have access to modern medicine, genetics, efforts to map the human brain, and computers that can process quantities of information so huge they've never even been conceived of before. We know more about human health than we ever have and have access to tools that didn't exist decades ago.

    Cha writes of these "tech titans:"

    Their objective is to use the tools of technology — the chips, software programs, algorithms and big data they used in creating an information revolution — to understand and upgrade what they consider to be the most complicated piece of machinery in existence: the human body.

    Here's some of what they've done so far:

    • Larry Ellison, Oracle founder, has "donated more than $430 million to anti-aging research" according to Cha, who says he told his biographer "Death has never made any sense to me... How can a person be there and then just vanish, just not be there?"
    • In 2013, Larry Page founded Calico, a company that's trying to prevent aging — with $750 million from Google.
    • Peter Thiel's Breakout Labs exists to fund the "radical science" and "bold ideas," including projects to grow bones from stem cells, research into ways to repair the cellular damage that occurs with age, and ways to quickly cool organs in order to preserve them.
    • Biologist Pam Omidyar and her husband, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, have donated millions to research that tries to figure out why some people are able to bounce back from diseases.
    • Sergey Brin of Google, who has a gene associated with Parkinson's, has given $150 million to efforts to use big data to understand DNA. He thinks these efforts could rapidly transform research into Parkinson's (and other diseases), providing the keys to avoiding neurodegenerative diseases that cut life short.
    • Some of the biggest science awards of the year are the six $3 million Breakthrough Prizes, funded by Priscilla Chan and her husband Mark Zuckerberg along with Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki (who founded 23andMe, the genetic testing company). According to Cha, they created the prizes to support scientists whose discoveries extend life.

    Some fear that extending life would only benefit the wealthy or would create a crowded planet filled with elderly citizens and no good way to support them. And others think that our current longer lives aren't necessarily better — more people live until their minds and bodies are ravaged by diseases that only exist in old age.

    These tech billionaires, however, are optimists and think all this can be overcome. Thiel thinks that the "great enemy" of humanity is death.

    "I believe that evolution is a true account of nature," he told the Washington Post. "But I think we should try to escape it or transcend it in our society."

    SEE ALSO: The biggest biotech discovery of the century will make designer babies and genetically edited humans possible

    READ MORE: A radical experiment tried to make old people young again — and the results were astonishing

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    NOW WATCH: What the Chinese saying 'The ugly wife is a treasure at home' actually means


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    sergey brin googleMore than a third of the top tech companies in the US were founded by people born outside of the country.

    Their success stories drive many immigrants to come to the US in hopes of realizing the American Dream.

    But just looking at their success makes it easy to overlook the fact that a lot of the immigrant founders had to overcome other problems – from language barriers to financial constraints – to achieve their extraordinary success.

    Sergey Brin had a very 'difficult first year' in the US

    Google cofounder Sergey Brin was just 6 years old when his family emigrated from the Soviet Union to settle in Maryland. His first memory of the US was of "sitting in the backseat of the car, amazed at all the giant automobiles on the highway," his mother Eugenia Brin told Moment Magazine.

    She says Brin struggled to adjust to the new surroundings early on. He was bashful and spoke English with a heavy accent, which made the first year a "difficult year for him." 

    “We were constantly discussing the fact we had been told that children are like sponges, that they immediately grasp the language and have no problem, and that wasn’t the case," she said.

    It may have taken Brin longer to learn English, but he ended up in Stanford's PhD program in computer science, where he met Google cofounder Larry Page. Now Google is a $366 billion company, and Brin has a net worth of almost $30 billion.



    Max Levchin lost his accent by watching American TV shows

    Paypal cofounder Max Levchin was born in Ukraine, but moved to the US when he was 16 years old. 

    Levchin says his family was quite poor when they got here in 1991, and he had a strong accent while speaking English. Although he was fluent in English, Levchin had a hard time understanding all the cultural references people were making at school.

    To help his cultural assimilation, Levchin relied on American TV shows. He says he found a TV in a dumpster and fixed it to watch all the TV shows he wanted to.

    "That's how I lost my accent and got a crash course on 1990s American pop culture," he told Silicon Valley Business Journal.

    Just 7 years after settling in Chicago, Levchin cofounded PayPal in 1998 alongside Peter Thiel and Elon Musk. It was acquried by eBay for roughly $1.5 billion in 2002.



    Chamath Palihapitiya grew up on welfare before becoming a billionaire investor

    Chamath Palihapitiya, born in Sri Lanka, moved to Canada at the age of six. Early on, his father was unemployed and his family lived above a laundromat, relying on welfare.

    But, being less privileged only motivated Palihapitiya to work harder. He'd obsess over the Forbes' Billionaires List, one day dreaming of making it big.

    Finally, he got an electrical engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, and quickly became one of the most successful tech leaders at a very young age. 

    He was the youngest VP in AOL's history at the age of 26. He was instrumental in Facebook's growth early on, becoming one of the longest-tenured senior executives there.

    In 2011, he quit Facebook to launch his own venture capital firm called Social+Capital Partnership, which is now one of the fastest-growing VC firms in the Silicon Valley.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sergey brin

    It takes an army of workers to manage the private affairs of Google cofounder Sergey Brin.

    According to Bloomberg, Brin employs at least 47 people in his family office, called Bayshore Global Management.

    Among those 47 employees are philanthropy experts, former bankers, photographers, a yacht captain, a fitness coordinator, and an archivist.

    He also employs property managers, domestic staff, and a personal shopper.

    According to the LinkedIn profiles of some Bayshore employees, Brin's company has recruited people from Google, Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs.

    For his security detail, Brin hired a former Navy SEAL, an ex-Secret Service agent, and a former SWAT team leader. Brin has two young children with Anne Wojcicki, his estranged wife.

    He has a home in New York City's West Village, in addition to the family's Los Altos Hills residence. Each house has a staff managed by Bayshore, which was named for the part of Mountain View, California, where Google is based.

    Brin also owns Passerelle Investment, a real-estate investment firm that has purchased a number of small businesses in Los Altos.

    According to Forbes, Brin is worth about $28.8 billion.

    SEE ALSO: Elon Musk's first wife explains what it takes to become a billionaire

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos Slams Silly Google Perks Like Massages


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    The latest version of Google's self-driving car will make its debut on public roads this summer in California. The pod-like two-seater has no gas pedal and a removable steering wheel. The technology giant's mission is to have driverless cars available to consumers in the next five years.

    The new pod lacks airbags and other federally required safety features, so it can't go more than 25 miles per hour. It's also electric and has to be recharged after 80 miles.

    Produced by Jason Gaines. Video courtesy of Associated Press.

    Follow BI Video: On Facebook

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    Sergey Brin and Larry Page

    Omid Kordestani, Google's chief business officer, has seen many phases of CEO Larry Page. 

    Kordestani joined Google as its "business founder" in 1999, a year after Page and Sergey Brin founded the company in their early 20s. He left in 2009, but came back last summer after the departure of Nikesh Arora to take up the head of business role.

    On stage at Re/code's Code Conference on Wednesday, host Kara Swisher asked Kordestani how Page had changed over the years. 

    "I think he's still his wonderful, curious, idealistic self — focused on changing the world and having impact through technology," Kordestani said. "But he became CEO. And through that process he dealt with a lot of the complexity in the operational aspects of the company. And I think what's wonderful now is seeing him decide how he wants to spend his time."

    Now, Kordestani said, Page relies much more on him to run the business side and Sundar Pichai to oversee all of Google's products. He's still engaged as a CEO, but wants to spend his time on the evolution and innovation of the company. 

    "Having been CEO, he now sees how complex this whole equation is," Kordestani said, adding that Page now focuses much more on empowering other leaders to run their own different organizations, instead of running everything himself. Page said as much in an internal memo last fall, when Pichai got promoted to product leader. 

    Swisher noted that she thought that Page had also gained a better sense of humor over the years. 

    Once, when she met with Page, she suggested that Google should buy The New York Times and let her run it. 

    Without missing a beat Page responded: "I buy the New York Times every day."

    Cofounder Sergey Brin can apparently pull off a one-liner too. 

    Kordestani says that once he and Brin were discussing an invitation to a knighting ceremony that the Queen of England had sent Google.

    "You should be knighted one day," Kordestani prodded the cofounder.

    "I already have been," Brin answered. "I'm 'Sir Gey.'" 

    Badum-chh! 

    SEE ALSO: What Apple has learned from ResearchKit so far

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    NOW WATCH: Here's what happens when you drop an Apple Watch face down on cement


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    Sergey Brin Illustration Google Glass Blue Background

    Google is known for its ambitious projects, and cofounder Sergey Brin highlights exactly where the company is going in an addition he wrote to the company's proxy statement.

    The statement doesn't reveal anything new — but it shows how Google sees the technology industry evolving.

    While things like search and Gmail were essentially considered yesterday's moonshots, technology is advancing at such a pace that computerized contacts and self-driving cars are bound to be a big part of our future, according to Brin.

    The self-driving car project seems to be particularly important to Brin.

    "We hope to make roadways far safer and transportation far more affordable and accessible to those who can’t drive," he wrote.

    Here's the essay in full. It's worth a read if you need a reminder of where Google's priorities lie. 

    When Larry and I founded Google in 1998, many elements came together to make our work possible. Like other companies at the time, we benefited from the increasing power and low cost of computation and from the unprecedented shift of information to the internet. We shared a profound belief in the power of technology to make life better for people everywhere and imagined what life could be like 10, 15, 20 years down the road. Nevertheless, now that we are here, I am amazed at the progress and opportunities. For example, I could not have imagined we would be making a computer that fits in a contact lens, with the potential to make life better for millions of people with diabetes.

     

    LOGO

    Yet, this is something we are working on today. Our glucose-sensing contact lens is being developed in partnership with Novartis. A tiny chip, using power measured in nanowatts, is embedded into the lens in order to monitor glucose levels continuously. This technology, and others like it being developed today, was made possible through continued improvements in electronics and the ever-accelerating pace of technological progress. As computers get smaller, cheaper, and more powerful, their potential gets larger and the world is transformed.

     Larry and I were lucky to participate in one such period of transformation nearly two decades ago: search engines made a leap from modest-sized ones that would search over limited, separate corpuses, to those we know today that attempt to search all the world’s knowledge. Just as advancements in miniaturization and power consumption have made the contact lens possible, it was similar progress in computing power and cost that allowed us to create comprehensive search, and make it accessible to anyone with an internet connection. It was the right time for search to become a universally available tool for bringing all the world’s information to your home, to your school, to your pocket.

    These advances also made it possible to provide enterprise class email, featuring vast storage and search capabilities, to anyone in the world - for free; that’s why we created Gmail. And, if you fast-forward to today, we recently harnessed continued improvements in storage cost and machine learning to create Google Photos, which lets everyone in the world safely keep, and search through, a lifetime of photos and videos.

    The increasing power of computation extends well beyond the internet. One example close to my heart is our self-driving car project. The goal is to make cars capable of driving themselves entirely without human intervention. We hope to make roadways far safer and transportation far more affordable and accessible to those who can’t drive.

    To do this, we can now rely on immense processing power and advanced sensors that would not have been possible only a few years ago. And while it will still take time before we see self-driving cars everywhere on our streets, over a million auto fatalities per year worldwide make this a risk worth taking. As I write, our cars have just crossed 1 million miles of autonomous driving, and our fully self-driving vehicle prototype is about to begin testing in our hometown.

    This project and others like it are very challenging, and the outcomes are far from certain. But, just like when we started nearly two decades ago, it is possible to create the technology that allows people to lead healthier, happier lives. And, along with our incredibly passionate employees, I am humbled and excited to try.

    Sergey Brin

    SEE ALSO: What Sergey Brin's resume looked like in 1996

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    NOW WATCH: We did the math: Is Uber really cheaper than a taxi?


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    Alexandra Chong wedding

    Alexandra Chong, the CEO of dating app Lulu, got married over the weekend in Jamaica to her long-term boyfriend Jack Brockway.

    The wedding was a star-studded affair, with sources telling us that guests included Google cofounder Sergey Brin, entrepreneur Richard Branson, Princess Eugenie and Kate Winslet.

    Brockway's brother is Ned Rocknroll, the husband of actress Kate Winslett, who was the star guest at the wedding. An Instagram video shows the actress singing during the ceremony:

     on

    The New York Times reports that Chong first met her husband in 2012 at a kitesurfing and networking event in Maui. They then met each other a week later on Necker Island, the luxurious island retreat of entrepreneur Richard Branson.

     on

    Branson was photographed at Chong's wedding, and is also believed to have given a speech. His children Sam and Holly Branson were also in attendance for both the pirate-themed cruise down the river in rafts, as well as the ceremony:

     on

    Also present at the wedding was Google cofounder Sergey Brin, who mingled with guests during the reception. He was sat next to a woman named Nicole, who we believe to be Nicole Shanahan, the founder of patent technology company ClearAccessIP. (We've reached out to her to check.)

     on

    Here's a shot of the revellers enjoying themselves on a beach:

     on

    The evening ended with fireworks above the wedding party. You can tell it's a tech wedding, too, from the drone perched in the corner of the photo:

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    NOW WATCH: These Luxurious Hotels In Canada Are Treating Dogs Like Kings


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    elon musk

    For some, the weekend is a sacred retreat from the hustle and bustle of our busy work lives.

    For others, the weekend is a myth — Saturday and Sunday are mere extensions of the workweek and a chance to get ahead of the competition.

    Judging from the various ways highly successful people spend their (at least theoretical) time away from work, we can conclude that there really is no right or wrong way to structure your weekends — it's all about striking the right balance for you.

    Here's how super-successful people do it.

    Elon Musk spends time with his kids.

    Musk, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, has five sons, with whom, he told Mashable, he hangs out on the weekends. 

    However, he also admitted at South by Southwest in 2013 that some of this "quality time" is spent sending emails. "Because they don't need constant interaction, except when we're talking directly," he said. "I find I can be with them and still be working at the same time."



    Jack Dorsey hikes and prepares for the week.

    In 2011, when Jack Dorsey was running Twitter and Square full-time, the cofounder told the audience at Techonomy 2011 that, to got it all done, he gave each day a theme. This allowed him to quickly recall and refocus on the day's task once the distraction was out of the way. 

    Dorsey said he would take Saturday off to hike and spend Sunday focusing on reflections, feedback, strategy, and getting ready for the rest of the week.

    Now that he's back to running both companies, there's a good chance theme days could come in handy again.



    Rachel Maddow ditches her NYC apartment for the country.

    The political journalist told People she, her girlfriend Susan Mikula, and English Lab occupy a 275-sq.-ft. Manhattan apartment during the week when Maddow tapes her show. During the weekends, though, they drive three hours so they can retreat to their country home in Western Massachusetts.

    "Having a place out of the city is a shortcut toward the mental reset I need," Maddow told People. She also loves spending her Saturday reading comic books.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Anne Wojcicki and Sergey Brin

    Google cofounder Sergey Brin and 23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki have gotten divorced after eight years of marriage. They married in 2007 and have two children together.

    The divorce was quietly approved in May by a court in Santa Clara County.

    In 2013, the pair separated, and then Brin had a relationship with another woman at Google who worked in the Glass division, Re/code's Liz Gannes and Kara Swisher reported at the time. Brin's affair, with a woman named Amanda Rosenberg, reportedly blindsided Wojcicki. Rosenberg had also been romantically tied to another powerful Googler at the time, Hugo Barra.

    Rosenberg and Brin are no longer romantically linked, a source familiar with the couple tells Business Insider. Both Wojcicki and Brin have gone on to date other people since their separation, but they live close by each other in Los Altos and continue to raise their children as a team, the source said.

    Brin is dating Nicole Shanahan, founder of the patent technology company ClearAccessIP; the pair attended a Jamaica wedding together in June.

    Wojcicki and Brin had a prenuptial agreement in place, so their divorce shouldn't affect Google very much. The pair reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount of money. Brin is worth an estimated $30 billion.

    A spokesman for Brin declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Wojcicki.

    Wojcicki, who is also a successful tech executive, has raised more than $110 million for her human genome startup, 23andMe; Google is one of the company's investors. Susan Wojcicki, Anne's sister, was one of Google's earliest employees and is now the head of Google's YouTube business.

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    google Larry Page and Sergey Brin

    Google shares are surging to record highs, up nearly 15% as of early Friday afternoon.

    It's the largest one-day rally in the company's history. 

    This is great news for shareholders, especially Google's cofounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who have each added about $4 billion to their already sizable fortunes today. 

    According to Bloomberg, Page and Brin's fortunes are up about 20% in 2015, which is equivalent to about $7 billion each.

    Page's net worth is now estimated by Forbes to be about $35.7 billion, while Brin is worth about $35 billion.

    Google chairman Eric Schmidt, who owns 1.3% of the company, has made about $1.8 billion today as a result of the stock surge. Forbes estimates his net worth at $10.4 billion.

    Google's stock has been soaring since it reported stellar earnings Thursday evening.

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    In 1996, Sergey Brin and his Stanford Ph.D. classmate Larry Page started developing what would become the Google search engine.

    Today, Google is one of the world's largest companies, with a market cap of more than $450 billion. Brin oversees GoogleX and Special Projects, divisions responsible for developing world-changing technology like driverless cars.

    In a 2000 interview with the Academy of Achievement nonprofit, conducted when Google was still four years away from its initial public offering, Brin revealed some of the books that inspired him to dedicate his career to blending technology and creativity.

    "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" by Richard P. Feynman

    richard feynmanFeynman (1918-1988) won the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in quantum electrodynamics and remains a giant in his field. He is perhaps best known in pop culture for his entertaining autobiographical works, which Brin says all left an impact on him. "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" first published in 1985, is regarded as the best introduction to these works.

    "Aside from making really big contributions in his own field, he was pretty broad-minded," Brin told the Academy of Achievement. "I remember he had an excerpt where he was explaining how he really wanted to be a Leonardo [da Vinci], an artist and a scientist. I found that pretty inspiring. I think that leads to having a fulfilling life."

    Feynman, who created a portfolio of drawings and paintings under the pseudonym "Ofey,"explained in a 1981 BBC interview how art and science complement each other: "I have a friend who's an artist and ... he says, 'I as an artist can see how beautiful this [flower] is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing,' and I think that he's kind of nutty. ...

    "I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. ... All kinds of interesting questions, which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower."

    "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson

    snow crashBrin said he is a big sci-fi fan, and Stephenson's acclaimed 1992 novel "Snow Crash" is one of his favorites.

    In 2010, Time named it one of the 100 best novels in the English language published since the magazine's founding in 1923.

    It takes place in a dystopian near future where the US has been replaced by corporate microstates and a computer virus is killing programmers.

    Within the complex, fun story Stephenson predicts the rise of online social networks, and what would become Google Earth in 2004.

    The book "was really 10 years ahead of its time," Brin said.

    "It kind of anticipated what's going to happen, and I find that really interesting."

     

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    Peter Thiel

    Tech billionaires such as Peter Thiel, Larry Ellison, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into research projects designed to slow or even stop aging.

    These projects delve into important science — the slow march toward death is something we all have in common — but some question whether this quest to defeat mortality is more hubris than anything else.

    Even Bill Gates, when asked about life-extension and immortality projects in a Reddit AMA, weighed in: "It seems pretty egocentric while we still have malaria and TB for rich people to fund things so they can live longer." (He did add: "It would be nice to live longer, though, I admit.")

    The majority of Americans said in 2013 that they weren't interested in living longer, adding further fuel to the idea that this isn't something for the general public.

    In a Pew survey, 70% of Americans said the average ideal lifespan was between 79 and 100 years old, and 51% said they thought that scientific developments that slowed aging so that people lived to 120 would be bad for society.

    But the idea that spending money on research to prevent or stave off death is a waste or only for the wealthy isn't fair, says bioethicist James Hughes of Trinity College.

    "The complaint that it's expensive is just a short-sighted view," Hughes tells Tech Insider.

    He says that it's clearly important to develop malaria medication, provide more bed nets, and prevent people from dying from treatable diseases like cholera.

    But research into something that may start as a pet interest of the super-wealthy, whether it's antiaging or cognitive enhancement, could provide benefits for the entire world.

    Far-out ideas

    Some of these projects are driven by the personal concerns of these billionaires. Brin, of Google, who has a gene associated with Parkinson's, has given $150 million to efforts to use big data to understand DNA.

    dna

    Other ideas are even more far out. Larry Page founded the antiaging company Calico with $750 million from Google. Thiel's Breakout Labs program exists to fund "radical science" like regrowing bones and repairing DNA. He also strongly supports the efforts of controversial researchers such as Aubrey de Grey, who believes we can figure out the cellular and genetic changes that cause aging to happen in the first place and stop them. The most debated of these ideas have to do with cryofreezing bodies to bring a person back to life years later or uploading someone's consciousness to achieve immortality.

    But while these seemingly science-fictional projects might be considered an absurd waste by some, Hughes thinks their results could transform and advance medicine. Brin's work could rapidly transform research into Parkinson's (and other diseases). Work into ideas like mind uploading could finally help us understand how the brain works.

    Some argue that even if we do figure out the audacious goals of these tech barons, the benefits of this work will be limited to an elite wealthy group, but Hughes disagrees. He says to look at medicine as an example.

    When antiretroviral therapy to treat AIDS was first developed, it cost more than $10,000 a year, unaffordable for most, especially in the developing world. But the development of generic versions of these medications and international pressure from activists helped drive prices down significantly, according to the UK-based international AIDS charity AVERT.

    Right now, Hughes thinks that most people say they aren't interested in life extension because they don't believe that it's possible to live a longer life while still staying healthy, and they've accepted death at a certain age as a fact of life — even though life expectancy has almost doubled in the last 150 years.

    Aubrey de Grey

    But he thinks that once people realize that it is possible, they'll change their minds and demand that this same sort of medical treatment be made accessible for everyone.

    Slaying the dragon

    There's an antiaging tale called "The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant" by philosopher Nick Bostrom — originally published in the Journal of Medical Ethics — that Hughes says helps explain how attitudes toward aging will change. In a world ruled by a dragon (aging) that everyone believes is immortal and that demands the sacrifice of thousands of human lives every day, most people just accept that the world works that way.

    But if some crazy enterprising scientist devises a way to actually destroy the dragon, even if it's an expensive and previously thought to be impossible, people would no longer accept that arbitrary end of their lives. Bostrom writes that at some point, we'll realize that that "the dragon [aging] is bad; it destroys people." And perhaps it can be stopped.

    Plus, says Hughes, there are much bigger wastes of money out there than antiaging or cognitive-enhancement research.

    "If you want to start someplace where there's inequity, money poured down the drain, don't start with the ways that people are trying to keep themselves alive or make themselves smarter," he says. "Start with the money that we're pouring down the drain with the NFL."

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    sergey brin

    Google just pressed the reset button, completely overhauling its corporate structure through the formation of a brand new parent company called Alphabet. 

    This change comes nearly 20 years after cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin first launched Google from a dorm room in Stanford.

    It's been a wild ride for both of them since, but Brin's history is especially intriguing. 

    Learn more about the man behind the world's most popular search engine:

    SEE ALSO: The fabulous life of Mark Zuckerberg

    With the announcement of Alphabet, Brin got a title upgrade, transitioning from overseeing the moonshot factory Google X as "director of special projects" to being president of the new parent company.



    All told, Brin is worth about $34.3 billion, according to Forbes.

    Source: Forbes



    But Brin comes from humble beginnings. He was born to parents Michael and Eugenia Brin in the Soviet Union during the summer of 1973.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Google is doubling down on biotech.

    The company is turning the team that develops smart contact lenses and other healthcare initiatives into a full-fledged, standalone company rather than a lab project. 

    The life sciences group will "graduate" from the Google X labs and become its own separate company under the new Alphabet corporate structure, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said on Thursday.

    Andy Conrad, a molecular biologist who joined Google in 2013, will be the CEO of the new company, Brin said.

    "While the reporting structure will be different, their goal remains the same. They’ll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stage R&D to clinical testing—and, hopefully—transform the way we detect, prevent, and manage disease," Brin explained. 

    The move could signal that Google views some of the life science initiatives as promising enough to be their own commercial entity.

    The move follows Google's announcement last week of a massive overhaul of its corporate structure. What was once Google will become a holding company called Alphabet, made up of several individual companies including Google's traditional Web businesses (search, maps, YouTube, Android, and so on), Nest (Google's home appliances group) and Fiber (Google's high speed Internet delivery service). 

    Google X, the research lab for projects such as self-driving cars and airborne wind turbines, will also become a separate subsidiary within Alphabet.Google smart contact lens

    The life sciences group, which will now be pulled out of X, includes a nanodiagnostics platform, a cardiac and activity monitor, and the Baseline Study, Brin noted in the post.

    The Baseline Study is an effort by Google to collect genetic and molecular information from hundreds of people to create a picture of what a healthy human body looks like. 

    With the move, Alphabet will actually have two health-focused companies under its flag: the new life sciences company (which presumably will get a catchier name at some point) and Calico, a separate company that Google created in 2013 that is focused on health issues related to aging.

    Here's Brin's full Google+ post on the life sciences change:

    3 years ago we embarked on a project to put computing inside a contact lens – an immensely challenging technical problem with an important application to health.  While I am delighted at the progress that project has made, I could not have imagined the potential of the initiative it has grown into – a life sciences team with the mission to develop new technologies to make healthcare more proactive.  The efforts it has spawned include  a nanodiagnostics platform, a cardiac and activity monitor, and the Baseline Study.

    It’s a huge undertaking, and I am delighted to announce that the life sciences team is now ready to graduate from our X lab and become a standalone Alphabet company, with Andy Conrad as CEO.  While the reporting structure will be different, their goal remains the same. They’ll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stage R&D to clinical testing—and, hopefully—transform the way we detect, prevent, and manage disease.  
       
    The team is relatively new but very diverse including software engineers, oncologists, and optics experts.  This is the type of company we hope will thrive as part of Alphabet and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

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