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The latest news on Sergey Brin from Business Insider

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    sergey brin

    Yahoo's cofounder had a big role in Google's success.

    Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who built their Google search-engine prototype while at Stanford University, wanted to try to license out their technology to other companies, so they showed it to Stanford alumni David Filo, who had started

    Filo recommended launching a search site themselves based on their technology instead of licensing it. He even eventually introduced them to Michael Moritz, of venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital, who became one of Google's original backers.

    Apparently, some of those conversations happened in Filo's beat-up old car.

    Brin called Filo out on Friday as a person who has had one of the biggest impacts on his life, professionally and personally, during an interview at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford.

    He recalled:

    "In the early days when we had the little prototype and we were shopping it around he [Filo] said, 'Why don't you just go out and build this thing?' And I took his advice to heart. And that worked out pretty well. And kudos to Dave."

    But Filo's influence on Brin went beyond just business advice:

    "I met him a couple times back then and he drove me around in his falling-apart, 20-year-old car that didn’t have a working fuel gauge so we almost ran out of gas, and this was at a time when Yahoo was already quite a valuable company. Certainly on paper he was very wealthy. But Dave never really was affected by money at all pretty much. He always had a normal house, I'd say maybe an abnormal car, in that few people of normal income would tolerate that ... But I think that it was great to see how he didn't let his wealth or notoriety affect him that much."

    Brin, appearing on stage in a pair of Crocs, cracking jokes, and casually spitballing on quantum mechanics and nanotechnology, seems to have taken Filo's example at least partially to heart.

    That said, Brin does co-own several private planes and a fancy new Tesla. And according to a Bloomberg report from April 2015, he employs at least 47 people, including a yacht captain, a fitness instructor, a photographer, and an archivist through a family office called Bayshore Management to help run various aspects of his life.

    Brin also had his own advice to give out. When asked for his thoughts on failure and entrepreneurship, Brin told attendees to "enjoy the dream."

    "Failure doesn't matter, nor does success," he said. "It's really the privilege to pursue your dreams that matters."

    SEE ALSO: The insanely successful life of Google cofounder Sergey Brin

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Google is using these seven-person tricycles for team-building

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    The Camp

    This wasn't your average summer camp.

    Earlier this week, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hosted an exclusive gathering in Sicily with a star-speckled guest list that included Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, George Lucas, and Pharrell.

    The Camp, in its third year, is a three-day conference full of schmoozing that's been dubbed "Davos on the sea" for bringing together VIPs across tech, music, and fashion.

    This year's festivities included intellectual discussions, relaxation, and sumptuous meals, including a dinner among the ruins at the "Valle dei Templi" or "Valley of the Temples."

    Here's supermodel Karlie Kloss posing with Malala Yousafzai, who spoke in front of attendees about education and women's rights, and Alicia Keys, who performed five songs after dinner on Monday:

    I couldn't have wished for a more brilliant group of powerful and passionate women to celebrate with yesterday. ❤️

    A photo posted by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on Aug 4, 2016 at 7:20am PDT on

    Kloss celebrated her 24th birthday at the conference. Here she is sitting next to designer Diane von Furstenberg at one the group's lunches:

    Happy birthday dear Karlie ! @karliekloss Love Diane

    A photo posted by DVF (@dvf) on Aug 3, 2016 at 2:27pm PDT on

    The Italian swing and jazz band Four On Six played for about two hours that night too.

    Bandmate Fausto Savetteri told Business Insider that other guests he saw included Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, Fiat Automobiles heir Lapo Elkann, and Queen Rania of Jordan.

    "Everything was beautiful and, of course, top secret until the end," he said.

    Guests stayed at the luxurious Verdura Resort. Here's the Palm Restaurant's Bruce Bozzi posing with TV exec Brian Grazer and Veronica Smiley, his wife, who is in marketing ...

    Love you both to the moon & back! @briangrazer @smiley1128 We will always have Sicily 😎🇮🇹😎 #acuriousmind Ciao Italia

    A photo posted by Bruce Bozzi (@brucebozzi) on Aug 3, 2016 at 5:45am PDT on

    ... and YouTube star Lilly Singh posing with actress Charlize Theron.

    We're going to change the world. @charlizeafrica #GenEndIt #GirlLove

    A photo posted by Lilly (@iisuperwomanii) on Aug 1, 2016 at 4:16pm PDT on

    This young developer managed to get some pretty epic selfies, including with Alphabet CEO Larry Page ...

    #google #founder #googlecamp #sciacca #dinner #perfect #night #larrypage @larrypageofficial

    A photo posted by Marco Blò (@olaf_ht) on Aug 3, 2016 at 5:41pm PDT on

    ... and the leader of Alphabet's cash cow — Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

    Finally my dream came true !! #sciacca #googlecamp #ceo #google #dinner #sundarpichai @sundar.pichai

    A photo posted by Marco Blò (@olaf_ht) on Aug 3, 2016 at 5:38pm PDT on

    If only he had snagged a shot with Sergey Brin to complete the trifecta!

    Though he did track down Pharrell ...

    #dinner #night #googlecamp #pharrellwilliams #because #im #happy #respect @pharrell

    A photo posted by Marco Blò (@olaf_ht) on Aug 4, 2016 at 3:04am PDT on

    ... as well as Alicia Keys.

    Thank you for hosting me at your table ! Love you ! #aliciakeys #sciacca #googlecamp #perfect #night #dinner #loveyou @aliciakeys

    A photo posted by Marco Blò (@olaf_ht) on Aug 3, 2016 at 5:43pm PDT on

    Here's George Lucas, looking suave:

    #starwars #instamood #instalike #instagram #instagood #georgelucas #film #cinema #noi #party #googlecamp #smile #sciacca

    A photo posted by 🇮🇹Salvatore A. M. Monte🎭 (@salvatore.monte) on Aug 3, 2016 at 4:27am PDT on

    On the second day of the conference, guests flocked to the central square of the fishing town Sciacca to walk among the traditional carnival floats:

    #googlecamp #googlecamp2016 #googlecampsciacca #instacool #nofilter #picoftheday #vip #event #googleevent #siciliabedda #sicily

    A photo posted by @vinsanto on Aug 2, 2016 at 11:33am PDT on

    The conference also featured wine tastings ...

    Testing per il Google camp #verduraresort #googlecamp #google #winetesting #etna #etnawines #vini #degustazione

    A photo posted by _zsa_zsa_zsu_ (@_zsa_zsa_zsu_) on Aug 3, 2016 at 6:33am PDT on

    ... cheese tastings ...

    Tasting some of the most beautiful fermented things Sicily has to offer #sicily #cheese #winetasting

    A photo posted by Emily Caldwell (@emilycaldwelll) on Aug 3, 2016 at 5:02pm PDT on

    ... homemade pasta ...

    The pasta!!! Thank you these two beautiful Italian women!!!!! Home made pasta!!!!!! 🇮🇹🍝🇮🇹🍝🇮🇹🍝🇮🇹🍝🇮🇹 8/2/16

    A photo posted by Bruce Bozzi (@brucebozzi) on Aug 2, 2016 at 12:04pm PDT on

    ... fireworks ...

    ... and more live music.

    This was Google's third annual event.

    Right after, Page and Brin flew to Singapore.

    SEE ALSO: Why 'Snapchat stars' love Instagram's new copycat product

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Elon Musk just unveiled Tesla's 'top secret' master plan — here are the details

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    I’ve long believed that speed is the ultimate weapon in business. All else being equal, the fastest company in any market will win.

    Speed is a defining characteristic — if not the defining characteristic — of the leader in virtually every industry you look at.

    In tech, speed is seen primarily as an asset in product development. Hence the “move fast and break things” mentality, the commitment to minimum viable products and agile development.

    Many people would agree that speed and agility are how you win when it comes to product.

    What they fail to grasp is that speed matters to the rest of the business too — not just product. Google is fast. General Motors is slow. Startups are fast. Big companies are slow. It’s pretty clear that fast equals good, but there’s relatively little written about how to develop the institutional and employee muscle necessary to make speed a serious competitive advantage.

    "I believe that speed, like exercise and eating healthy, can be habitual."

    Through a prolonged, proactive effort to develop these good habits, we can convert ourselves as founders, executives and employees to be faster, more efficient company-building machines. And, when enough members of a team exhibit this set of habits, and are rewarded with reinforcement, compensation, and promotions, the organization itself will gain velocity.

    This is how category killers are made.

    So let’s break this down. What are the building blocks of speed? When you think about it, all business activity really comes down to two simple things: Making decisions and executing on decisions. Your success depends on your ability to develop speed as a habit in both.

    Making decisions

    "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week."

    General George Patton said that, and I definitely subscribe to it. Do you remember the last time you were in a meeting and someone said, “We’re going to make this decision before we leave the room”? How great did that feel? Didn’t you just want to hug that person?

    The process of making and remaking decisions wastes an insane amount of time at companies. The key takeaway: WHEN a decision is made is much more important than WHAT decision is made.

    If, by way of habit, you consistently begin every decision-making process by considering how much time and effort that decision is worth, who needs to have input, and when you’ll have an answer, you'll have developed the first important muscle for speed.

    This isn’t to say all decisions should be made quickly. Some decisions are more complicated or critical than others. It might behoove you to wait for more information. Some decisions can’t be easily reversed or would be too damaging if you choose poorly. Most importantly, some decisions don’t need to be made immediately to maintain downstream velocity.

    "Deciding on when a decision will be made from the start is a profound, powerful change that will speed everything up."

    In my many years at Google, I saw Eric Schmidt use this approach to decision-making on a regular basis — probably without even thinking about it. Because founders Larry and Sergey were (and are) very strong-minded leaders involved in every major decision, Eric knew he couldn’t make huge unilateral choices. This could have stalled a lot of things, but Eric made sure that decisions were made on a specific timeframe — a realistic one — but a firm one. He made this a habit for himself and it made a world of difference for Google.

    Larry Page

    Today at Upstart, we’re a much smaller company, and we’re making decisions that matter several times a day. We’re deeply driven by the belief that fast decisions are far better than slow ones and radically better than no decisions. From day to day, hour to hour, we think about how important each decision is and how much time it’s worth taking. There are decisions that deserve days of debate and analysis, but the vast majority aren’t worth more than 10 minutes.

    "It's important to internalize how irreversible, fatal or non-fatal a decision may be. Very few can't be undone."

    Note that speed doesn’t require one leader to make all the calls top-down. The art of good decision making requires that you gather input and perspective from your team, and then push toward a final decision in a way that makes it clear that all voices were heard.

    As I’ve grown in my career, I’ve moved away from telling people I had the right answer upfront to shaping and steering the discussion toward a conclusion. I wouldn’t call it consensus building — you don’t want consensus to hold you hostage — but input from others will help you get to the right decision faster, and with buy-in from the team.

    This isn’t a vote for rash decisions. I can be a little too “pedal to the metal” at times, and sometimes my co-founder Anna will say, “This is a big decision. Even though we think we know what to do, let’s give it 24 hours.” She’s saved us multiple times with that wisdom.

    There's an art to knowing when to end debate and make a decision. Many leaders are reluctant to make the final call when there are good arguments and a lot of emotions on both sides. We intuitively want the team to come to the right decision on their own. But I’ve found that people are enormously relieved when they hear that you’re grabbing the baton and accepting responsibility for a decision.

    Using the “CEO prerogative” — to make the final call — isn’t something you ought to need every day. As long as you do it sparingly, you can actually make your employees more comfortable, and engender more trust by pulling the trigger, logically explaining your choice and sticking with it.

    In fact, gauging comfort on your team is a really helpful measure of whether you’re going fast enough or not.

    "You know you're going fast enough if there's a low-level discomfort, people feeling stretched. But if you're going too fast, you'll see it on their faces, and that's important to spot too."

    While I was at Google, Larry Page was extremely good at forcing decisions so fast that people were worried the team was about to drive the car off a cliff. He’d push it as far as he could go without people crossing that line of discomfort. It was just his fundamental nature to ask, “Why not? Why can’t we do it faster than this?” and then wait to see if people started screaming. He really rallied everyone around this theory that fast decisions, unless they’re fatal, are always better.

    Executing decisions

    A lot of people spend a whole lot of time refining their productivity systems and to-do lists. But within the context of a team and a business, executing a plan as quickly as possible is an entirely different concept. Here’s how I’ve learned to execute with momentum.

    Challenge the when.

    I’m always shocked by how many plans and action items come out of meetings without being assigned due dates. Even when dates are assigned, they’re often based on half-baked intuition about how long the task should take. Completion dates and times follow a tribal notion of the sun setting and rising, and too often “tomorrow” is the default answer.

    It’s not that everything needs to be done NOW, but for items on your critical path, it’s always useful to challenge the due date. All it takes is asking the simplest question: “Why can't this be done sooner?” Asking it methodically, reliably and habitually can have a profound impact on the speed of your organization.

    This is definitely a tactic that starts with individual employees first — ideally those in senior positions who can influence others’ behavior. As a leader, you want them to make “things I like to do” become “things we like to do.” This is how ideas get ingrained. I’ve seen too many people never question when something will be delivered and assume it will happen immediately. This rarely happens. I’ve also seen ideas float into the ether because they were never anchored in time.

    You don’t have to be militant about it, just consistently respond that today is better that tomorrow, that right now is better than six hours from now.

    There’s a funny story about my old pal Sabih Khan, who worked in Operations at Apple when I was a product manager there. In 2008, he was meeting with Tim Cook about a production snafu in China. Tim said, “This is bad. Someone ought to get over there.” Thirty minutes went by and the conversation moved to other topics. Suddenly Tim looked back at Sabih and asked, 'Why are you still here?' Sabih left the meeting immediately, drove directly to San Francisco Airport, got on the next flight to China without even a change of clothes. But you can bet that problem was resolved fast.

    "The candle is always burning. You need leadership to feel and infuse every discussion with that kind of urgency."

    tim cook

    Recognize and remove dependencies.

    Just as important as assigning a deadline, you need to tease out any dependencies around an action item. This might be obvious, but mission critical items should be absolutely gang tackled by your team in order to accelerate all downstream activities. Things that can wait till later need to wait. Ultimately, you can’t have team members slow-rolling on non-vital tasks when they could be hacking away at the due date for something that is make or break.

    A big part of this is making sure people aren’t waiting on one another to take next steps. The untrained mind has a weird way of defaulting to serial activities — i.e. I’ll do this after you do that after X, Y, Z happens. You want people working in parallel instead.

    "A lot of people assume dependencies where they don't even exist."

    How can you turn serial dependencies into parallel action? As a CEO, I insert myself at different points in a process to radically accelerate things. For example, if we’re coming up on an announcement and time is of the essence, I might jump in and just write the blog post myself. It’s not that my team couldn’t do it. I just know it would be faster since I’m the one who’s picky about the content anyway. As a leader, it’s your job to recognize the dependencies and non-dependencies, and take action depending on how critical the thing is and when it’s due.

    Ten times a day I’ll find myself sitting in a meeting saying, “We don’t need to wait for that thing, we can do this now.” That thought is so common. It’s just that people need to say it out loud more often.

    Eliminate cognitive overhead.

    Remember when you used to download lots of songs on iTunes? It was so painfully slow if you wanted to buy a whole album at once. You’d have to wait for one to finish downloading so they could all speed up. Projects are like this. Sometimes a project is so complicated that it feels like you’re downloading six albums at once so everything else grinds to a halt too.

    I can’t even count the number of meetings I had at Google related to enterprise app identities versus normal consumer Google IDs. We launched a project to fix this, but it was so complicated that the first 30 minutes of every meeting were dedicated to restating what had happened in the last meeting. The cognitive overhead was mind boggling.

    This is how I learned that if you can knock out big chunks of a project early, you can reduce the overhead of the remaining parts by 90%. You should always be on the lookout for these opportunities.

    Often, it will be one tiny element of a project that’s adding all of the complexity. For example, our business at Upstart has to comply with a lot of regulations. There’s not a lot we can do until we know we’ll have legal approval, so we used to spend a lot of time dancing around whether something was going to be legal or not. Then we thought, why don’t we just get a brain dump from our lawyers saying, “Do this, this and this and not this, and you’ll be fine.” Having that type of simple understanding of the problem drastically reduced the cognitive overhead of every decision we made.

    If you can assess, pull out and stomp on the complicating pieces of the puzzle, everyone’s life gets easier. The one I see the most — and this includes at Google too — is that people hem and haw over what the founder or CEO will think every step of the way. Just get their input first. Don’t get your work reversed later on. What a founder might think is classic cognitive overhead.

    Use competition the right way.

    Talking about your competition is a good way to add urgency. But you have to be careful. As a leader, your role is to determine whether your team is going fast because they're panicked, or if they don’t seem to be paranoid enough. Based on the answer, competition is a helpful tool.

    At Upstart, we constantly say that while we’re working hard on this one thing, our competitors are probably working just as hard on something we don’t even know about. So we have to be vigilant. A lot of people say you should ignore competition, but by acknowledging it, you’re incentivizing yourself to set the pace in your market.

    "You can either set the pace of the market or be the one to react. Whoever is fastest out of the gate is the one everyone else has to react to."

    When we were launching Google Apps, we were coming out against Microsoft Office, which had this dominant, monopolistic ownership of the business. We thought about what we could do differently and better, and the simplicity of our pricing was part of it.

    We offered one price of $50 per employee per year — compared to the wacky 20-page price list Microsoft would drop on you. We didn’t agonize over whether it should be $45, $50 or $55 — I think we decided that in a half hour. We just wanted to be able to tell people, “We may not be free, but we’ll be the simplest decision you ever made.” That was us re-setting the bar for the market and pushing it hard so everyone else would have to react to it.

    Rally support for decisions.

    Almost nothing in tech can be done in a vacuum. Basically, once you’ve made a decision, you’ll need to convince others that you’re right and get them to prioritize what you need from them over the other things on their plate.

    Influencing a decision starts with recognizing that you’re really just dealing with other people. Even if it’s a vendor or another company you need to rally, it boils down to one person first. Given this view, you need to make a point of understanding this person, what their job is, how their success is measured, what they care about, what all of their other priorities are, etc. Then ask: “How can you help them get what they want while helping you get what you want?”

    I’ve seen this done by appealing to people’s pride. Maybe you tell them that you used to work with a competitor who was quite speedy so that they have incentive to go even faster. I’ve also seen this done by appealing to human decency and being honest. You might say something like, "Hey we’re really betting heavily on this, and we really need you guys to deliver."

    Whichever route you choose, you want to back up your argument with logic. You should gently seek to understand what’s happening. I tend to ask a lot of questions like: “Can you help me understand why something would take so long? Is there any way we can help or make it go faster?” Really try to get to the heart of the actions they're taking and the time they’ve carved out to do it. And if this works, be sure to commend them to their boss.

    I highly recommend this over a brute force method of escalating things to the person’s manager or throwing competition in their face. That doesn’t serve them, and they’ll be much less likely to serve you as a result.

    "How can you make other people look good? How can you make meeting your needs a win for them inside their company?"

    All of this comes back to making things go as fast and smoothly as possible. When you feel things start to slow down, you have to keep asking questions. Questions are your best weapon against inertia.

    To keep things moving along at Upstart, I ask a lot of hard questions very quickly, and most of them are time related. I know that we execute well and are generally working on the right things at the right time, but I will always challenge why something takes a certain amount of time. Are we working as smartly as we can?

    Too many people believe that speed is the enemy of quality. To an extent they’re right — you can’t force innovation and sometimes genius needs time and freedom to bloom. But in my experience, that’s the rare case. There’s not always a stark tradeoff between something done fast and done well. Don’t let you or your organization use that as a false shield or excuse to lose momentum. The moment you do, you lose your competitive advantage.

    SEE ALSO: Here's how Google employees are reacting to the huge changes at their company

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The sleep habits all successful people share

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    Mark Cuban

    For some, the weekend's a sacred retreat from the hustle and bustle of work.

    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 ways successful people spend their — at least theoretical — time away from work, 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 some of the most successful people do it:

    SEE ALSO: 23 successful people who wake up incredibly early

    DON'T MISS: What 13 highly successful people read every morning

    Richard Branson hangs out on his island in the Caribbean

    While Branson told the Telegraph he spends half the year traveling the world on business trips, he said he spends the other half on his tiny private Caribbean island, Necker.

    "I know I shouldn't, but I still like to party on Friday nights," he admitted. The business mogul said he dances until the wee hours of the morning to the sounds of the island's band, the Front Line, and heads to the crow's nest on his roof around 2 a.m. to watch the stars.

    Despite being up late, Branson still wakes up early, usually before everyone else, and goes for a swim around the island.

    "It's exquisitely beautiful; I'll see spotted eagle rays, giant leatherback turtles and a number of species of shark, such as nurse sharks and lemon sharks,"he told the Telegraph. "It's not frightening; if you're swimming with sharks they don't tend to bother you at all, it's only if they mistake you for a seal that they might have a nip."

    His morning swim is usually followed by a healthy breakfast of fruit salad or natural muesli, though on occasion he spoils himself with kippers or an English breakfast.

    The day's activities could include tennis, kitesurfing, scuba diving, or hanging out with dolphins and whales in his tiny submarine. But Branson said afternoons are always spent on the beach, oftentimes playing chess with his kids. 

    Saturday evenings consist of more partying, and Sundays include rock jumping, paddle boarding, and boat races, Branson told the Telegraph

    Elon Musk spends time with his children

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

    But 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."

    Arianna Huffington catches up on email

    Though she admits that she likes to go through her inbox Saturdays, the Huffington Post cofounder has said she never expects a response from her staff.

    "If I send an email at 11 at night, it's to get it off my to-do list, but I don't expect a reply,"she told Mashable. "And I make that very clear, I don't expect replies over the weekend."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    young larry page sergey brin

    Google is a global superpower. 

    Not only is Google the most-visited website in the world — it also makes Google Android, the most popular operating system in the world. 

    And on the back of Google's incredibly profitable advertising business, its parent company Alphabet is worth $543.3 billion.

    But it wasn't always that way.

    Here's a look at the history of Google, from its roots in a pair of Stanford dorm rooms, to Larry Page and Sergey Brin's attempt to sell the company, all the way through the explosive announcement that Google was becoming Alphabet.

    SEE ALSO: 33 photos of Facebook's rise from a Harvard dorm room to world domination

    Google got its start in 1996, when two Stanford PhD students named Sergey Brin (left) and Larry Page (right) had the idea for "BackRub," a revolutionary search engine that used a technology called "PageRank" that would rank web pages based on how many other web pages linked back to them.

    Page and Brin's first office was actually their two Stanford dorm rooms. The "BackRub" name didn't last long, as they decided that a "googol," or the number one with a hundred zeroes after it, better reflected the amount of data they were trying to sift through. The slightly friendlier name "Google" was chosen for the fledgling company.

    The first-ever Google server was built in a custom case made out of Legos and housed on the Stanford campus. At first, it was just at, but the domain name was registered on September 15th, 1997.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Google co-founder Sergey Brin is incredibly successful. Here's a look into his unorthodox life.
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    Marissa Mayer

    Only six of Google's earliest employees still work at the internet giant — and that includes founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

    Some early Google employees have gone on to become entrepreneurs, while others are now angel investors, and a lucky few have gone on to become top executives at other tech companies. A few are happily retired.

    In 2015, a Quora user compiled a list of all the original Googlers and where there careers have taken them. Of the first 21 employees, only six are still at the company.

    Here is what's become of the first 21 employees since launching their careers at Google.

    Jillian D'Onfro and Alyson Shontell contributed reporting on previous versions of this article.

    SEE ALSO: Google is launching a new standalone app to help you scan in all your childhood photos

    21. Marissa Mayer joined Google as a software engineer. Now she is the CEO of Yahoo.

    Employed by Google: June 1999 to July 2012

    Most recent position at Google:VP, Local, Maps & Location Services.

    Current company/position: CEO, Yahoo.

    20. Kendra DiGirolamo joined Google as an ad sales coordinator and left three years before the company went public. Now she's at Driscoll's.

    Employed by Google: June 1999 to May 2001

    Most recent position at Google:Advertising sales coordinator.

    Current company/position: Business systems analyst, Driscoll's.

    19. Larry Schwimmer was an early software engineer at Google. He introduced Snippets, a productivity system, to help Google manage employees during the company's explosive growth period. He also drove the launch of Google Moon, a Google Earth-like service that shows satellite photos of the moon.

    Employed by Google: 1999 to at least 2005 (unknown)

    Most recent position at Google:Software engineer.

    Current company/position: Unknown.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sergey brin

    A little more than a year ago, Google 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.

    Jillian D'Onfro contributed to an earlier version of this story.

    SEE ALSO: The fabulous life of Mark Zuckerberg

    With the announcement of Alphabet, Brin got a title upgrade, transitioning from "director of special projects" at Google's moonshot factory, X, to becoming president of the new parent company.

    All told, Brin is worth about $38.3 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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    Larry Page

    Larry Page is one of the most powerful people in the world.

    The quirky, soft-spoken computer scientist cofounded Google and now runs its parent company, Alphabet. 

    So how did he get to where he is today? Here's his story.

    Jillian D'Onfro contributed to an earlier version of this story. 

    SEE ALSO: The incredible rise of Google's Sundar Pichai, one of the most powerful CEOs in the world

    DON'T MISS: The crazy, eccentric, successful life of Google cofounder Sergey Brin

    Gloria and Carl Page had their second son, Lawrence, on March 26, 1973. They both taught computer science at Michigan State University and filled their home with computers and tech magazines that enthralled a young Larry.

    They enrolled him in a Montessori school. Such programs are known to foster independence and creativity, and Page now credits "that training of not following rules and orders, and being self-motivated and questioning what's going on in the world" as influencing his later attitudes and work.

    Source: YouTube

    At 12, Page read a biography about the brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla, who died in debt and obscurity. The ending made him cry, and inspired Page to not only want to build world-changing technologies, but to have the business sense to know how to spread them. "I figured that inventing things wasn't any good," he has said. "You really had to get them out into the world and have people use them to have any effect."

    Source: Business Insider,

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sergey brin

    On Monday afternoon, about 2,000 Google employees left their desks and took to the streets to protest President Donald Trump's immigration ban.

    This employee-led rally was attended by Google cofounder Sergey Brin, who addressed the crowd about his own experiences — Brin's family came to the US as refugees from the Soviet Union when he was a child, at the height of the Cold War. His remarks, as captured on YouTube, took many jabs at Trump's policies.

    "So many people were obviously outraged by this order, as am I myself, being an immigrant and a refugee," Brin told the crowd.

    "I'm glad to see the energy here today and around the world to know that people are fighting for what's right out there," Brin continued.

    "I think it's important to not frame this debate as being 'liberal' versus 'Republican' and so forth," Brin told the crowd. "It's a debate about fundamental values, about thoughtful policymaking and many of the other things that I think are — apparently not universally adored — but I think the vast majority of our country and of our legislators and so forth support."

    You can read a transcript of Brin's full remarks below, in which he calls for unity — and makes a joke about sporting a "Pence 2017" bumper sticker, which could be taken as a call for Congress to impeach Trump.

    Of note is that while Brin and Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke at this event, we're told the official keynote speaker at the rally was Soufi Esmaeilzadeh, a Google product manager and Harvard Business School alum. Esmaeilzadeh is an Iranian-born Canadian citizen who has lived in the US for the past 15 years but had just landed in Switzerland when the order went into effect.

    soufi Esmaeilzadeh google product manager

    The ban has temporarily halted the US's admission of refugees and barred immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Iran, from entering the country.

    While the company was unsure whether Esmaeilzadeh would be affected amid confusion over how Trump's executive order would be carried out, Google opted to bring her home immediately, in the window granted by a federal court's emergency stay of Trump's order.

    Pichai, who was born and raised in India, has been especially vocal in fighting Trump's executive order on immigration. Google is setting up a $4 million emergency fund to help affected employees with legal and living costs. In a leaked email to Google employees, Pichai wrote, "It's painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues."

    Read what Brin told Google employees:

    "But in all seriousness, so many people were obviously outraged by this order, as am I myself, being an immigrant and a refugee.

    "I came here to the US at age 6 with my family from the Soviet Union which was at that time the greatest enemy the US had, maybe it still is. It was a dire period, the cold war, as some people remember it. It was under the threat of nuclear annihilation. And even then the US had the courage to take me and my family in as refugees.

    "And I’d say the risks at the time, letting in these foreigners from a land that might spy on you, learn the nuclear secrets on the back...and there were many cases of espionage, those risks were far greater than the terrorism we face today. And nevertheless, this country was brave and welcoming and I wouldn’t be where I am today or have any kind of the life that I have today if this was not a brave country that really stood out and spoke for liberty.

    "But to fast forward, Saturday night at SFO was a really warm wonderful experience to be honest. I saw so many of you there, I saw so many friends and family there, all with the same spirit. I found that very touching and I’m glad to see the energy here today and around the world to know that people are fighting for what’s right out there.

    "I think that as we do that, and I’ve spent time talking to [Google CEO] Sundar [Pichai] about it and so forth, I think that we need to be smart about it too. And that means bringing in folks who have some different viewpoints and so forth. Maybe it’s somebody who we don’t agree with on climate change. But nevertheless, there are many rational, thoughtful people out there, who maybe they vote Republican, or Democrat or independent, or whatever, but are outraged by these kinds of actions. and it’s important to be welcoming and reach out to them. and in fact we’ve been working to do exactly that. Some of us might even adopt Pence 2017 bumper stickers.

    "But I guess my point being, I think it’s important to not frame this debate as being liberal versus republican and so forth. It’s a debate about fundamental values , about thoughtful policymaking and many of the other things that I think are — apparently not universally adored — but I think the vast majority of our country and of our legislators and so forth support. And I think it’s important to frame it in that way and to be inclusive in that way. and sometimes think that might be really difficult because I know we have many many different values here that might not be universally shared. But I think these are really special times and i think it’s important to form friendships with many different people.

    "I hope this energy carries forward in many different ways, beyond what just our company can do, beyond just what company can do, but as really a powerful force and really a powerful moment."

    Watch Brin and Google CEO Sundar Pichai address the crowd:

    SEE ALSO: Google's Sergey Brin and Sundar Pichai speak at company immigration ban rally, while thousands of Googlers take to the streets

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here’s how the top Silicon Valley companies are responding to Trump’s immigration ban

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    Sundar Pichai became Google's CEO in 2015Larry Page is still CEO of Google's parent company, Alphabet, but Pichai has the important job of making sure that the company's core businesses stays strong.

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    Cloud Larry Page

    Alphabet CEO Larry Page is driven by a fierce, relentless ambition.

    The cofounder of Google and current CEO of Google's parent company Alphabet is notoriously unsatisfied by ideas that don't push technology forward by 10x. You can see his big dreams at work within X, Alphabet's experimental lab where it's working on internet-beaming balloons, drones, and more. 

    You can also see it through these quotes.

    Jillian D'Onfro contributed to an earlier version of this post. 

    SEE ALSO: The meteoric rise of Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in photos

    On making a difference: "What is the one-sentence summary of how you change the world? Always work hard on something uncomfortably exciting!"

    Source: Google

    On invention versus implementation: "Invention is not enough. [Nikola] Tesla invented the electric power we use, but he struggled to get it out to people. You have to combine both things: invention and innovation focus, plus the company that can commercialize things and get them to people."

    Source: Ted

    On making Google products beautiful: "I do think there is an important artistic component in what we do. As a technology company I’ve tried to really stress that."

    Source: Fortune

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Letters spell the word

    It's been more than a year since Google blew up its entire corporate structure to form a new parent company: Alphabet.

    The shake-up was intended to help all of its businesses operate more efficiently, a move CEO Larry Page was working on for years as a secret project he called "Javelin."

    This move also allowed Page to step back from day-to-day operations to "focus on the bigger picture."

    Now, Alphabet is a massive corporation — ranking in size behind Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft— that encompasses everything from internet-beaming hot air balloons to self-driving cars to Google Cloud. 

    Here's how all of Alphabet's companies fit under the umbrella. 

    SEE ALSO: Teens think Google is really cool ... according to a study by Google

    SEE ALSO: The alarming inside story of a failed Google acquisition, and an employee who was hospitalized

    Google officially became Alphabet in October, 2015, with the hope of allowing businesses units to operate independently and move faster. Google cofounder Larry Page is the CEO of the umbrella company, Alphabet.

    Alphabet is divided into two main units: Google and Other Bets. Other Bets is best known for its "moonshot" R&D unit, X, but it also houses several other companies. Let's start with the smaller companies under Other Bets.

    Nest builds smart thermostats and other home devices, like outdoor security cameras. The company was acquired by what is now Alphabet in 2014, and in June of last year, CEO Tony Fadell stepped down but remains within Alphabet. He was replaced by Marwan Fawaz.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Steven Kotler is a performance expert and the coauthor of "Stealing Fire." In this video, Kotler explains why Google relies on creating group-flow states, and how Larry Page and Sergey Brin used Burning Man to find the right CEO.

    Following is a transcript of the video.

    Google used Burning Man to find a CEO because they were interested in finding a CEO who's familiar with group flow.

    So one of the things that happens at Burning Man — and there's recent research out of Oxford that sort of backs this up — is that Burning Man alters consciousness in a very particular way and it drops people into a state of group flow.

    So, flow is a peak-performance state. It's an individual performing at their peak. Group flow is simply a team performing at their peak, and everybody has some familiarity with this. If you’ve ever taken part in a great brainstorming session, where ideas are kind of bouncing everywhere — you're really reaching ripe, smart conclusions.

    If you’ve seen a fourth-quarter comeback in football. If you saw what the Patriots did in the Super Bowl. That’s group flow in action.

    Google has relied very heavily since their inception on creating group-flow states. And when they were looking for a new CEO, they needed a way to screen for this, and it doesn't show up on most resumes.

    They had a long history with Burning Man. From the very beginning, Larry and Sergey have been kind of rabid attendees. The center atrium at Google for years was decorated with pictures of Googlers at Burning Man, spinning fire, doing various things.

    They had blown through and alienated like 50 different CEOs in the valley they tried to interview, and they found out that Eric Schmidt had actually been to Burning Man. So they bumped him to the top of their list, they took him to Burning Man to see how he would do. They wanted to know was he going to be able to let go of his ego, merge with the team, or was he going to stand in its way? And it turns out he passed the test, and the result is one of the most pivotal CEO hires in the modern era.

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    uss macon nasa ames hangar one

    Google cofounder and Alphabet president Sergey Brin is secretly building a massive zeppelin in Hangar 2 of the NASA Ames Research Center, with a giant metal skeleton already in place, reports Bloomberg's Ashlee Vance

    It's not immediately clear if this dirigible is for business purposes, or represents more of a hobby for Brin.

    According to the report, Alphabet has nothing to do with Brin's blimp project — though, as Vance points out, Google arm Planetary Ventures took over management of the NASA Ames hangars in 2015. 

    Earlier this week, Kitty Hawk, a venture backed by Brin's fellow Google founder Larry Page, revealed plans to start selling a personal "flying car" by the end of the year.

    Google declined to comment. Read the full Bloomberg report here.

    SEE ALSO: What we know so far about the Larry Page-backed 'flying car' coming later this year

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A giant US military blimp broke loose and traveled 130 miles

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    Sergey Brin

    Google founder Sergey Brin is "secretly" building a massive airship in Hangar 2 at the NASA Ames Research Center.

    Bloomberg reports that Brin’s fascination with airships began when he visited Ames and saw old photos of the giant USS Macon being built by the US Navy in the 1930s.

    Google unit Planetary Ventures commissioned the hangars in 2015, and according to Bloomberg, a metal frame is already filling most of the enormous building.

    Leading the project is Alan Weston, a British-educated aeronautics expert born to Australian parents.

    Weston is keeping quiet about the project right now, but in 2013 he spoke of plans for an airship as a fuel-efficient way to carry cargo loads up to 500 tonnes.

    runaway miliary JLENS blimp

    While various attempts to modernize the form of transport, unfortunately, best known in terms of the Hindenburg disaster, have met with varying success, Weston has a unique track record as someone not afraid to take a risk.

    As in, the ultimate risk, of being one of the first people to bungee jump without having tested the equipment or technique.

    In the 1970s, while he was at Oxford University, Weston was part of a group known as the Dangerous Sports Club. Their specialty was high risk and surreal sporting activities, such as skiing a grand piano down the Swiss Alps and hang-gliding from active volcanoes. A sort of forerunner to Jackass.

    One night, they hit on an idea when US member Geoff Tabin told them he was visiting New Guinea. A discussion started about vine-jumping, which was actually a coming of age ritual in Vanuatu.

    But the discussion turned to how the group could "urbanise" it.

    One of the group’s members, Simon Keeling, had a brother in the RAF. Tabin said the brother arranged for the group to "permanently borrow" one of the elastic cords, made by "Bungee Corporation", used to catch jets as they land on aircraft carriers.

    And after an all-night party at Oxford, Keeling, Weston, Tim Hunt (the brother of F1 champion James) and founding member David Kirke performed the first recorded bungee-jump off the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol in the UK, on April 1, 1979, and were promptly arrested.

    That was probably Weston’s fault, as he’d told his sisters about the jump and they both independently told the police, fearing their brother was about to kill himself.

    In 2014, footage of the jump was uncovered in a store of cans of 16mm film rushes:

    At the time, Kirke told the BBC that Weston was third to jump. One YouTube commenter claims his friend Crispin Balfour pushed Weston off.

    Four members were also arrested when the group performed the stunt from the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. Weston escaped police by sailing to Fort Point, changing clothes and running off.

    It wasn't Weston’s first escape from the law, according to Kirke, who told the UK Daily Telegraph in 2004:

    "He once flew around the Houses of Parliament in a microlight, wearing a gorilla outfit, playing a saxophone and chased by a police helicopter and two civilian helicopters.

    "We got him away to Epping Forest, where we bundled him into a car and put him on the first plane back to America."

    The sport hit mainstream soon after members were asked to jump from the Royal Gorge Suspension bridge in Colorado for That’s Incredible!. Tabin, as the inaugural American, got to jump in a white tuxedo, and won a spot in the popular show’s opening credits for a year afterwards.

    Here’s Weston in footage from that episode:

    Weston clearly has a taste for pushing boundaries. He and Kirke once led a sailing expedition for five days in Force 9 gales to a rock 500km off the coast of Scotland, just to spend the night "drinking champagne and dancing to the Beach Boys".

    Tabin is now an ophthalmologist. Kirke even now continues his exploits for the DSC. He hurled himself from a trebuchet on his 55th birthday and was last reported to be working on building a working pegasus.

    Weston continued his daredevil exploits in aerospace engineering, and once broke his ankle trying to hang-glide down Mt Kilimanjaro, before eventually joining the US Air Force.

    In 1989, he was an engineer on the Reagan government’s iconic "Star Wars" missile defence system and oversaw one of its first tests.

    He’s been with NASA since 2006, at one time working on a moon lander.

    And now he’s building an airship for Sergey Brin.

    This, kids, is why you should stay in school.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How the US could prevent a North Korean nuclear strike — according to a former Marine and cyberwarfare expert

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    Sergey Brin

    Sergey Brin's secret blimp company is likely called "LTA Research & Exploration, LLC", and it paid more than $100,000 to lease space from Alphabet, based on clues disclosed in Alphabet's annual proxy statement on Friday.

    Per the filing (emphasis ours), Google's parent company has been leasing space to a new entity that's tied to Sergey Brin, the Google cofounder who is now the President of Alphabet:

    "In December 2015, we entered into an agreement to license a portion of our hangar space at the Airfield to LTA Research & Exploration LLC (LTA), which is owned by an entity affiliated with Sergey Brin. From the beginning of 2016 through April 19, 2017, we charged LTA approximately $131,000. "

    Bloomberg broke the news earlier this week that Brin had been working on a blimp project at Moffett Field. "LTA" is a common acronym for "Lighter Than Air", a type of aircraft filled with gas that floats rather than flies.

    The company's CEO, identified by Bloomberg as Alan Weston, had originally posted his title as "CEO at ltare" on LinkedIn before deleting his post. "Ltare" is likely an acronym for LTA Research and Exploration. A quick LinkedIn search also reveals a smattering of aerospace engineers and interns that say they work for LTA Research & Exploration. California business registration records show the company was first incorporated in December 2014.

    Google declined to comment.

    SEE ALSO: Uber's self-driving car boss, Anthony Levandowski, is stepping aside amid legal fight with Waymo

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The newest flying car is backed by Larry Page — and you can buy it by the end of the year

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    Project Wing drone

    Project Wing, the delivery drone initiative under development at Google-parent Alphabet, felt another jolt of turbulence this week as more members of the team were officially cut loose.

    But even as sources inside the high-profile group report ongoing challenges, the drone unit is preparing an important update to demonstrate progress that's expected in a matter of weeks.

    Business Insider has heard from multiple people that a group of employees left the team this week. And despite getting a big shout-out from Alphabet CEO Larry Page in a recent public letter, Project Wing is still not close to being ready to launch, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    Our sources are calling the latest job reductions at Wing a layoff, however an X spokesperson explains that these cuts are not new but rather the final part of the reorganization that began in January, shortly after the departure of the unit's leader Dave Vos in the fall.

    Employees were informed back then that their jobs were going away and they had until mid-April to land another one elsewhere including within Google. Some of the affected employees managed to get hired into new groups, while others are no longer employed by Alphabet.

    "X (and Alphabet generally) typically gives people time and support to find new roles when there are changes in teams/projects," a spokesperson told Business Insider.

    Ambitious initiatives like Project Wing, which is trying to invent a drone that can deliver packages, is by definition a risky undertaking with no guarantee of success. 

    Wing is part of X, formerly known as Google X, which is the company's R&D unit working on far-out "moonshot" projects, racing against Amazon and drone makers like DJI to usher in what may one day be a massive new market, delivering everything from food to medicine straight to people's doorsteps.

    alphabet X project wing

    Stress test

    All told, since January, between layoffs and people quitting, Project Wing's workforce has been reduced by about 10%. However, that's not very many people, less than a dozen. We understand that Wing employs about 70 people.

    The main team that has been dismantled with Project Wing's reorganization is the one that was working business product strategy, doing things like crafting partnerships with Chipotle and Starbucks, the Wall Street Journal reported last fall and a source close to the project confirmed with Business Insider. A potential partnership with Starbucks was nixed when that happened, as Bloomberg reported at the time. 

    Project Wing has experienced a ton of change and turmoil since its beginnings in 2012 and has a reputation for stress and politics, more than one person familiar with the project has told us.

    One guy, who was working long hours out-of-doors testing the drone, even collapsed on the job and was briefly hospitalized, sources previously told us. He was later let go as part of the team's reorganization, people told us.

    It's not clear if Wing's disruptions will cease now that the final employees whose jobs were cut back in January have moved on.

    Grandfathered in

    The turmoil stems in part because Wing is one of X's earliest cornerstone projects, one person speculated to us. This project was created before Google reorganized itself into Alphabet and forced X to implement more stringent business analysis, hiring practices and cost controls on the projects it funded.

    Dave VosThese days, it's difficult to get a job at X, we understand. People can no longer get hired into X just because one of their buddies works there, a marked change from earlier days when the so-called moonshot factory was a freewheeling hive of experimental projects.

    Wing's first leader was famed MIT robotics scientist Nick Roy, who worked there during a two-year sabbatical and then went back to his tenured job at MIT. Various engineers joined Wing during those earlier years, including people from MIT who followed Roy there and left when he did, our source told us.

    Roy was replaced by Vos. And Vos was pushed out by a coup of sorts when a group of employees, led by a trio of managers hired in the earlier era, went to the leader of X, Astro Teller, and made their case against Vos. (Vos did not return our request for comment.)

    The initial design of Project Wing, a fixed wing aircraft that took off and landed like a helicopter, had proven to be a bust, and other internal problems plagued the team even as it shifted to a new drone design. Teller sided with the faction of protesters and Vos was out. Each of the three men were then put in charge of crucial elements of the newly designed drone and Teller himself took over as the project's leader, we understand.

    Everyone is watching

    Project Wing is being watched at the highest levels of Google. X is Google cofounder Sergey Brin's baby and he keeps tabs on many of the projects. We understand that he keeps a desk at Project Wing and talks with the team regularly.

    Larry Page, the co-founder of Google who is now CEO of its parent company Alphabet, also called out Wing in his annual letter to shareholders just published on Thursday.

    "Sergey is continuing to spend time working with the X moonshot factory. They have a number of efforts like Wing, which is doing drone delivery. I also can't wait for them to launch!"he wrote.

    Google Project WingHowever, the person we talked tells us that the drone still needs a lot of work as is not on the verge of becoming its own company and product. This person didn't estimate when that would happen.

    Despite the politics, Alphabet remains committed to the project and says there's exciting news to be shared soon.

    "Project Wing is moving ahead at full speed and we're enthusiastic about the team's progress in developing the next phase of our technology. We're wholeheartedly committed to the moonshot of opening the skies to faster, more efficient transportation of goods, and we look forward to having updates to share in the coming weeks," the spokesperson told us.

    SEE ALSO: The alarming inside story of a failed Google acquisition, and an employee who was hospitalized

    SEE ALSO: The return of Joe Lonsdale: How the cofounder of multibillion-dollar company Palantir was vilified in Silicon Valley, then bounced back

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    bill gates harvard commencement

    For new college students, choosing a major can feel like a decision that shapes one's life trajectory. But a degree in computer science is no guarantee that you'll create the next billion-dollar startup, and a philosophy degree won't necessarily keep you from starting a business. 

    The best and brightest CEOs in tech come from a wide-range of educational backgrounds.

    Some of their chosen majors link up perfectly with what they ended up accomplishing, while others made decisions that might not immediately make sense to an outside observer. 

    But whether you major in International Studies like Bumble's Whitney Wolfe, or Metallurgical Engineering like Google's Sundar Pichai, there are plenty of ways to make it big in tech.  

    Take a look: 

    Reed Hastings — Netflix CEO

    Alma Maters: Bowdoin University (B.A.), Stanford University (M.S.) 

    Majors: Mathematics (B.A.), Computer Science (M.S.)

    Hastings deferred his college acceptance for one year to continue his summer job: selling vacuums door-to-door. While at Bowdoin, Hastings ran the Outing Club which organized climbing and canoeing trips. 

    Jack Ma — Alibaba CEO

    Alma Maters: Hangzhou Normal University (B.A.), Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business 

    Majors: English (B.A.), M.B.A. 

    Ma didn't get into college on his first attempt. Or his second. Or even his third. In all, Jack Ma applied to college four separate times before he was accepted and got an English degree. Now, he is worth almost $30 billion. 

    Susan Wojcicki — YouTube CEO

    Alma Maters: Harvard University (B.A.), U.C. Santa Cruz (M.S.), UCLA Anderson School of Business 

    Majors: History (B.A.) and Literature (B.A.), Economics (M.S.), M.B.A. 

    Wojcicki comes from a family of academics, and fully expected to become one herself. Her plan was originally to get a Ph.D. in economics, but she changed course after finding she was passionate about technology. She would eventually go on to become the 16th employee hired by Google, and has been on a steady rise ever since. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Sergey Brin

    More details are leaking about Google co-founder Sergey Brin's secret quest to build a giant airship.

    Bloomberg broke the news last month that Brin was working on a secret blimp project at Moffett Field. Business Insider subsequently reported that Brin's company was called LTA Research & Exploration and that it has been leasing space from Google parent company Alphabet. 

    Now anonymous sources tell The Guardian that the ship is being personally funded by Brin at an estimated cost of over $100 million. The blimp is expected to be massive in both scale and grandeur — something like 200 meters long. That's not as big as the famously unfortunate Hindenburg, which was 245 meters. But some say it would be among the biggest aircraft flying the skies today, and possibly the biggest.

    These sources expect that Brin plans to use it to bring humanitarian food and supplies to the far corners of the world. And they also expect him to use it as luxurious "air yacht" for the billionaire and his family and friends to enjoy, according to the report.

    Brin declined common on the original Bloomberg story, nor did he comment on the Guardian story and Alphabet declined comment to Business Insider as well.

    raytheon jlens blimp securityBrin is said to be fascinated with air travel. The unit he oversees at Google's parent company Alphabet is working on all kinds of aircraft, including balloon type crafts. Brin is the executive champion of the unit formerly called Google X, now calling itself simply X.

    Earlier this week, the unit gave updates on several of its projects including Project Loon, which delivers internet connectivity to remote regions using balloons. Loon is being used by tens of thousands of people in flood-affected zones in Peru, X says. That's the first time that balloon-powered internet has been used to connect so many people.

    X also has a project called Makani that's trying to generate electricity from an energy kite. Earlier this month, it had a successful prototype test of the kite, which X says is the largest ever of its kind at 600 kilowatts. 

    And then there's Project Wing, the unit's drone delivery project. Although we've reported on this project's troubles and set-backs, it was also called out as a project to watch by Alphabet CEO Larry Page in his annual letter to shareholders in April.

    As we previously reported, Brin is actively involved at X and even has his own desk installed in some of the projects, like Wing. So, when it comes to objects that fly, Brin just can't seem to get enough.

    SEE ALSO: Inside Facebook's plan to eat another $350 billion IT market

    SEE ALSO: Despite setbacks and job cuts, Google is promising a big update in its race against Amazon’s delivery drones

    Join the conversation about this story »

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