With management changes and numerous other efforts Google is trying to “get back to its startup roots.” So how about a video from when Google was really a startup.
On the Xooglers blog (and below) is a video of a “TGIF meeting.” Taken in 1999 by Doug Edwards, who was then the director of consumer marketing and brand management for Google, it almost plays like a scene from the NBC show “The Office.”
The video presents a pretty routine employee meeting: announcements are made, some new employees are introduced and an informal birthday party happens. According to Edwards’ blog post the company, then about a year old, had “fewer than 60 employees.”
The sound quality is poor so it’s hard to hear what’s being said. But that’s almost immaterial.
What’s amazing is how young Larry and Sergey look, especially Sergey. There’s a goofy, awkward quality to the whole thing.
Many of the employees in the room seem bored or simply to politely tolerate the meeting. They couldn’t have known at that time how wealthy they would become if they stayed through the IPO five years later.
At 4:25 (of the 7 minute video) there’s a shot of Google SVP Susan Wojcicki with a baby in her arms and, I believe, Salar Kamangar now CEO of YouTube. Others may recognize more faces.
Photo of Larry Page and Sergey Brin from “The TGIF Show” from 1999. Used with permission.