Google Was Nearly A Site That Allowed Users To Order Pizza Through A Fax Machine

Last year, Sergey Brin gave a speech at Google Ventures CEO Summit on the value of failing, and how failing fast can be beneficial. One of the subjects that he covered was his original foray into building a Web service some 20 years ago — the service that allowed users to order pizzas by harnessing the Internet to send faxes to pizza shops. In the talk, Brin covers how a single failed fax allowed Google to be born.

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The service that Brin and his friends created allowed users to fill out an order for what type of pizza they’d like to consume. The order would then be faxed into the pizza shop – no phone calls required. When testing the service, Brin and friends ordered a pizza from a local shop and waited for the food to be delivered. However, it turned out that most pizza shops simply didn’t check their faxes on a regular basis.

As Brin and friends sat around hungry, the faxed order sat untouched at the shop. When calling the pizza joint a good time later, he was told “let me check the fax machine.” Upon hearing this information, he realized that this idea simply wouldn’t work and moved on to work with Larry Page on data mining and the link structure of the Web.

In the conclusion of the talk, Brin stated that he was glad the fax idea failed quickly so he could move on to bigger and better things instead of working to revolutionize the pizza ordering process.

Thanks to Rick Klau from Google Ventures for posting the video.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Google | Google: Other


About The Author: is the Chief Marketing Officer for Cypress North, a company that specializes in social media and search marketing services and web-based application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 6+ years and specializes in Social Media Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

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  • Phil Segal

    The funny thing is that there are companies who started doing this in the last year or two who are doing it successfully (Seamless). Granted, it’s no Google… :)

  • staceyclermont

    I guess it was bad timing for Sergey.

  • Lola Wolf

    Funny enough. Now you can order online anything, wonder why Google is not trying to make a commission on Pizza Hut. ;) Would be a good source of income.

  • Deboti Chowdhury

    Those pizza shops should really check their faxes…

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