Appropriately enough Alphabet was born by blog, announced by then Google CEO Larry Page on the firm’s official web log on 10 August 2015. It’s a holding company for Google’s more out-there activities, the so-called ‘moonshots’ such as driverless cars, AI, ageing and disease and, er, investment. The revenue generating businesses – search, Chrome, Android, plundering our personal data – remain under the Google banner.
Google itself, of course, dates back rather further, to 1998 when two Stamford graduate students – Page and co-founder Sergey Brin – scraped together $1m from friends (we should all have such friends) to back their hunch that using page-ranking algorithms was the way to make sense of the internet.
Boy, were they right – in the 18 years since, Google has made hundreds of billions of dollars and over 180 acquisitions, including YouTube for $1.65bn, Nest Labs for $3.2bn and Motorola for a whopping $12.5bn. All despite the fact that neither Page nor Brin ever got round to completing their PhD studies.