PHOTO: The garage where Google was based when it was founded in 1998. (Getty Images)

As the Google celebrates its 23rd birthday, we trace its origins back to the humble California garage where it all began in 1998….

It is a tech behemoth that has transformed the way we find and consume information, so ubiquitous it has become a verb: Google.

And it all started in a garage.

Founded on 4 September, 1998, it is 23 years since Google came along and changed the way we live forever.

That was the date that the company, founded by then Stanford University PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, was incorporated, thanks to a $100,000 investment from the co-founder of Sun Microsystems.

Back then, Google HQ was a humble garage in the city of Menlo Park, California, complete with table tennis table.

Larry Page (L), Co-Founder and President, Products, and Sergey Brin, Co-Founder and President, Technology, at Google's campus headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google, the popular Internet search engine company, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 29, 2004 to raise as much as $2.72 billion in its long-awaited stock market debut. They founded the company in 1998. (Photo by Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images)
Larry Page, left, and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google. (Getty Images)

Page and Brin rented the space from Susan Wojcicki, who was Google’s first marketing manager. She is now the chief executive of Google-owned YouTube.

When Page and Brin stepped down as chief executive and president respectively from Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in December 2019, they wrote: “We could not have imagined, back in 1998 when we moved our servers from a dorm room to a garage, the journey that would follow.”

A video tour filmed in 1998 by Harry, Google’s sixth employee, shows Page at work at a computer in a rather disorganised looking garage office space.

Page and Brin rented the garage for $1,700 a month from Wojcicki, who was working at the marketing department at Intel at the time.

In an interview with 60 Minutes in 2019, she said: “I was worried about covering the mortgage.

“So I was willing to rent my garage to any student.

“Then two students appeared. One was named Sergey Brin. The other was named Larry Page.

The company later offered a virtual tour of the Menlo Park garage where Google began. (Google Maps)
The company later offered a virtual tour of the Menlo Park garage where Google began. (Google Maps)

“They are the founders of Google. But at the time they were just students. They looked like any other students.”