Our friends over at HyperVocal deserve some kind of award, possibly one that can be found in a box of cereal or grocery store gumball machine, for their work in investigating where the word “Google,” or that website that tells you to go to Warming Glow when you search “alison brie best gif,” comes from. The official origin story goes:
Sean [Anderson] and Larry [Page] were in their office, using the whiteboard, trying to think up a good name – something that related to the indexing of an immense amount of data. Sean verbally suggested the word “googolplex,” and Larry responded verbally with the shortened form, “googol” (both words refer to specific large numbers). Sean was seated at his computer terminal, so he executed a search of the Internet domain name registry database to see if the newly suggested name was still available for registration and use. Sean is not an infallible speller, and he made the mistake of searching for the name spelled as “google.com,” which he found to be available. Larry liked the name, and within hours he took the step of registering the name “google.com.” (Via)
BULL PLOP. The real source involves the single biggest asset to the orange soda business, Kenan & Kel.
The pilot of Nickeloden’s Kenan & Kel premiered July 15, 1996. The duo attempt to raise enough funds, by whatever means necessary, to buy a car. In their desperate attempt for fast cash, they open box after box of a cereal called Google Puffs in hopes of finding a golden monkey and winning $10,000.
A year later, in 1997, Google’s official company history timeline claims the inspiration from the name comes from a mathematical term…On September 4, 1998, two years after that first episode of Kenan & Kel, the company was officially incorporated, and Google was born. (Via)
OK, so it’s probably not true, but I want to believe that a company worth approximately a lot of billions was named after a sitcom plot involving cereal and a golden monkey. If anyone out there can find the clip that proves one of the Mayan guards from Legends of the Hidden Temple inspired “Twitter,” then you can have my entire collection of VHS Figure It Out tapes. (That sentence makes sense to 0.002% of the world’s population.)