Google's Ten Years as a Public Company

On August 19th, 2004, Google (GOOG) debuted on the public markets. After pricing at $85 per share, Google stock is up nearly 1300% ten years later, trading at $587, with a market cap of $397 billion.

The startup began in 1998, as a project put together by Stanford students Sergey Brin and Larry Page, based out of a garage in Menlo Park, California. Today the company has about 50,000 employees.

What started as a search engine, Google’s business evolved to include email, web video, smartphones and wearable technology. Here’s how they got where they are today:

1996: Stanford students Sergey Brin and Larry Page begin a search engine called BackRub, operating on Stanford servers for more than a year, until it takes up too much bandwith.

1997: The domain name is registered on September 17th, named after a mathematical term “googol,” representing infinity.

1998: Angel investor Andy Bechtolsheim writes a check for $100,000 to fund their search engine concept and Google files for incorporation in California. Brin and Page hire their first employee, Craig Silverstein, a fellow Stanford student.

1999: Google moves out of Susan Wojcicki’s garage in Menlo Park and into its first office in Palo Alto with eight employees.

The company raises a $25 million investment round from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins and moves again to Mountain View, California.

2000: The search engine becomes available in 15 languages, including French, Spanish and Japanese.  Google AdWords is released, enabling the company to monetize its business through self-service advertisements.

2001: Eric Schmidt is named CEO, after joining from Sun Microsystems. The company opens its first international office in Tokyo.

2002: Google introduces cost-per-click advertising in AdWords. Google News is launched and so is Froogle, which eventually became Google Shopping.

2003: Google obtains the Blogger platform through its acquisition of Pyra Labs. The company launched its ad-targeting service AdSense and also began scanning literature through Google Books.

2004: The company launches Orkut, a social media platform that was shut down ten years later. Google moves its headquarters to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California.

Google Local is introduced, providing information on locations and business listings. The service is eventually integrated with Google Maps.

Gmail is launched on April Fools’ Day, beginning as an invite-only service. The company completes its IPO, debuting on the Nasdaq in August.

2005: Google Maps is created and mobile searches are introduced. Google Talk is launched, enabling instant messaging.

2006:  Google Calendar and Google Docs are created, encouraging users to rely on Google for productivity. Google Trends is created to analyze search term popularity.

The company announces its first billion-dollar acquisition with the purchase of video platform, YouTube.

2007: Google Street View debuts, eventually allowing users to see images of addresses throughout the globe. Android is announced, paving the way for its future smartphone devices.

2008: The company acquires DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, providing ad management technology for agencies and publishers. The first Google I/O developer conference takes place.

T-Mobile (TMUS) unveils the G1, the first phone hosting the Android operating system. Google’s Chrome browser is released.

2009: The company launches its venture capital arm, Google Ventures. DoubleClick Ad Exchange is created, a real-time marketplace for agencies and publishers to buy and sell advertising space.

2010: Google TV launches, in an effort to bring web video and other content to television screens. The company spends $750 million to purchase AdMob, a mobile display advertising company.

2011: Larry Page is named CEO. Google Wallet for payments, Google Offers for coupons and social media service Google+ debut.

2012: Google Glass is unveiled, integrating eyewear with voice-activated search technology. Google Fiber high-speed Internet is launched in Kansas City.

2013: A music subscription service, Google Play Music All Access debuts. Google spends $1 billion to acquire Waze, for a social map service. Chromecast is introduced, a device that brings web-based content to television.

2014: Today Google has grown into a company with 50,000 employees and a market cap of nearly $ billion. The company's headquarters are in Mountain View, California, with offices around the globe.