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If I were to ask you to pick a number, any number, what number would you choose? (Pause) How many picked a number between 1 and 100? How about 100 and 1,000? Or maybe you picked an even higher number. Anyone pick a number over one million? If you didn’t, why not?

In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded a company with a very strange name, Google. Google is now the most preferred Internet search engine in the world. There are over 2 billion searches a day on the Google search engine. One study recently showed that Google processes 20 petabytes of information per day. That’s 10 million times 100 million. Suffice it to say, no search engine comes close.

So, how did they get so big? I mean in just 10 years, they are far and away the largest search engine.

Those who started Google say it began with their initial vision. You see, the word Google comes from another word, googol. Googol is a mathematical term for the number 10 followed by 100 zeroes. While most people are likely to pick a number like 14 or 88, Brin and Page decided to pick googol--10 with 100 zeroes. Now, to get an idea of what that looks like, this is the number googol.

Jim Reese, the chief operations engineer of Google, said: "It takes a lot of confidence and courage to go ahead and be huge. It’s rare to find people who think on such a grand scale and are able to create a great product at the same time."

(From "Preaching Today - Citation: (11-5-02) From a sermon by Michael Deutsch, "Let’s Google" 2/16/2009)

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