The very popular search engine called Google was invented by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google was named after a googol - the name for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros - found in the book Mathematics and the Imagination by Edward Kasner and James Newman.
To Google's founders the name represents the immense amount of information that a search engine has to sift through.
Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and BackRub
In 1995, Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University as graduate students in computer science. By January of 1996, the pair began collaborating on writing a program for a search engine dubbed BackRub, named after its ability to do back link analysis.
Next, fueled by the rave reviews that BackRub received, Larry Page and Sergey Brin began working on Google. Operating out of their dorm rooms, the pair built a server network using cheap, used, and borrowed PCs. They maxed their credit cards buying terabytes of disks at discount prices. They tried to license their search engine technology, however, after failing to find anyone that wanted their product at an early stage of development, Page and Brin decided to keep Google, seek more financing, improve the product, and take it to the public themselves.
Let Me Just Write You a Check
The strategy worked and after more development Google finally became a hot commodity. Co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Andy Bechtolsheim said after a quick demo of Google, "Instead of us discussing all the details, why don't I just write you a check?"
The $100,000 check was made out to Google Inc., however, Google Inc. as a legal entity did not exist yet. Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated within two weeks, cashed that check, and raised $900,000 more for their initial funding.
In September of 1998, Google Inc. opened in Menlo Park, California and Google.com, a beta search engine, was answering 10,000 search queries every day. On September 21, 1999, Google officially removed the beta (test status) from its title.