Google buys the lot at garage sale

The checklist for Silicon Valley start-ups: A clever idea. A couple of college dropouts, or maybe grad students. A pocketful of venture funding. And, of course, a garage.

Google garage sale

That's how it all started for Google in the late 1990s. Now, having paid back its early investors (and then some), the benevolent dictatorship of the Internet has rummaged through its change purse to buy the garage it called home in the early days. The company didn't say how much it paid for the garage, and the house attached to it, but the Associated Press reports that similar houses in the neighborhood have been selling for just over $1 million. (In 2000, Hewlett-Packard bought the garage its founders once frequented.)

There probably wasn't much haggling over the price. Google bought the Menlo Park, Calif., property from Susan Wojcicki, its vice president of product management, who before joining the company had rented out the garage at $1,700 a month for five months to founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin (who actually started the company in their Stanford dorm room).

Will they use the garage to house Sergey and Larry's Tesla Roadster? A neighborhood Wi-Fi hot spot? All Google will say for now is that the structure will become part of its "living legacy."

Blog community response:

"Oh, there is even a hot tub on the property. But, apparently, the co-founders did work tirelessly on their search engine."
--Blogging stocks

"$1,700 a month for the garage? Cripes, we're sitting on a gold mine that is our rumpus room. Time to head over to MIT and find some nerds who need space to roll up some characters and launch the Next Big Thing in El Internet."
--Layer 8

"Google asked AP not to publish the address of the garage, but as the story points out, you can find it using Google...."
--Guardian technology blog

"We can only hope that the search empire is content with mimicking HP in this one aspect, and does not feel the need to start rifling through people's phone records or sending spyware-laden emails to journalists."
--Channel Register

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Tech Culture
About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.

 

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