3 Friendships That Changed The World

Today we celebrate the International Day of Friendship. To honour this day, here are 3 friendships that changed the world.

3 Friendships That Changed The World

Sergey Brin and Larry Page – co-founders of Google


Larry Page and Sergey Brin / google.com

The story of Google starts in 1995 when Sergey Brin and Larry Page met at Stanford University. Larry was considering Stanford for grad school and Sergey was already a student there, assigned to show him around.

The first meeting was not all sugar and spice and everything nice. They didn’t see eye to eye most of the time, but having a common goal allowed them to struck a partnership a year later.

They began building a search engine that used links to determine the importance of individual pages on the web which they called Backrub. Their naming skills may have lacked inspiration, but they knew what their mission was:

Basically, our goal is to organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful.

Larry Page

Although they were working out of their dorm rooms, their work attracted the attention of self-made billionaire and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Andy Bechtolsheim who gave the dynamic duo a check for $100,000. This lead to the official birth of Google Inc in 1998. Receiving investment funds allowed Larry and Page to move their work into a garage, now famous, in Menlo Park, California. The garage was owned by Susan Wojcicki (employee #16 and now CEO of YouTube).

If what we are doing is not seen by some people as science fiction, it’s probably not transformative enough.

Sergey Brin

Today Google has more than 60,000 employees in 50 different countries and makes hundreds of products used by billions of people across the globe. As of July 2019, Google’s net worth is $864.49B, followed by Facebook ($570.184B) and China-based Tencent ($450.071B).

Google is a giant corporation and in 20 years since its founding, it had many ups and downs. Read about some of them in the article I wrote on the occasion of Google turning 20 in 2018.

Do you want to know where is Google heading?

Read this article: The Biggest Tech Acquisitions of 2018: Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen – co-founders of Microsoft


Bill Gates and Paul Allen / geekwire.com

Bill Gates wrote his first software program at 13 and graduated from school as a National Merit Scholar. He enrolled in Harvard College where he devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems presented by one of his professors. Gates’ solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years; its successor is faster by only one per cent. In 1974 Bill dropped out of school and joined Paul Allen who was working at Honeywell.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.

Bill Gates

Two-years Bill’s senior, Paul Allen shared his passion for computers. After graduating from Lakeside School which Bill also attended, Paul went to Washington State University but dropped two years later to work as a programmer for Honeywell. He convinced Bill to drop out of Harvard and start their own computer company – Microsoft. Paul came with the name which is short for microcomputer software.

In 1975, childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft, a technology company which in the mid-80s rose to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS.

As long as we work together, with both urgency and determination, there are no limits to what we can achieve.

Paul Allen

Today Microsoft has subsidiaries in 120 countries all over the world and over 144,000 employees. Since its founding 44 years ago, Microsoft has grown and developed in various directions like gaming, conversational AI, machine learning and bot development to name just a few. The company is also developing #techforgood.

As of April 2019, Microsoft is the third company to hit the $1 trillion market valuation, following giants Amazon and Apple.

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger – co-founders of Instagram


Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger / instagram.com

Kevin Systrom was introduced to computer programming in high school. He graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in management science and engineering. While a student at Stanford, Kevin met Mike Krieger, a fellow Stanford student who was studying symbolic systems.

If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.

Kevin Systrom

Kevin worked at Google for two years on various products (Gmail, spreadsheets etc) before starting a new app called Burbn, which combined location check-ins and popular social games. He also came up with a photo filter to hide the inferior quality of photos taken by an iPhone4 camera. Together with Mike, he began working on Burbn, the prototype for Instagram.

Hearing ‘no’ a lot of times usually tells you either you’re crazy or you’re on the right track, and you don’t know which one it is until you finally launch.

Mike Krieger

Kevin and Mike launched Instagram in 2010 and a month later the app had 1 million users and a year later, 10 million users. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion.

Read more: The Story of Instagram and WhatsApp Founders Leaving Their Facebook Acquired Companies

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5 Success Tips From Top Tech CEOs

This article highlights 5 success tips with real-world applications from the top tech CEOs to help you tackle life’s challenges.

The world’s most successful businesspeople know a thing or two about success. Their expertise, however, goes beyond the boardroom. Reaching the top of your profession requires developing a range of talents and aptitudes for dealing with people and situations as well as products.

Here are 5 success tips from top tech CEOs:

1. Take Risks

I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo


Marissa Mayer / theverge.com

Before Mayer’s tenure at Yahoo, she was “Employee Number 20” at a then little-known technology company called Google. As an information technology pioneer, she’s widely regarded as one of the most brilliant minds in the industry.

Mayer didn’t get where she was by playing it safe. Her decision to leave Google in 2012 made waves, but it was worth the risk: Mayer became the CEO of Yahoo, and later cofounded Lumi Labs, an artificial technology incubator after Verizon acquired Yahoo in 2017.


Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is never easy. In business and in life, if you aren’t taking risks, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities.

2. Learn From Mistakes

Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating.

Elon Musk, Tesla


Elon Musk / bigspeak.com

Although it sounds counterintuitive, the majority of successful business leaders have failed along the way. From being ousted as the CEO of PayPal shortly after its merger to presiding over not one, but five spectacularly terrible rocket explosions, Musk is no stranger to failed business ventures.

The differentiating factor is that he kept innovating on his ideas as he gained experience, no matter how great the losses or how they were perceived.


In the long run, success isn’t defined by what you fail to do, but by your ability to learn and grow from each bump in the road. One winning idea can trump every single unsuccessful one.

3. Define Your Vision

A successful vision is aspirational, inspirational and specific.

Mark Hurd, Oracle


Mark Hurd / appleinsider.com

In Hurd’s book, The Value Factor, he talks about how a company’s access to information gives them a competitive edge, and how they translate that information into an executable strategy to drive their success. Vision is one of the cornerstones of business strategy. Software companies like Oracle know firsthand that aspirational visions can transform entire industries.


It’s okay for your vision to be ambitious, but it also must incentivize positive behaviour, and above all, it must be measurable. Setting time-specific goals are a great way to hold yourself accountable for hitting those milestones.

4. Collaborate

My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of its parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.

Steve Jobs, Apple


Steve Jobs / swisslet.com


Teamwork is an extraordinarily powerful interpersonal skill. Proving you can handle your own responsibilities and add value to a larger group is how promotions, raises, and other opportunities arise.

5. Be Receptive to Change

Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future.

Larry Page, Google


Larry Page / pikbee.me

Adaptability is another core element of business strategy, especially in the technology sector.

CEOs like Page are highly cognizant of the way products and platforms develop. In order to become what is arguably the most influential online force, Google had to transform to address its users’ needs, reflect modern technology consumption, and adapt to evolving information security trends.

Silicon Valley is chock full of stories of failed startups and companies that could have been the next best thing but couldn’t quite keep up with changing times.

Being flexible is integral to growing as an individual and a professional. You’ll be more likely to recognize opportunities as they arise and be able to shift priorities in order to take advantage of them.


The world’s top CEOs have become successful in business in part because they had a clear grasp on the professional and interpersonal skills necessary to succeed in today’s workforce. If you work on these elements of professional development, you too may find yourself the next CEO of a Fortune 500 company one day.

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