MEDIA ENTREPRENEURS OF THE DECADE

Larry Page & Sergey Brin

MEDIA ENTREPRENEURS OF THE DECADE

Here’s what really changed about media in the past decade: The fastest growing, most dynamic, disruptive and arguably most important media company of the 2000s produced absolutely no content of its own. Not a single article. No hit series. Google, founded at the end of the prior decade by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were working on their Ph.D.s at Stanford, is an engineering endeavor through and through. The company has become the glowing symbol of American entrepreneurship over the past 10 years, and one of the most influential media companies ever. But Rupert Murdoch these guys are not. Essentially, Brin and Page are tech geeks who created an algorithm that makes the vastness of the Internet searchable. They also created a media juggernaut that pulled in nearly $22 billion in 2008, and will likely exceed that number this year despite a brutal recession. Beyond an advertising gold mine, Brin and Page’s creation has also destabilized the balance of power in media. For example, Google’s success (it commands over 60 percent of the search market) sent tech giants Yahoo and Microsoft on a years-long quest that nearly led to a mega merger. It shook up the Web’s traffic patterns, helping users move away from gated portals like AOL while facilitating the growth of independent sites and blogs. Google is both a traffic creator and, to some, content exploiter (just ask newspaper companies). But perhaps more significantly, for a generation of young tech entrepreneurs behind Facebook or Twitter, Brin and Page are the very manifestation of possibility. â€”Mike Shields

MEDIA ENTREPRENEURS OF THE DECADE

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