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Sergey dan Larry, Tokoh di Balik "Google"


Angkat topilah kepada Sergey Brin dan Larry (Lawrence) Page. Hanya dalam waktu 10 tahun lebih, mereka berhasil menempati posisi 10 besar warga terkaya di AS. Dari generasi orangtua yang relatif biasa, dua anak muda brilian ini menjadi bahan pembicaraan dan dianggap fenomenal.

Jangan salut pada kekayaan mereka, tetapi pada falsafah hidup dan niat mereka seperti googol; julukan bagi 100 angka nol di belakang angka 1 (satu). Ya, Google berasal dari kata googol yang diplesetkan.

Di situs milik majalah Moment, Mark Malseed menyebutkan dua orang ini bersahaja, pria baik-baik, dan tak terlena oleh kemewahan. Sergey (34) tak pernah bisa melihat makanan tersisa di piring. Demikian pula Larry (34), ia tak silau dengan atribut kemewahan, walau mereka kini memiliki pesawat pribadi Boeing 767 yang disulap menjadi rumah mewah untuk perjalanan mereka.

Google Inc berkantor di Googleplex, di selatan San Fransisco Bay. Majalah Fortune pernah menjuluki Googleplex sebagai tempat bekerja terbaik di AS pada tahun 2007. Suasana kekeluargaan, makanan gratis tiga kali sehari, lokasi perawatan bayi bagi ibu muda, serta kursi pijat elektronis pun tersedia.

Kedua orang ini bertemu ketika sama-sama belajar teknik komputer di Stanford University tahun 1995. Pertemuan itu ditandai dengan perdebatan, tetapi mereka tetap menjalin kontak dan terus saling beradu argumentasi.

Keduanya lalu mendirikan sergeyandlarry—proyek yang kemudian melahirkan Google, dimulai dari sebuah garasi di Menlo Park, California, milik Susan Wojcicki, yang kini menjadi Wakil Presiden Manajemen Produk Google. Susan adalah kakak Anne Wojcicki, istri Larry.

Situs ini khusus mendalami pencarian informasi hasil-hasil riset yang sudah dituangkan internet. Idenya sederhana. Di dunia akademis, Anda akan dianggap berkualitas dan makalah Anda lebih bernilai, jika semakin banyak mengutip hasil-hasil riset hebat.

Akan tetapi, butuh 5.700 tahun mencari informasi pada tiga miliar halaman Google yang ada sekarang. Pertanyaan mereka adalah bagaimana mendapatkan informasi itu dalam hitungan detik dengan hanya membuka satu situs bank data?

You Google it! (Anda cari saja di Google), demikian majalah Forbes pada edisi 26 Mei 2003, menceritakan sukses dari jerih payah duet ini.

Sebelum Google muncul, mencari informasi yang relevan di internet sama seperti berjalan pada malam gelap. Tahun 1998 Google.com muncul dan kini dianggap sebagai mesin pencari terbaik di dunia. Google menenggelamkan pamor Overture, LookSmart, InfoSpace, FindWhat dan Ask Jeeves.

Namun, jalan mereka menuju sukses tak mudah. Untuk mewujudkan Google, mereka harus meninggalkan kuliah pada program doktor komputer di Stanford. “Saya kecewa. Bukankah mahasiswa meraih gelar doktor lebih dulu baru bekerja?” demikian Genia Brin, ibu Larry.

Namun, Sergey dan Larry sangat yakin, ide mereka berguna bagi banyak orang dan bisa membuat orang menemukan apa saja yang diinginkan lewat internet. Sergey dan Larry terus berkutat mewujudkan ide mereka. Larry bahkan disebut sebagai “beragamakan” teknologi, saking seriusnya dengan riset teknologi komputer. Sergey, si anak rumahan, memilih bekerja terus.

Keluarga intelektual

Lingkungan kedua orang ini adalah orang-orang intelek. Ayah Sergey, Michael Brin, adalah doktor matematika lulusan Universitas Moskwa, Rusia. Kakeknya juga doktor matematika. Namun, diskriminasi dan impitan karier terhadap etnis Yahudi di Rusia membuat Michael Brin memilih keluar dari Moskwa tahun 1979. Ibu Sergei, Genia, periset di Badan Luar Angkasa Amerika Serikat NASA.

Larry adalah putra Carl Victor Page (almarhum), doktor komputer pertama AS dari University of Michigan dan profesor teknologi komputer di Michigan State University. Ibu Larry, Gloria Page, pengajar program komputer.

Adik Larry, Carl Victor Page Junior, pendiri eGroups yang sudah dijual ke Yahoo! sekitar 500.000 dollar AS.

Setelah mantap dengan temuan itu, keduanya melakukan demo singkat di depan Andy Bechtolsheim dari Sun Microsystems. Andy, imigran asal Jerman memberi cek 100.000 dollar kepada “Google Inc”. Sebelumnya, Sergey sempat ditolak masuk Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) dan Larry tertatih-tatih mencari donatur.

Pada akhir tahun 1990-an, tak ada yang peduli dengan mesin pencari (search engine) di tengah hadirnya American Online (AOL) dan Yahoo!, yang sudah meraup untung besar dengan menawarkan produk e-mail, berita, ramalan cuaca, dan sebagainya.

Namun, Sun Microsystems telah memberi mereka ruang gerak. Mereka terus mendalami produk pencari informasi, dengan melakukan segala modifikasi dan inovasi produk dari waktu ke waktu.

Belum sukses menjadi situs pencetak uang, tak membuat mereka mundur. Namun, seiring dengan berjalannya waktu, Google sudah banyak dijelajahi orang. Kini, sekitar 300 juta orang membuka Google setiap hari. Setidaknya Google bisa diakses dalam 88 bahasa, termasuk google basa jawa (berbahasa Jawa).

Sebelum sesukses sekarang, mereka membuat situs yang menghindari pop-up (muncul situs lain yang tidak Anda inginkan pada saat Anda mencari satu informasi di internet). Muncul pula Google Bar yang membuat Anda bisa mengakses informasi, walau sedang membuka situs lain karena Google otomatis tampil di situ.

Google lalu ditawari AOL iklan senilai satu miliar dollar AS atas kesediaan Google menampilkan iklan pada lembaran komputer, seiring dengan tampilnya informasi yang Anda cari di Google.

Wall Street, bursa saham AS, kemudian berebutan atas saham Google, yang kini di atas 500 dollar AS per lembar. GoogleWords, Google’sAdsense, membuat Google menjadi situs utama bagi perusahaan pemasang iklan.

Google adalah perusahaan fenomenal yang tidak pernah dibayangkan oleh warga AS sekalipun. “Menjadi yang terbaik tidak menjadikan kami terlena. Itu malah tantangan,” kata Larry, Presiden Produk Google.

“Kesederhanaan (simplicity) web adalah yang disukai penjelajah internet. Kami ingin menawarkan web yang tidak saja ingin mencari informasi, tetapi web yang menyenangkan,” kata Sergey, Presiden Teknologi Google.

Bagaimana mereka bisa sukses? “Cerita orangtua soal Rusia, dan pengalaman masa kecil saya yang selalu takut menghadapi otoritas di Rusia. Juga kesediaan ayah saya mengambil risiko hijrah ke AS telah membuat saya memberontak,” ujar Sergey melukiskan niatnya untuk menghapus kekecewaan sang ayah soal Rusia.

Suatu saat, di samping ayahnya, Sergey berujar, “Terima kasih, Pak, telah membawa saya ke AS.”

Michael, ayah Sergey, merendah. “Ide kewirausahaan Sergey pasti tidak datang dari latar belakang kehidupan keluarga. Akan tetapi, saya bangga, tak pernah menyangka dia akan seperti ini,” kata Michael.

Namun, sukses bisnis Google juga dipoles setelah Sergey dan Larry menyewa Eric E Schmidt, mantan karyawan Sun Microsystems. Di balik sukses inovasi Google juga ada sekian banyak doktor matematika dengan lulusan terbaik.

BIODATA

Nama: Lawrence (Larry) Page
Lahir: Lansing, Michigan, AS, 26 Maret 1973
Status: Pendiri dan menjabat sebagai Presiden Produk-produk Google Inc
Kekayaan bersih: 18,5 miliar dollar AS (2007), nomor lima terkaya di AS bersama Sergey berdasarkan majalah Forbes, Maret 2007
Sekolah: SD, SMP Montessori, Lansing, Michigan. SMA dari East Lansing. Sarjana Muda dari University of Michigan bidang teknik komputer, gelar master dari Stanford University
Penghargaan: Global Leader for Tomorrow dari The World Economic Forum

Nama: Sergey Brin
Lahir: Moskwa, Rusia, 21 Agustus 1973. Pada 1979 keluarganya bermigrasi ke Maryland, AS
Sekolah: SD, SMP di Paint Branch Montessori School, Adelphi, Maryland. SMA di Eleanor Roosevelt, gelar master dari University of Maryland, bidang matematika. Dia mendapat beasiswa dari National Science Foundation untuk belajar di Stanford University, bidang komputer. Sama seperti Larry, ia meninggalkan program doktor untuk mendalami Google
Penghargaan: Januari 2005 ia bersama Larry Page dinominasikan sebagai Young Global Leaders oleh World Economic Forum. Tahun 2007 ia dinyatakan sebagai nomor satu dari 50 orang terpenting di web
Istri: Anne Wojcicki, menikah di Bahamas, 2007


Penulis: Kompas/Simon Saragih
From kompas.com

Kategori:Uncategorized
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