"HOW GOOGLE GOT GOING"
Good story on Google's early days over at Rich Karlgaard's blog, which I just learned about from Tony. I loved reading how Larry Page and Sergey Brin initially ran up the debt on their credit cards to start Google. I thought it was Andy Bechtolsheim's $100,000 check that started them off, but I guess I was wrong. It was wise of them to resist the initial angel offers and just do it on their own, which gave them leverage when they went to raise outside money.
It was also prudent of them in hindsight to reject Excite's offer back in 1999 to buy them out for a little under $1 million. I read that they would have sold at around $1.3 million. As fate would have it, it didn't happen and probably for the best since Google would have gone under with the whole Excite@Home crew.
This story also strikes a personal chord because it reminds me of my first startup effort, ViewPlus, when we lived off our savings, the FM (Father-Mother) Fund, and eventually numerous credit cards. I remember one night when Jimmy and I were going through as many online credit card applications as possible. Those were great times because everything we went through was a learning process and it was our first taste of building something from scratch. Of course, our outcome wasn't even close to Larry and Sergey's:)