The Entrepreneurs of the Decade: 2000 to 2009

Courtesy Google
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Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google

In retrospect, Google’s success seems foreordained. But at the beginning of the decade is wasn’t at all clear that the search company—founded by two young Stanford grad students—was going to sail through the dot-com bust, put together a blockbuster IPO, rewrite the rules of advertising, and then follow all of that up by diving into businesses ranging from satellite mapping to viral video to e-mail. But as with all things related to Google, the sum seems to be so much larger than the total of its parts. As the journalist John Battelle wrote in his book The Search, entrepreneurs Brin and Page have, in just 10 years, "fundamentally changed the relationship between humanity and knowledge."