"Google is not a conventional company. We don't intend to become one."

That's what Google's founding ex-student duo, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, told Wall Street and the US financial establishment when they announced the initial public offering for their highly desirable property [WAMN: 30-Apr-04].

And the duo proved their point with a vengeance, following the triumphant 'Dutch auction' of Google shares on Nasdaq. Thursday, the first day of trading, saw the shares -- initially offered at a cut price of $85 -- soar by 18% to end the day at $100.33.

The sale of 19.6 million shares is expected to raise $1.66 billion (€1.34bn; £906.5m), making the Google flotation the third richest initial public offering via Nasdaq (exceeded only during the dotcom boom by Charter Communications in 1999 and Genuity in 2000).

Whether Google's initial success as a listed company can be sustained has been questioned in some quarters, with references to the predicted decline in search-based advertising and possible legislative action over the company's much-hyped new G-mail service.

But fans of Sergey and Larry firmly expect the dudes to continue emulating the Excellent Adventure pioneered by their filmic alter-egos Bill and Ted. The Stanford University alumni's proclaimed philosophy (see below) is surely set to conquer the universe …

  • Never settle for the best
  • Focus on the user and all else will follow
  • It's best to do one thing really, really well
  • Fast is better than slow
  • Democracy on the web works
  • You don't need to be at your desk to need an answer
  • You can make money without doing evil
  • There's always more information out there
  • The need for information crosses all borders
  • You can be serious without a suit
  • Great just isn't good enough.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff