For entrepreneurs planning to build a start-up the right way, no one has left a clearer trail of how-tos than Alphabet's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Once graduate students at Stanford University working on the Google search engine, they now run an internet conglomerate worth close to $600 billion. They learned to modify and expand upon their big idea, get needed management help without giving up control, and manage risk and reward on the road to becoming a more or less mature enterprise.
They aren't perfect. The recent advertiser uproar over Alphabet's inability to identify offensive content on YouTube shows that even the Google founders are still learning. And the company also faces recent claims from the Department of Labor that a gender pay gap exists among its employees. But billionaires Page and Brin have shown a generation of wannabes in Silicon Valley and elsewhere how to do it right — and why their company fields millions of résumés annually.
Here are some of the key lessons from the Google founders' early days.