What an amazing blast to the past.
Google is a massive company today — burdened by corporate politics, layers of management, and countless legal battles — and it’s sometimes easy to forget its more humble beginnings just over a decade ago, when it wasn’t all that different from the startups we write about every day on TechCrunch.
But in the video above we get to jump back to December 1999 to witness a Google all-hands meeting led by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, when the startup had fewer than 60 employees. After some new employee introductions the meeting shifts to a birthday celebration — there’s silly string, singing, and an overwhelming sense that everyone there is just happy (or will be as soon as they get their cake).
The video was recorded (and posted over a decade later) by Douglas Edwards, Google’s director of marketing and brand management from 1999 and 2005 who blogs about his time at the search giant at his site Xooglers.
If you’re familiar with Google’s history you’ll spot plenty of familiar faces, including Craig Silverstein (Google’s first employee), current YouTube head Salar Kamangar, and a young Paul Buchheit (I think).