These Two Books Influenced Alphabet's Sergey Brin

As a site that cover all things Android, mobile and other parts of the tech world, it's unsurprising that we cover a lot of Google, and now Alphabet news. Often, the people that work for these big corporations often feel larger than life, and that's no more true than when talking about Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Of course, the two of them are now busy running Alphabet, which recently became the world's most valuable company. For now, at least. It's always interesting to hear from people such as Brin, what drove them to make the choices they have done and what helped influence them and push them to become to the people they are today. In the case of Brin, we can take a look at two of the most influential books that had an effect on a young Sergey Brin back in 2000.

Speaking to the Academy of Achievement nonprofit back in 2000, Brin named two books that he said influenced him the most; 'Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!' by Richard P. Feynman and 'Snow Crash' by Neal Stephenson. Starting with Stephenson's 'Snow Crash', Brin said that it "kind of anticipated what's going to happen" through its depiction of a dystopian US, where a computer virus was killing off programmers. Published in 1992, it's unsurprising that a virus would have been thought of as quite so dangerous, but it was name one of Time's best 100 novels in the English language back in 2010. It's got a hell of a following over on Amazon and might be worth a read.

The second book, 'Surely You're Joking' by Richard Feynman is the exact sort of book that you'd expect from someone like Brin. Feynman was responsible for winning the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics thanks to his work in quantum electrodynamics. Feynman was known not only as an incredible scientist, but also someone with a very creative and open mind, something that you wouldn't immediately associate with a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. Brin says that he remembers one part of the book fondly, where Feynman explains that he wanted "to be a Leonardo [da Vinci], an artist and a scientist." Brin says that he thought this would leave to a fulfilling life, and could help to explain where X projects like Google Glass come from, that are both incredibly technical, but also playful and creative at the same time. Surely You're Joking is also available from Amazon here.

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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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