August 22, 2004

Search engine founders confident rule breakers

"When people are that smart, they know it, and they're in your face," says Venky Harinarayan, who shared an office with Brin and remembers thinking he was one of the smartest guys at Stanford. "And if you're so smart, you can get away with things."

Brin incessantly challenged the status quo, from Microsoft to meals.

Anand Rajaraman's cubicle in the common study area, known as the "Zoo," was next to Brin's. In 1994, Rajaraman proudly told Brin he'd acquired a new computer with the latest version of Microsoft Windows. Brin said Microsoft was "lame," went over to Rajaraman's apartment and installed Linux -- a free open-source operating system then almost unheard of -- on his computer.


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