London, Mar 23: Google, which was started in a garage by two students, became a 100 billion pounds giant relied upon by 60 per cent of Internet users due to a secret success recipe - free beer, barbecues and rum.
One of the men at the heart of the Google empire has revealed the secrets behind the world's most popular search engine, which rose from almost nothing 10 years ago to the fifth-largest company on the New York Stock Exchange and a global brand worth twice as much as Coca-Cola. Charlie Ayers has disclosed that Google was not just started using a groundbreaking technology, but on a revolutionary approach to food in the staff canteen. Ayers was hired by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google's founders, in the belief that like a Napoleonic army, an Internet giant marches on its stomach. As Google's first chef, his mission was to seduce an unruly gaggle of brilliant but wayward computer engineers into wanting to stay at the office. His success, he said, meant Google's rise to the top was fuelled by free beer, barbecues and rum.
It began in 1998, when Page and Brin started Google in a friend's garage near Stanford University in California. A few months later, they recruited Ayers. "They said: 'We are not going to charge for food here, ever'," the Telegraph quoted Ayers, as remembering. "I said 'That's crazy.' They explained my job was to create this ambience, to build this captivated audience where people wanted to come in super-early and stay super-late. They interviewed me above a bicycle shop. "They thought they were going to go global. I thought 'Good luck'. The way they were playing with children's toys, riding around on scooters, I had no idea they were doing any work," he added.
He signed up, however, and started easing the computer engineers into the long hours culture with innovations including free beer and fortnightly "big ass" barbecues, and breakfast specials. He converted the "googlers" to a diet that ensured they kept working after lunch and weaned them off pizzas.
As explained in his new book, Eat Yourself Smart, his faith in the profit-making power of raw food extended to generous offerings of sushi - "the fat found in fish helps make the cell membranes round the brain more elastic and more able to absorb nutrients easily". His empire grew to 150 cooks, serving up to 7,000 meals a day for 5,000 at the thee million square foot "Googleplex", the HQ in Mountain View, California.