When Google Inc. was founded in September 1998, not even the keenest optimists could have predicted the company built by two Stanford students to be worth $1 trillion a little more than 21 years later. Even in August 2004, when Google went public at a valuation of more than $20 billion, it seemed unlikely that the company would ever be worth nearly 50 times that.
That’s exactly what happened though, as Alphabet, Google’s parent company, became the fourth tech company after Apple, Amazon and Microsoft to reach that impressive milestone. Alphabet’s class A shares closed at $1,450.16 on Thursday, bringing the company’s market capitalization to an even $1 trillion. One and a half months after Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin left their day-to-day roles at the company, assuming “the role of proud parents” instead, “offering advice and love, but not daily nagging,” Alphabet is now the fourth most valuable public company, trailing only Apple and Microsoft in the U.S. and Saudi Aramco internationally.
The following chart recounts the relatively steady climb of Google/Alphabet’s market capitalization from 2004, the year of its IPO, until today.