The announcement of Google’s new holding company, Alphabet, initially led to near-universal bafflement among the tech cognoscenti: why would Google, an industry leader, create such upheaval?

The most immediate benefit may simply be that CEO Larry Page, who is stepping away from day-to-day management, can spend more time playing with Legos

Even in the early days of Google, cofounders Page and Sergey Brin would let their minds wander to other seemingly impossible projects beyond the already ambitious task of building a search engine to change how millions use the Internet.

“Larry and Sergey were using Legos to try to figure out how to automate the turning of book pages in the first months of Google. For the life of me, I couldn’t imagine why,” Heather Cairns, one of Google’s first 10 employees who led human resources in the beginning, recalled in an interview this week with Mashable. It turned out their goal was to scan the world’s books. “Building a space tether to propel people into space inexpensively was also an ambition.” Read more…

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The inside story of why Google is becoming Alphabet now