How J.Lo’s 2000 Grammy Dress Invented Google Images

Eric Schmidt reveals the curious origins of the game-changing search function

Back in January, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt penned an opinion piece for Project Syndicate on the evolution of various Google features. In most cases it was simply Larry Page and Sergey Brin supplying a demand that had previously gone unmet, and nowhere was that truer than the invention of Google Images. Schmidt writes, "Our co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin – like all other successful inventors – kept iterating. They started with images. After all, people wanted more than just text. This first became apparent after the 2000 Grammy Awards, where Jennifer Lopez wore a green dress that, well, caught the world's attention. At the time, it was the most popular search query we had ever seen. But we had no surefire way of getting users exactly what they wanted: J­.Lo wearing that dress. Google Image Search was born." This isn't wholly surprising: regardless if you were 10 or 40 in 2000, you remember that dress, but it's still insane to realize how early on virality influenced tech's evolution.

Lead Image: Vince Bucci / Getty Images

How J.Lo’s 2000 Grammy Dress Invented Google Images