Google co-founder Larry Page just wanted to finish his doctorate.The Google Milestones page has more details, including this:
Page wanted ... to license the PageRank invention and get some royalties while he went back to his academic work. Unfortunately, licensing proved difficult. Only one search engine company made an offer, and it was more of a token offer.
"They (Page and fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin) got frustrated so they decided to start a company," [Luis Mejia, a senior associate in the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University] said.
Larry and Sergey .... began calling on potential partners who might want to license a search technology better than any then available ... They had little interest in building a company of their own.Rejected, frustrated, but not willing to let a good idea die, Larry and Sergey created Google, Inc.
Among those they called on was friend and Yahoo! founder David Filo. Filo agreed that their technology was solid, but encouraged Larry and Sergey to grow the service themselves ... "When it's fully developed and scalable," he told them, "let's talk again."
Others were less interested in Google, as it was now known. One portal CEO told them, "As long as we're 80 percent as good as our competitors, that's good enough. Our users don't really care about search."