Googler Amit Singhal told guests at a Churchill Club event in Silicon Valley on Thursday that he thought the cofounders of Google were “smoking something” when they first approached him.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin allegedly attempted to recruit Singhal in 2000 by telling him the company would be worth “$500 million at least,” adding they had “the entire Internet sitting on our disks.”

BusinessInsider, which first reported the story, elaborated:

Except they didn’t, really. Their plan for a new search engine was simple: They didn’t have to search every word, they only needed “a snippet from the beginning [of each page] to do search,” he recounts.

They were running short on funds, so they had to build their own, more affordable computers to store the data. Today, Google builds more servers than many of the world’s commercial server makers. If it sold servers, it would rank around No. 5 in world market share.

Singhal, who then had a promising career at AT&T Labs, a growing family, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University, told the young cofounders, “Stop smoking your own stuff…You’re worth $1 billion at least.”

Google is now worth roughly $230 billion and Singhal is a senior vice president.

Get the full report at BusinessInsider.

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