Unsurprisingly, Zillow uses cloud computing to power the real-estate modeling. But when it was just getting off the ground before its launch in early 2006, and they were first creating the Zestimate feature, they started small. Back then, it was working on calculating the Zestimates for some 43 million homes, but also wanted to create a 15-year-long history for each of those home values—an endeavour that meant creating about 7.7 billion data points. To do that, the company moved a bunch of computers to the office game room, put them on a couple ping-pong tables, and connected the machines together so they could work in parallel, Humphries remembers. There were “orange extension cords snaking through the office,” he says.