“Don’t Be Evil”
-Google’s Corporate Motto
In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin officially established their company, Google, Inc., they never imagined that their research project will turn out to be the Search Engine that would transform the way people use the Internet. The success and popularity of the Google Search engine springs from its user-friendly format and its non-intrusiveness. It created a culture where information is free and can be shared by millions of users just by a click of a button. It relied and operated on an open Internet and this is where the core business of Google lies. Google Search will not work nor will it find the information that we need if these are not open and accessible to us. And this is one reason why Google continues to invest in innovative technologies and applications that would continue this free exchange of ideas and information.
It all started when both Page and Brin were Stanford Computer Science Ph.d students. Sergey Brin came up with the idea of downloading the entire content of the Web into his computer and producing a search engine that would be accurate and relevant. They also envisioned a product that would make it easy and efficient for users to search on the Web. Google has been and will always be an unconventional company formed by a pair of students armed with what they called a healthy disregard for the impossible and with the addition of CEO Eric Schmidt created a global brand without advertising or promoting their name anywhere.
I have always wondered on how Google became a global phenomenon thru its search engine. And when I read the book, I finally understood how it became the richest Internet Company and proponent of change not only in the Web but also how companies conduct their businesses. It continuously created, adapted and improved existing platforms and networks that would enable them to bring the best product to their users. For Google, their users are the most important and powerful factor in their success. They listen to feedback and work on any suggestions that would help the search engine. They take great pride in being innovative and their being profitable as a business was not the initial focus but became a by-product because of this.
From the humble beginnings of their search engine to their money-generating form of online advertising to their acquisitions of Google Maps and YouTube to their concepts of Google Docs and Google Desktop to their own brand of hybrid philanthropy…Google has proven that the world has limitless possibilities and that they should not just focus on what their specific core business is. They have developed a company culture wherein they foster and take great pride in giving their employees the freedom of working and exploring on their own ideas and projects.
“What would Google” has become such a catchphrase that there has been numerous talks surrounding the Google revolution and how companies should study and emulate how it does its business. The Google guys (as what the founders are called) follow their own music and they don’t care if anyone is with them. Take for example their concept of offering their advertising technology and search engine prowess to their competitors. They see this as a form of coopetition relationship (competing as well as cooperating). Another aspect that makes them motivated is this altruistic concept or approach that they are incorporating in their business practices, strategies and decision-makings. They picture themselves as having a responsibility to defend the rest of the world against big and obsolete businesses such as Microsoft. They have made it a mission to curtail and detract Microsoft in penetrating and dominating the Internet. One such fight that was fought was the opportunity to own one of the original dot.com businesses from the 90’s, Yahoo. But Google also has come under attack in terms of its not being too transparent in terms of its algorithms and how they operate. Or even with how they conduct their advertising business and arrangements. It also needs to step-up and fight censorship as well as be champions of free speech especially against governments and regimes like
As Google celebrates its 16th year as a company as well as being a highly successful as well as influential technology business, it still has a lot of uncharted waters that needs exploring and hopefully they will continue to bring us along with them.