Beginnings of Google
- Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded the company when they were students at Stanford University
- Began as a research project in 1996
- Incorporated as a private company in 1998
- Went public in 2004
- Based in Mountain View, Calif.
- Fortune magazine has rated Google the No. 1 place to work
- Google is the misspelling of the word googol, the number 1 followed by 100 zeros
Note: Key sources for this page include “What would Google do?” by Jeff Jarvis and “Googled: The End of the World As We Know It” by Ken Auletta.
Google sells itself
- Among the fastest growing companies in the world
- Didn’t need a marketing campaign
- Only company as visible is probably Coca-Cola
Google’s goal: To change the world
- Google, some experts say, has changed the fundamental architecture of society and industry
- Google encroaches on every media industry
- Google acts without asking for permission
Size and impact of Google
- Number of employees: nearly 20,000.
- Google is the most visited site on the Internet
- Google sells $20 billion in ads per year – or 40 percent of online ad spending
- Google’s YouTube hosts two-thirds of all Web videos. 15 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. That is equal to 86,000 full-length movies per week
What kind of company is Google?
It started as a search engine, then quickly expanded its reach.
What Google does
- Google organizes an abundance of information and knowledge
- Customers are in charge
- The mass market is gone. It’s now a mass of niches
- Google allows people to organize without having an organization
- Build it and they will come
Google’s business model
- Google gives away most of its services. That attracts a huge number of users. Google then sells – or lets you sell – ads to that audience
- Business is based on conversing, not marketing
Googlethink: Ten things we know to be true
Seeing the world differently
- Example: Craig Newmark lists himself as the “customer service rep” of Craigslist
In the Google era, companies must do business differently
- Company’s public face used to be found exclusively in its ads, slogans, brands and logos
- Now, ideally, company’s public face should be found in the face of satisfied customers
- Example: MyStarbucksIdea
Google is a company of engineers
Getting a job at Google is tougher than getting into Harvard. But once you’re in, it’s a great company to work for. Google offers employees:
- 1 day per week to work on personal projects (half the company’s new initiatives, including Google News, Gmail and Adsense, came from this off time)
- $70 million in free meals and snacks per year
- Free massages, physicals, barbers, dentists, day care, laptops, commuter bus, oil changes, car washes and other perks
- Five months maternity leave for moms. Seven weeks for dads, with full pay.
It’s all about numbers
- Google’s advertising rates are based on number of clicks
- That takes the mystery out of advertising
- Advertisers have a better idea what they’re paying for
Mel Karmazin, then a Viacom executive, visited Google in 2003. He realized Google’s approach to advertising would hurt traditional media advertising. He said, “You’re f–king with the magic.”
Google’s adversaries include:
- Authors Guild
- Associated Press
- Advertising companies
- Telephone companies
- Viacom and other companies that produce TV programs
Rupert Murdoch, founder and CEO of News Corp., the third-largest media conglomerate
- Suggested in November 2009 that he would block Google from spidering his Web sites’ content
- Google sets the price of doing business on the Internet, some critics say
- If Google’s spiders are blocked, then the value of Google’s search index would fall
- Will Google grow so big that it will become the enemy?
- Will it safeguard our information?
- Can it be trusted?
- Will it do evil?
- Will Google make us stooopid?
A nation of browsers
- Lack of depth and critical thinking
- Diminished capacity for concentration and contemplation
What do you think?: Is Google changing the way we think?
Driving us to distraction
- Internet companies want us to be online as long as possible
- The more hits, the more ads
- The more distracted we are, the more money these companies make
But: Does filling our heads with content make us smarter?
- Author Nicolas Carr wonders if we becoming “pancake people”? That is, are we increasingly superficial?
- What do you think? Are we letting Google make more and more of our important decisions?
- Are we losing capacity for deep thought?
- Are we less human and more machine?