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article imageGoogle, the world's most powerful 10-year-old

By Chris V. Thangham     Sep 6, 2008 in Business
Google Inc. was founded on Sept. 7, 1998 with four computers as servers and a $100,000 investment. In the last 10 years, it's grown to a $150-billion market value company with nearly 20,000 employees worldwide.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google with the main aim that their search engine doctoral thesis will transform the world. They achieved more than they could imagine and the company is still growing.
There are two official birthdays for Google; one is when they officially registered their domain (Sept. 15, 1997) and the other when they incorporated their company on (Sept. 8, 1998). So Google is either 10 or 11 years old this month, depending on how you look at it.
Google is dominant in the search engine market (two-thirds of the world market share) as well as in internet advertising revenue (three-fourths of the market share in the US).
But growing too big also raises monopoly concerns, and as it grows Google could start to face challenges from government regulators. Google plans to sell ads to a troubled Yahoo and this deal may pose problems with regulators.
Google is also growing in other areas such as YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Google Docs (Google Apps) and more. All this growth worries privacy watchdogs who think Google may be holding too much data.
To allay these fears and concerns, Google has hired more public relations staff and lobbyists to talk to lawmakers.
What are Google's future plans?
1.) Google wants to get a piece of the browser market and the company recently released its Chrome Web browser. Google said this browser is not competition with Firefox or other browsers, and is instead designed to make online applications accessible and run smoothly.
2.) Google will release its Android operating system (OS) for mobiles soon. With so much hype behind the brand, it could even turn out to be a serious challenge for Apple's iPhone. Android is open source, meaning Google has provided code to programmers to write applications for Android OS mobiles.
3.) Then there is Google Health: It's set up to establish electronic health records that are accessible to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies via Google Health.
4.) Google is investing in solar, wind and renewable energy sources as part of its green initiative. A bulk of the energy used in their main building called Googleplex comes from solar power.
5.) Google is trying to make digital copies of all the world’s books, as well as make them available from a central source so users can either search or read the books anytime and anywhere.
There are many more goals Google wants to achieve, and the company certainly doesn't rest on its laurels.
Craig Silverstein, Google's technology director and the first employee hired by Page and Brin told AP:
"There are people who think we are plenty full of ourselves right now, but from inside at least, it doesn't look that way...I think what keeps us humble is realizing how much further we have to go."
Page and Brin, both 35, are worth nearly $19 billion each. But despite being rich, they have the philosophy, “Don’t Be Evil,” which is their corporate motto as well.
Silverstein added:
"If we had a lightsaber, we would be Luke (Skywalker)."
Google has pulled in nearly $48 billion in revenue from Internet ads since 2001, out of which it has given $15 billion back to publishers that run Google Ads.
Google recently acquired another online marketing service called DoubleClick, Inc. for $3.2 billion, and it's trying to generate more ad revenues from its highly popular YouTube video service.
Google will earn at least $20 billion for the first time this year. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, 53, however wants Google to earn $100 billion in annual revenues in the near future. Schmidt might achieve the goal because he and the Google founders have made an informal pact to remain with the company through 2024, at least.
The growth of Google surprises Silverstein very much. He said when Google was started, their only major goal was to be successful and hire at least 80 people. Now the company occupies a 1.5 million-square-foot headquarters called the "Googleplex" along with two dozen U.S. offices and hubs in more than 30 countries. Google indexes at least 40 billion Web pages and runs on hundreds of thousands of computers in massive data centers around the world.
He told AP:
"It's natural when a company gets big that some people become fearful of that...All we can do is to be as upfront and straightforward as possible. We are not trying to be malicious or have some sneaky plan to put you in our thrall. There are some people who will never believe that."
Happy Birthday Google. Thanks for offering us great services and not demanding too much from us.
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