These days it’s pretty hard to imagine a world without Google. Founded in 1998 in an obscure garage in California, they are probably the perfect example of the idea we now casually call a “start-up.” Over the pat decade they’ve become a big part of our everyday lives.
Of course it would be impossible to list all of their accomplishments in a single blog-post, even Wikipedia is having trouble keeping up. So here I would like to highlight some of their more interesting projects and the ones that have driven their stock price through the roof.
It’s more than just the Google Earth and Sky applications through which you can explore Earth and Space from any device. Google is also funding the Lunar X Prize, which offers $30 Million to the first team that can send a robot to the moon to gather information and pictures. So far 34 different teams are competing and some of them are quite close.
Navigation has never been so simple. You just say the name of the place you want to go and presto. Google will show you the way, including step by step directions and visual aid. Even though it’s already the best mapping service out there, Google never stops innovating. They are also the first one on the scene when it comes to natural disasters by helping people find their loved ones and providing tools for first responders.
Google is paving the way to the future by being the first one to develop the Autonomous vehicle. Robot drivers are simply better than humans in every way. They make better calculations and they don’t get distracted. Meaning, less accidents and a much safer future. Recently companies like Mercedes, BMW, and Tesla have joined the cause and are all working towards a driverless reality. Google doesn’t mind though, having us free of the burden of driving will just give us more time to use their other services.
Always innovating, Google Now has a service that finds what you’re looking for even before you search for it. It tells you things like expected changes in the weather or traffic, or how your favorite sports team is doing by sending push notifications to your phone. It learns how you search and uses your habits to know what information you want, when you want it, and the best way to present it to you, all with minimal setup or technical knowledge required.
These days it seems everybody is walking around with Google in their pockets. Every day another one million people activate a new Android device. Today there are almost a billion apps available for download through the Google Play Store changing the way we work, play, and think. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for Google Glass.
Ok, so it’s not the biggest social network out there. Not nearly as many users as Facebook, or the popularity of Twitter, not even the professionalism of LinkedIn. But they do have the best options for customizing different groups of friends into separate circles. Google+ is a core part of their services and strategy going forward. It’s the thing that brings it all together from Search, to Gmail, to Google Drive, to the Android Play Store.
Now even the comments section of Youtube is setup directly through Google Plus so you can comment on videos and share them with your friends all day long even though your boss an co-workers think you have the flu.
Speaking of Youtube. This is one of Google’s most high yielding investments. In 2006 Google took controlling interest of the young free video sharing website by buying $1.65 Billion of their stock. Today YouTube is earning them approximately $800 Million every year in advertisement revenue. So they’ve certainly made their money back, several times over.
No doubt, the biggest bulk of Google’s money comes from advertising revenue. Sure they have free tools that analyze Keywords, Trends, and Analytics but the very best way for advertisers to get the best attention they need is through targeted services like AdWords & AdSense. I’m sure you’ve seen these all over the internet specifically tailored to what you are looking for.
Of course, these are just a few of the innovations from the Internet giant. Even just a small portion of the highlights really. Google has earned about $57 Billion in the 3rd quarter of 2013, which is 36% more than they earned in the same time period last year. Their stock continues to rise and is now above $1,000 for the first time ever.