LarryPage and Sergey Brin co-founded Google LLC in 1998 with an ambition to organizeand provide information stored on the internet to the users whenever theyneeded it. Gradually the name “Google” became well known across the globe asthe best search engine and an internet brand. In 2004, the firm became publicand issued an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in order to raise funds for itsfuture endeavours and to extend its technological and customer base. In August,2015, Google reorganized various business activities into a conglomerate calledAlphabet Inc. providing Google to pay detailed attention to the products andservices it provides as well as to satisfy the consumers’ needs. Ever sinceinception, the company has witnessed enormous and nourishing growth in almostevery aspect; be it revenue generated, market capitalization, number ofemployees or profits. Starting its base as a search engine, Google hasperformed a multinational technology giant that not only provides online searchsupport but also deals in a variety of internet related products and services,namely; Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Home, Gmail, Smartphone OS Android,Driverless vehicles, Google Energy, automated machines using artificialintelligence, etc.
Apart from these services, it has also taken part in a seriesof acquisitions (Blogger, Applied semantics, YouTube, Motorola mobility) and partnerships(AOL, GeoEye, and LG & Huawei for its smartphone brand lines – Nexus andPixel). Lawrence EdwardPage also known as Larry Page is a computer scientist andwith his knowledge and skill set was soon known as an internet entrepreneur. He is the backbone and an internaldisciplinarian who drives the force behind the company, giving it the ultimateambition and zeal of “open ideology”; the passion for creativity, and hisdemocratic leadership approach for constant and sustainable innovation to almosteverything that the company does today. He has always been the silentpenultimate power and the final decision maker inside Google.
‘Googleis not just a company; it is an entirely new way of thinking.’ (Anderson, 2006,as cited in Jarvis, 2011) Google has developed its ethics around the values ofcreativity, openness, innovation, simplicity for the customer and buildingconnections throughout its journey. It has evolved from being a simple searchengine to actively participating and growing in every market segment possible.Its decentralized approach helps enhance independence among employees andchannels them to think & perform more innovatively.
Google’s search engineranks number 1 on the Alexa index, thereby proving to be the giant in theworld of search engines. In fact, the term ‘Google’ has evolved to become asynonym to ‘internet’ where we often find ourselves saying, “Let’s Google it”instead of “Let’s search it on the internet”. Business ModelGoogle’sbusiness model consists of Google search, AdWords and AdSense which functiontogether and generate revenues for the search engine giant. Search helps usersto obtain relevant and most specific form of data which they wish to extract bysearching across the internet and retrieving the best possible results for the search.AdWords enables users to create and publish their advertisements acrossnumerous locations on the internet, such as – search engine results pages(SERPs).AdSenseprovides the technological support that enables AdWords to obtain the bestmatch and cater its advertisements to the right audience. The company providesa product or service to the audience without charge anticipating seekingmaximum attention and eventually generating revenue through advertising,sponsorship, etc. In order to maximize its reach the company dominated theonline search market by leveraging its networked economy and providing outstandingrange of online products and services to the customers.
BusinessEnvironmentAccordingto Kuratko, There are five specific dimensions that serve as importantdeterminants of an environment which is conducive to the company’s behaviour.They are:Topmanagement support, work discretion/autonomy, rewards/reinforcement, timeavailability, and organizational boundaries. (Kuratko et. al, 2014)1.Top management support: At Google, each individual is expected to think beyondthe limits and develop ideas that are unconventional, unique and innovative.Innovation is a key phenomenon that fuels the company and its employees basedon which their success is achieved. Management at each level primarily focus onembedding these morals within the employees and ensure a comforting andconvenient rapport between the two.
Entrepreneurial skill and thinking is oneof the most important qualities that are expected from all the employees.2.Work discretion: Any idea is an opportunity to discover something new and doesnot depend upon its success or failure. At Google, they believe that anyopportunity should not be cast off without experiencing. The delegation ofauthority and responsibility is provided to the lower level management as well.Employees are provided with a great amount of freedom along with responsibilitywhich they must use optimally.
3.Rewards and reinforcement: The company provides its employees withextraordinary benefits some of which include free meals, sports and gameslounges, recreational facilities and much more inside the work environmentencouraging employees to feel at home and at the same time to set-free theirthoughts and imaginations in seek of continuous creativity and innovation.Other ways in which the employees are rewarded is through shares, flexible workhours, sufficient holiday period, bonuses, etc. 4.Time availability: Everybody at Google is given enormous amount of time toensure that they are stress free and that they work till their optimumpotential. There are various projects designed by the company in order tofacilitate interaction and activities across the entire workspace. For example:The “20 percent” project focuses on providing employees with an opportunity tospend 20 percent of their work week time on activities or ideas that suit theirinterests.
5.Organizational boundaries: The organizational culture at Google is employeefriendly and customer oriented. It promotes any type of entrepreneurialactivity which might benefit the external as well as internal environment as awhole. Innovation is inscribed within the work culture and is considered as astructured and purposeful process. Through such vast opportunities of growthand innovation the flow of information between the external environment and theorganization also increases. Organizationalboundaries within Google are set to the limit where there is no more scope ofinnovation or improvement within the workplace and its employees.
Economicand Policy EnvironmentWhilst most of the business generally decrease their workforce or cutdown on their activities during times of economical bane, Google’s sustainableand innovative work model keeps it resilient to such events. In fact, it hasmanaged to constantly grow apace year after year showing no negative signs inits economic performance and has constantly secured its position as atechnology conglomerate. The company has managed to maintain a stable and continuously growingmarket share across the globe and till date plays a dominant role in the fieldof search engines. The company works on firm internet guidelines and also has afew policies of its own which have been mixed in the work culture. For example:Providing the least amount of harm to the external environment while performingits activities. Google has adhered to its policy by being carbon neutral sincea decade and aims to function on 100% renewable energy by this year. ExternalEnvironmentGoogle aspires to create a means through which every aspect ofinformation can be found on the web by aiming to deliver what the customers orthe users of the web are searching for. The main aim of the people at Google isto deal with the problem of delivering such services at a great speed alongwith providing interesting data to encourage the customer to explore more.
Google had reached the average search target of 0.2 seconds which was muchbetter from the previous 3 seconds approximate. Google takes its two mostimportant assets; attention and trust of its customers very seriously and keepsthem as prime target objectives because they know that slow and inferiorresults would lead to loss of their users. Another aspect which Google deals with is by providing related data oftwo different words that are connected.
For example, if a user searches for’emotional philosophy’ then Google Search must make sure it finds data relevantto the desired term. Here the term has two words with different outlooks, thisis where Google’s search engine plays its role by selecting the most clickedlinks from the searches and tries to make it even better by clearing out theunwanted data along with adding further links for reference purposes; henceenabling Google to distinguish between different data inputs at differentspeeds so it can provide more useful and accurate data to the consumer.Google also faced a problem of being able to interpret large amount of searchdata from users from different nations, to be able to understand what the userswanted and to be able to provide them the data required.
It has not only beenable to find and provide accurate results of those words but has also improvedto provide the relation these words hold.One of the major problems faced by Google is that it is lacking behindin mobile apps segment as the most commonly used apps are the FacebookMessenger, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp which are all owned by Facebook. Google’sapproach towards fixing these problems is by leveraging its existing mobileapps such as YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps which are highly operated on mobilephones and will help grasp the users’ attention. The other approach it haspursued is through creating or acquiring new messaging apps or enhancing chromeand bringing in new features into the webpage interface. InternalEnvironmentIn its internal environment, Google deals with that part of the societythat wants to be a part of the company or as they call it ‘Googlers’. They dealwith over 1500 resumes everyday and look for two kinds of people to maintaintheir working sense as well as participate in the society. Majorly, they hirePhDs from top programs and research labs and some who possess entrepreneurial skillsand risk taking attitude.
The challenge here was negotiating between the riskand caution. They had set up a team of managers who kept advising on what wassupposed to be done and how and tried to maintain a particular-way of doing thingsfor which Google had to fire that team as it contradicted with Google’s basicvalues which gives its employees the freedom at work and to be able to get thebest out of their creative minds.The company has no such strategic-planning department as it doesn’treally restrict the employees from performing any task or idea but insists tocreed on innovation. Googlers are given importance and credit to create andprovide great results such as the Google news. In 2001 Krishna Bharat came upwith the idea of providing news to people by presenting latest news sourcesonce an hour and eventually making it available to be read by users. LaterMarissa Mayer got together and created ‘Google News’. Within a month and a halfit had 155 news sources along with a search function ad, which within weeksgenerated 70,000 users per day, promoting the young engineer to a projectmanager.
This was the kind of freedom and encouragement given to the Googlersto provide ideas and implement them freely. New opportunities,threats and innovative solutionsAccordingto Larry Page, “The biggest threat to Google is Google itself”. (Miller, 2011).Googlers believe that the greatest threat to the company is the lack ininnovation and entrepreneurial performance among the organization which woulddeeply impact the functioning of the company. Employees at Google are givenfreedom and are constantly urged to be innovative and quick in performingactions in order to be able to deal with any threat with ease.
However, apartfrom itself, Google also faces threats from Apple in the Smartphone industry,Amazon in the online shopping and artificial intelligence based home appliancessegment and from Facebook in the social networking app segment. But thesethreats have not affected the company much as it has been constantly evolvingitself and improving the products and services offered in order to stay aheadof the competition. Forinstance, apart from improving camera and screen quality, Google provides itsusers with unlimited photo storage to stay ahead of Apple; it enhanced theaccuracy and efficiency of its artificial based appliance to dominate over itsrivals; and to get ahead of Facebook, it developed various social networkingapps such as Google+ and Duo. Ithas also leveraged its leading apps such as YouTube, Maps, Docs, etc. toattract more audience and seize greater market share.
The latest success ininnovation is the development of photographic memory in Google Photos whichenables users to enjoy what they capture and create. With the help of its AIcapabilities, the Google assistant can also compile and transform these storedimages into clips, animations, collages etc. It recognizes the person involvedin the picture and spontaneously compiles all pictures of that individual in afolder.
ConclusionGoogle’sentrepreneurs aim bring the various innovative start-ups and build new spacesfor their employees who are given the opportunity to be an entrepreneur themselvesby pitching in their own creative ideas, to improvise and reach theirpotentials. Google has constantly beenable to keep up with is core values and basic principles of innovation and creativeperformance. Googlesmajor successes where the acquisition of YouTube, creation of google maps;which not only acts as an individual app but also is the backbone of otherservices like mapping locations, latitudes, and places, Gmail which has been avast platform of email program, purchase of android which is a great competitorto IOS, the Verizon partnership in which has given the marketing push toandroid mobile phones and other successful achievement is of partnering withapple to create the search engine in iPhones which has made google the dominatein the market of mobile search engines.
What makesa company are these major things; a. the entrepreneur; which in this case has adifferent outlook of business initiating to dig out the best in its employeesand the has the potential to prove its image and the company’s image a greatsuccess, b. employees; who have been selected with specific abilities to thinkout of the box and act as individual businessmen to have come up with ideassuch as google news, google wave and google reader, and c. the customers or theusers whose satisfaction and attention has been kept in mind as a major motivewhere google aims in making life better and easier. The companyhas shown in various stages how it has created new apps and expanded its firmthrough the help of skilled internet entrepreneurs and creative ‘Googlers’. It hasfaced many challenges from its competitors, users, economical and internaltechnical issues; despite, which it has proved itself to be one of thecompanies that has given its employees a second home and a platform where everyindividual finds its solution.
It has always dealt with creating solutions notjust for the users but for itself to be able to solve problems in a very originaland inventive manner.