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Google: Still an unconventional company

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When Google went public a decade ago, it had only a fraction of the employees and revenue it enjoys today. But the company has not changed its spirit.
When Google went public 10 years ago, it had about 2,600 employees and its quarterly revenue barely topped $800 million. Today, more than 52,000 people work at Google GOOG -0.19% , and it booked $16 billion in revenue in the most recent quarter.
Back then, its main competitors were Yahoo YHOO 0.37% and Microsoft MSFT 0.60% , smart phones had not been invented and Facebook FB -0.32% was a small, six-month-old Web site for college kids. Today, Google’s biggest competitors are Apple AAPL 0.01% , Facebook, Amazon AMZN -0.85% , and yes, Microsoft.
At the time of its IPO, Google had only a handful of products outside of its core search and advertising business, like Google News, Gmail, Blogger, Picasa and Orkut (which it described as an “online meeting place where people can socialize.”) Today, Google is a sprawling empire of products, applications, services and computing platforms for PCs and mobile devices that include the world’s most popular Web browser and mobile operating system. Google is also building driverless cars, thermostats and robots and trying to extend the life span of humans.
The differences between then and now are obvious; the similarities, perhaps less so. But in some fundamental ways, Google today is the same company it was on August 19 2004, when its stock traded publicly for the first time. How so? Read the “founder’s letter” which Larry Page and Sergey Brin penned for shareholders back in 2004 (with inspiration from Warren Buffett’s “Owner’s Manual” for Berkshire Hathaway shareholders). It remains a remarkably prescient distillation of Google’s essence, its approach to business and innovation and its ethos.
In the letter, Page and Brin made it clear to investors that Google was their company. Shareholders could buy into it, but they wouldn’t have a voice. A dual stock structure ensured the founders would retain control. Today Google is still their company, both on paper and in the real world. Or rather, it’s largely Page’s company since 2011, when he became CEO and Brin chose to take a secondary role. If anything, Page’s management style is more centralized and top-down. All major decisions bear his stamp. (By all accounts, he and Brin remain close, and consult on many matters.) So far, shareholders, by and large, have had no reason to complain.
Page is still focused on the long term. That means many things, like making investments where he sees fit, spending on priorities like talent and infrastructure, and not worrying too much about quarterly pressures. Sure, over the years, Google has been forced to grow up. After the financial crisis, for example, with Patrick Pichette as its new CFO, Google cut back some of its free-spending ways and established more stringent cost controls. Over time, Google has become a model of operational excellence, where everything is measured and analyzed, and internal targets are met or surpassed more often than not. But Page’s insistence that Google make the investments he thinks are necessary to stay on top over the long run has not changed. To wit: self-driving cars, Glass, Internet of things ($3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs), mobile patents ($12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola, followed by the spin off of the mobile hardware business to Lenovo) and many more.
Most of all, Google is still a quirky workplace that’s focused on delivering giant leaps in innovation time and again. Back in the day, that meant giving employees a day a week to work on a project of their choosing. Today, it means things like Google Now, a smart personal

The former Google products director will be updating his resumé now that he’s left LinkedIn after six years with the career networking website.
Deep Nishar, the head of products and user experience at LinkedIn announce his departure from the company on Thursday after six years with the career networking website.
In a post on the site titled “Next Chapter,” Nishar said he is moving on “after an amazing six years at LinkedIn” where he will step down beginning in October. The company is “in great shape,” he added in a section of the post addressing the timing of his departure. “The company is well on its way to mapping the global economy to connect talent with opportunity at massive scale,” Nishar wrote. “The team has a deep bench that is firing on all cylinders.”
Nishar joined LinkedIn in 2008 after leaving Google, where he was senior director of products for the search giant. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, who joined the company from Yahoo less than a year after Nishar arrived, will be taking over Nishar’s duties indefinitely, the company said. Nishar notes that the will continue to have a relationship with the company after he leaves, as he will serve “in an advisory capacity to Jeff and the company.”
In a statement from LinkedIn, the company thanked Nishar for “his many years of dedication” and wished him well: “After nearly six years at the company, Deep Nishar, our SVP of Product, has decided to leave LinkedIn. During his time at LinkedIn, the member experience has been completely transformed and has become an integral part of a professional’s day. Deep joined LinkedIn when we were slightly more than 30 million members and during his time at the company, the member base has grown tenfold to 313 million members around the world.”
It is unclear what Nishar’s next role will be, or where. “I am passionate about building and leading businesses and companies that have the potential to make a significant positive impact in the world and have had the honor and privilege of doing so at both LinkedIn and Google,” he wrote in his post.
Nishar recently had taken a new role at real estate website Auction.com and he is also involved with multiple other tech companies, including serving as a board member of Trip Advisor and utilities software company Opower
Courtesy : Sergey Brin with Larry Page in Bangalore,

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