IntroductionLarry Page and Sergey Brin co-founded Google LLC in 1998 with an ambition to organize and provide information stored on the internet to the users whenever they needed it. Gradually the name “Google” became well known across the globe as the best search engine and an internet brand.
In 2004, the firm became public and issued an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in order to raise funds for its future endeavours and to extend its technological and customer base. In August, 2015, Google reorganized various business activities into a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. providing Google to pay detailed attention to the products and services it provides as well as to satisfy the consumers’ needs. Ever since inception, the company has witnessed enormous and nourishing growth in almost every aspect; be it revenue generated, market capitalization, number of employees or profits. Starting its base as a search engine, Google has performed a multinational technology giant that not only provides online search support 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 artificial intelligence, etc. Apart from these services, it has also taken part in a series of acquisitions (Blogger, Applied semantics, YouTube, Motorola mobility) and partnerships (AOL, GeoEye, and LG & Huawei for its smartphone brand lines – Nexus and Pixel).
Lawrence Edward Page also known as Larry Page is a computer scientist and with his knowledge and skill set was soon known as an internet entrepreneur. He is the backbone and an internal disciplinarian who drives the force behind the company, giving it the ultimate ambition and zeal of “open ideology”; the passion for creativity, and his democratic leadership approach for constant and sustainable innovation to almost everything that the company does today. He has always been the silent penultimate power and the final decision maker inside Google.’Google is 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 of creativity, openness, innovation, simplicity for the customer and building connections throughout its journey. It has evolved from being a simple search engine to actively participating and growing in every market segment possible. Its decentralized approach helps enhance independence among employees and channels them to think & perform more innovatively. Google’s search engine ranks number 1 on the Alexa index, thereby proving to be the giant in the world of search engines. In fact, the term ‘Google’ has evolved to become a synonym to ‘internet’ where we often find ourselves saying, “Let’s Google it” instead of “Let’s search it on the internet”.
Business ModelGoogle’s business model consists of Google search, AdWords and AdSense which function together and generate revenues for the search engine giant. Search helps users to obtain relevant and most specific form of data which they wish to extract by searching across the internet and retrieving the best possible results for the search. AdWords enables users to create and publish their advertisements across numerous locations on the internet, such as – search engine results pages (SERPs). And AdSense provides the technological support that enables AdWords to obtain the best match and cater its advertisements to the right audience. The company provides a product or service to the audience without charge anticipating to seek maximum attention and eventually generating revenue through advertising, sponsorship, etc. In order to maximize its reach the company dominated the online search market by leveraging its networked economy and providing outstanding range of online products and services to the customers. Business EnvironmentAccording to Kuratko, There are five specific dimensions that serve as important determinants of an environment which is conducive to the company’s behaviour.
They are:Top management support, work discretion/autonomy, rewards/reinforcement, time availability, and organizational boundaries. (Kuratko et. al, 2014)1. Top management support: At Google, each individual is expected to think beyond the limits and develop ideas that are unconventional, unique and innovative.
Innovation is a key phenomenon that fuels the company and its employees based on which their success is achieved. Management at each level primarily focus on embedding these morals within the employees and ensure a comforting and convenient rapport between the two. Entrepreneurial skill and thinking is one of the most important qualities that are expected from all the employees.2. Work discretion: Any idea is an opportunity to discover something new and does not depend upon its success or failure. At Google, they believe that any opportunity should not be cast off without experiencing.
The delegation of authority and responsibility is provided to the lower level management as well. Employees are provided with a great amount of freedom along with responsibility which they must use optimally.3.
Rewards and reinforcement: The company provides its employees with extraordinary benefits some of which include free meals, sports and games lounges, recreational facilities and much more inside the work environment encouraging employees to feel at home and at the same time to set-free their thoughts and imaginations in seek of continuous creativity and innovation. Other ways in which the employees are rewarded is through shares, flexible work hours, sufficient holiday period, bonuses, etc.4.
Time availability: Everybody at Google is given enormous amount of time to ensure that they are stress free and that they work till their optimum potential. There are various projects designed by the company in order to facilitate interaction and activities across the entire workspace. For example: The “20 percent” project focuses on providing employees with an opportunity to spend 20 percent of their work week time on activities or ideas that suit their interests.5. Organizational boundaries: The organizational culture at Google is employee friendly and customer oriented. It promotes any type of entrepreneurial activity which might benefit the external as well as internal environment as a whole.
Innovation is inscribed within the work culture and is considered as a structured and purposeful process. Through such vast opportunities of growth and innovation the flow of information between the external environment and the organization also increases. Organizational boundaries within Google are set to the limit where there is no more scope of innovation or improvement within the workplace and its employees. Economic and Policy EnvironmentWhilst most of the business generally decrease their workforce or cut down on their activities during times of economical bane, Google’s sustainable and innovative work model keeps it resilient to such events.
In fact, it has managed to constantly grow apace year after year showing no negative signs in its economic performance and has constantly secured its position as a technology conglomerate. The company has managed to maintain a stable and continuously growing market share all across the globe and till date plays a dominant role in the field of search engines. The company works on firm internet guidelines and also has a few 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 performing its activities. Google has adhered to its policy by being carbon neutral since a decade and aims to function on 100% renewable energy by this year. External EnvironmentGoogle aspires to create a means through which every aspect of information can be found on the web by aiming to deliver what the customers or the users of the web are searching for. The main aim of the people at Google is to deal with the problem of delivering such services at a great speed along with providing interesting data to encourage the customer to explore more.
Google had reached the average search target of 0.2 seconds which was much better from the previous 3 seconds approximate. Google takes its two most important assets; attention and trust of its customers very seriously and keeps them as prime target objectives because they know that slow and inferior results would lead to loss of their users.
Another aspect which Google deals with is by providing related data of two different words that are connected. For example, if a user searches for ’emotional philosophy’ then Google Search must make sure it finds data relevant to the desired term. Here the term has two words with different outlooks, this is where Google’s search engine plays its role by selecting the most clicked links from the searches and tries to make it even better by clearing out the unwanted data along with adding further links for reference purposes; hence enabling Google to distinguish between different data inputs at different speeds 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 search data from users from different nations, to be able to understand what the users wanted and to be able to provide them the data required.
It has not only been able to find and provide accurate results of those words but has also improved to provide the relation these words hold.One of the major problems faced by Google is that it is lacking behind in mobile apps segment as the most commonly used apps are the facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp which are all owned by Facebook. Google’s approach towards fixing these problems is by leveraging its existing mobile apps such as YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps which are highly operated on mobile phones and will help grasp the users’ attention. The other approach it has pursued is through creating or acquiring new messaging apps or enhancing chrome and bringing in new features into the webpage interface. Internal EnvironmentIn its internal environment, Google deals with that part of the society that wants to be a part of the company or as they call it ‘Googlers’. They deal with over 1500 resumes everyday and look for two kinds of people to maintain their working sense as well as participate in the society. Majorly, they hire PhDs from top programs and research labs and some who possess entrepreneurial skills and risk taking attitude.
The challenge here was negotiating between the risk and caution. They had set up a team of managers who kept advising on what was supposed to be done and how and tried to maintain a particular-way of doing things for which Google had to fire that team as it contradicted with Google’s basic values which gives its employees the freedom at work and to be able to get the best out of their creative minds.The company has no such strategic-planning department as it doesn’t really restrict the employees from performing any task or idea but insists to creed on innovation. Googlers are given importance and credit to create and provide great results such as the Google news. In 2001 Krishna Bharat came up with the idea of providing news to people by presenting latest news sources once an hour and eventually making it available to be read by users. Later Marissa Mayer got together and created ‘Google News’. Within a month and a half it had 155 news sources along with a search function ad, which within weeks generated 70,000 users per day, promoting the young engineer to a project manager.
This was the kind of freedom and encouragement given to the Googlers to provide ideas and implement them freely. New opportunities, threats and innovative solutionsAccording to Larry Page, “The biggest threat to Google is Google itself”. (Miller, 2011). Googlers believe that the greatest threat to the company is the lack in innovation and entrepreneurial performance among the organization which would deeply impact the functioning of the company. Employees at Google are given freedom and are constantly urged to be innovative and quick in performing actions in order to be able to deal with any threat with ease.
However, apart from itself, Google also faces threats from Apple in the Smartphone industry, Amazon in the online shopping and artificial intelligence based home appliances segment and from Facebook in the social networking app segment. But these threats have not affected the company much as it has been constantly evolving itself and improving the products and services offered in order to stay ahead of the competition. For instance, apart from improving camera and screen quality, Google provides its users with unlimited photo storage in order to stay ahead of Apple; it enhanced the accuracy and efficiency of its artificial based appliance in order to dominate over its rivals; and to get ahead of Facebook, it developed various social networking apps such as Google+ and Duo. It has also leveraged its leading apps such as YouTube, Maps, Docs, etc.
in order to attract more audience and seize greater market share. The latest success in innovation is the development of photographic memory in Google Photos which enables users to enjoy what they capture and create. With the help of its AI capabilities, the Google assistant can also compile and transform these stored images into clips, animations, collages etc. It recognizes the person involved in the picture and spontaneously compiles all pictures of that individual in a folder. ConclusionGoogle has consistently adhered to its core values and basic principles of innovation and continuous creative performance. Google’s entrepreneurs aim bring the various innovative start-ups and build new spaces for their employees who are given the opportunity to be an entrepreneur themselves by pitching in their own creative ideas, to improvise and reach their capacities.
Google has constantly been able to preserve up with is essential values along with basic principles of innovation and creative performance.Googles major accomplishments were the acquisition of YouTube, creation of google maps; which not just acts as an individual app but also is the backbone of other services like mapping locations, latitudes, and places, Gmail which has been a vast platform of email program, purchase of android which is a great competitor to IOS, the Verizon partnership in which has given the marketing push to android mobile phones and other successful achievement is of partnering with apple to create the search engine in iPhones which has made google the control in the market of mobile search engines. The company has its three major aspects;a. the entrepreneur; which in this case has a different outlook of business likedigging out the best in its employees and the has the possibility to show its image and the company’s image a great success,b. employees; who have been selected with specific abilities to think out of the box and act as individual businessmen to have come up with ideas such as google news, google wave, and google readerc. the customers or the users whose satisfaction and attention has been kept in mind as a major motive where google aims in making life better and easier.
The company has shown in various stages how it has created new apps besides expanding the firm through the help of skilled internet businesspersons and creative ‘Googlers’. It has confronted many challenges from its competitors, users, economical and internal technical problems; despite, which it has demonstrated itself towards being one of the firms that has given its employees a second home and a platform where every individual finds its solution. It has always dealt with creating solutions not just for the users but for itself to be able to solve problems in a very original and imaginative manner.