It’s hard to believe that Google has officially turned 20 today. What is even harder to conjecture is that a start-up initiated by two Stanford wannabes who weren’t even established entrepreneurs, has turned out to be an iconic name synonymous with whatever is relevant in the contemporary world. These two men have built-up an empire that is one of the most valuable companies today and has essentially changed the way the world works for the better.
Today, Google retains thousands of employees and has a market cap of about $852 billion. The fact remains that Google is not meant to be a mere footnote in history, it is history! During its evolution, there were several moments and milestones that marked a certain narrative in Google’s journey.
In 1998, Larry Page and Sergei Brin spearheaded the concept of unveiling a search engine that relied on links to individual pages rather than the ubiquitous keyword. They persisted through a relatively unsuccessful start but managed to capture the popular imagination by 2002, where ‘googling’ someone became a catchphrase. At this moment, they declined $ 3 million buy-out from Yahoo. In 2007, the company launched Google Earth and Google Maps, thus lending the common man to bypass paid GPS navigation options.
In 2009, Google became the first search engine where people made more than 1 billion search queries in a single day, thus establishing itself as America’s number one search engine, dominating 65 per cent of the segment. Over the subsequent years, the company made several acquisitions and initiated several initiatives that increasingly boosted their clout. The highlight came in 2015 as Google projected itself as Alphabet, an umbrella company that owned several other subsidiaries. In 2016, the company launched the incredibly successful smart speakers that doubled as a personal assistant, the Google Home device.