2008

Thesis Ben Morrow

[GOOGLE’S SUCCESS]

While other companies were busy cramming the most ads possible on their homepages or squeezing every last hour of productivity out of employees, Google created an enjoyable experience for every party involved in the company including users, employees, and investors. Google’s success has come as a direct result of keeping people happy.

History.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 4 External Analysis ..................................................................................................................................................................... 4 External Environment ...................................................................................................................................................... 4 Economic ........................................................................................................................................................................... 5 Technology ....................................................................................................................................................................... 5 Demographics.................................................................................................................................................................. 4 Global .................................................................................................................................................................................. 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Stakeholders ......................................................................................................................................................................... 6

Porter’s 5 Forces Analysis ............................................................................................................................................... 7

Political and Legal .......................................................................................................................................................... 5 Socio-Cultural .................................................................................................................................................................. 5

Potential New Entrants ............................................................................................................................................... 7 Suppliers ............................................................................................................................................................................ 7 Current Competitors..................................................................................................................................................... 7 Potential Substitutes .................................................................................................................................................... 9

Internal Analysis ....................................................................................................................................................................10 Financial Analysis .............................................................................................................................................................11 Value Chain Analysis .......................................................................................................................................................12 Competitive Advantages ................................................................................................................................................13 Substitutability..............................................................................................................................................................14 Imitability ........................................................................................................................................................................13 Rarity.................................................................................................................................................................................13 Mission Statement ............................................................................................................................................................10

Customers ......................................................................................................................................................................... 9

Value ..................................................................................................................................................................................13

Strategic Direction ................................................................................................................................................................14 Strategy .................................................................................................................................................................................14 Stated Strategy ..............................................................................................................................................................16

Other Strategies .................................................................................................................................................................18 Acquisitions ....................................................................................................................................................................18 Alliances ...........................................................................................................................................................................18 Start-ups ..........................................................................................................................................................................18

Strategic Fit .........................................................................................................................................................................16

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Leadership & Culture ...........................................................................................................................................................19 Structure ...............................................................................................................................................................................19 Problem Identification and Recommendations ...................................................................................................22

Culture ...................................................................................................................................................................................19 Leadership ...........................................................................................................................................................................21 Employee Perks ............................................................................................................................................................20

Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................................................23 Appendix A ..........................................................................................................................................................................24 Appendix B ..........................................................................................................................................................................25

Works Cited..............................................................................................................................................................................28

Appendix C...........................................................................................................................................................................26 Appendix D ..........................................................................................................................................................................27

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The PageRank algorithm generated a popularity index for each web page based on the quantity and quality of incoming links. the company is likely to gain market share. EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL EXTERNAL ANALYSIS DEMOGRAPHICS 4 . This means that it will be less affected as the Baby Boomers age in comparison to other companies that depend on the 50 to 60 year-old demographic group. and its ability to merge playfulness with unparalleled functionality. 2008). While other companies were busy cramming more motion ads on their homepages and squeezing every last hour of productivity out of employees. Google Docs. Gmail.S. In fact. In the next few years Google became the gateway to the internet for the masses. Larry Page and Sergey Brin. and Google Earth demonstrated the company’s aspiration to move beyond simple web queries. and as language support improves. By 1998 Google’s web crawler had indexed 60 million URLs and the company had been formally incorporated. used an algorithm to follow the links in a webpage and analyze all the connections. including users. Google offers a personalized search engine for more than 115 countries. Google’s success has come as a direct result of keeping people happy. was working on a PhD research project involving the mathematical properties of the link structure on the internet. Internet search is applicable to most cultures all over the world freeing Google from geographic dependence. Google’s web applications are now bundled into the operating system on low-cost Linuxbased computers (Blankenhorn. and would not be hurt by changes in the ratio of female to males. and marketing (Google. many people in economically disadvantaged countries are gaining access to the internet for the first time and Google would like to route them through its search and productivity products. Google created an enjoyable experience for every party involved. Page. The company will however benefit when some traditional and paternalistic societies begin using the internet more frequently. like Gmail. Docs. Internet search is also not a gender-specific issue. the company now has 20 offices in the U. 2008). The research project.Google's founders. and Sites. at the time. sales. and investors. as well as a traffic director that could make or break a company with its search rankings. "BackRub". HISTORY Google is well positioned in demographics because it has a relatively young userbase. As computers become more affordable. and international locations in over 30 countries working on research. met by chance on a Stanford University tour in the summer of 1995. employees.

S. Copyright Office of suspected infringement (Google. People will use these devices for driving directions. In 2008. the search giants like Google make the internet navigable. 2008) The crucial need to stay informed and constantly connected keeps such services vibrant despite the parched surroundings. and even quick research. technology companies like Google are relatively isolated because search and consequently internet-based advertisements have become a staple to the world society and economy.” (Schiffman. Formal institutions have not significantly affected Google’s operations. for many people. However. 2008). 2005). Google stands to benefit from this with an increased number of search queries. Google's focus on highly targeted. And. 2008). check sports scores. Google’s “Don’t be evil” mantra has been put to the test as users ask whether cooperation with governments undermines their privacy and freedoms. This link took users to a Privacy Center where they could learn about Google’s policies in regard to political and legal issues (Google.The United States is currently in a period of recession and stocks are trading at 52-week lows. The world is increasingly becoming more connected due to the means of communication available through the internet. although Google has faced pressure from the Department of Justice to relinquish archived search terms (Buncombe. download music. the company has released its 5 . measurable advertising makes it more recession-proof than many other businesses in tech. Google responded to customer concerns when it added a privacy link to its home page. POLITICAL AND LEGAL SOCIO-CULTURAL In addition. a recent Wired magazine article says that Google “looks particularly wellpositioned to weather the downturn. To enable more people to access Google’s services from their mobile devices. most new cell phones are internet capable devices. The page provides the relevant information regarding digital information and provides links to notify both Google and the U. The components are attached to the computer with Velcro rather than screws which allows for quick swapping and upgrading (May. 2007). Google can use commodity computer parts (cheap components) knowing they will fail by ensuring that every component always has a duplicate. to locate restaurants. Technology is obviously always improving and Google has taken specific measures to make sure it does not fall behind. TECHNOLOGY ECONOMIC Google has also faced concern on copyright issues because the company stores copies of third party web pages and images on their servers. In fact. They have responded to this criticism by releasing a copyright information page. we will become increasingly more dependent on internet search. 2006) and from the Chinese government to censor search results (Liedtke. As internet use increases among all age groups and across all cultures.

Litigation and politics often have an effect on both the short-term and long-term results and that is why it is important to be vigilant of the external environment. Google decisions may be influenced by the government. Each stakeholder has a relationship with Google and this relationship is the source of the stakeholder’s power to affect Google’s decisions. but also the employees. and community. customers. and governments interpret their activity could influence the company’s objectives. Stakeholder Importance 6 . but the way that the mass of web users.Android Mobile Phone Platform and Operating System as well as the Google Mobile App that can be downloaded on other platforms such as the Apple iPhone. all who have their own agendas and responsibilities to the people they serve. media. Google’s distributed business model ensures that no stakeholder has a level of importance that could singly change the direction of the company. It is Google’s management’s job to ensure the survival of the firm and the long-term benefits of the stakeholders. and the media. Some stakeholders Figure 1. trade associations. suppliers. STAKEHOLDERS Stockholder Media Employee Community Customer Government Google Suppl ier Activist Groups Trade Association Financial Institutions Uni on Competition Google has a responsibility to manage its operations for the benefit of its stakeholders. Stakeholders include not only the shareholders of the company’s stock. activist groups.

Porter’s 5 Forces analysis is a framework for industry analysis and business strategy development relative to the competitors of the firm (QuickMBA. With that in mind. 2008). PORTER’S 5 FORCES ANALYSIS POTENTIAL NEW ENTRANTS The barriers to entry in the internet search market are high. 2008). and Altavista dominated the search market and Google has since eclipsed them all (Viney. The market now. A new entrant would need to provide better search results at very fast speeds to compete in this highly competitive market. 2007) suggesting that both companies are equally efficient at maintaining supplierseller collaboration. supplier bargaining power will remain low. So as long as Google maintains its market dominance with the search product. The current competitors have thousands of servers deployed in locations all over the world and have accumulated many years worth of data about user habits. SUPPLIERS CURRENT COMPETITORS 7 . Google’s cost of revenue as a percentage of sales in 2007 was 40% (Google.6 billion which grew an average of 115% annually in the preceding five years (Google. Google’s stated goal is to “organize the world’s information” (Google. Yahoo. Excite. however. have conflicting claims. In 2007. and to merit they have created many complimentary products to their main internet search service. the threat of new entrants in the internet search market is relatively low. it must be recognized that when Google was founded in 1998. 2007). is more mature with a necessary path dependency to gather data on both the content of webpages and the search history of users. 2007). Google had revenues of $16. Google’s ad system is a reliable source of income because both the ad-making partner and adreceiving individual are both customers of Google’s. the user’s right to privacy and the government’s right to access records. Management is tasked to weigh the seriousness of each claim and decide which outcome will best benefit the majority of their stakeholders. Targeted advertisements based on the information they collect with their products are Google’s primary source of revenue. This number is the same for Yahoo (Google. such as the user’s right to information and the government’s responsibility to protect information – or consequently. Therefore. 2007).

There is a dizzying amount of money made in this industry.000.12. Yahoo and Microsoft lag behind with 23% and 11% respective market shares (Figure 3) (Agence France-Presse.000 2.000. 2007). 2008).1 billion respectively (Google.MSN and Live Search). Figure 2.000.000.000.000. Yahoo.000.000.000 4. Google commands 57% of internet searches in the United States (Agence France-Presse. (Google. This creates a sort of self-perpetuating draw for customers as the search results constantly improve.000 6.000.000 0 Google Revenue Growth 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Revenue Google’s main competitors.000. The competitive rivalry is strong and ongoing in this industry because large amounts of advertising dollars flow to the website that has captured the largest volume of searches. posted revenues of $7.000 8.000. and Microsoft (operating under their respective brands . 2008). 8 . 2008) Presently.0 billion and $51.000. This large market share enables them to improve the quality of their search results and targeted ads more quickly than their competitors.000 10.

However. A substitute product may be invented in the future. and less than 5% of the revenue is generated by any given network partner site (Google Inc. but there are no obvious substitutes to organizing information on the internet. Information can be organized in different ways including categories and sorted by date. 2008) In 2008. 2008). no single account contributes more than 3% to net revenue. 99% of Google’s revenues are derived from advertising (Google. 2007). the internet has become the mode chosen by millions of people all over the world to request and retrieve information. there really is no suitable substitute for search. Google has positioned itself well to weather each of Porter’s Five Forces of Competition as well as stay afloat in a turbulent external environment. (Agence France-Presse. POTENTIAL SUBSTITUTES 9 . 2008). In light of this fact. This distributed approach allows Google to attract both large companies and small “momand-pop shops” keeping buyer power low.Search Engine Market Share 11% Google 23% 57% Yahoo Microsoft As of 2007. Google’s ability to please its stakeholders will continue to define the success of the venture and the future of the company. Popular keywords like “Dallas Texas” are sold for much higher value-per-clickthrough than obscure topics (Google. In Google’s system many advertisers bid on keywords. This means that no single buyer has a controlling interest. but Google provides tools to complete these tasks as well as conduct searches.. CUSTOMERS Figure 3.

The statement is forthright in understanding the boon and the banes of advertisements to search engine users in its suggestions that “advertisements should not be an annoying interruption” (Google Inc.. Google’s mission statement is quite distinctive and original because the scope of the project is much larger and more long-term than most other companies would aspire towards. but also to make it accessible and useful. The mission statement is broad enough that it allows for Google to use any means possible to organize information. it is desirable. The mission statement doesn’t give a timeline. 10 .. 2007) Figure 4 displays the difference between the homepage of the top competitors in the search industry. it only states the end result. This definite goal with a strong focus gives the statement direction and flexibility as it does not specify the means. even though the mission statement isn’t strictly feasible. “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” (Google. 2008). Google is quick to recognize that customer faith will provide the basis for “increased traffic and strong word-of-mouth promotion” (Google Inc. Google has long held a very human-centric point-of-view. This means that they are neither limited to search nor are they limited to using the internet in its current form. The statement definitely gives the company a future to strive towards. 2007). However. leaving lenient room in the respect of the physical products the company will produce. speaks to their goals.. All the worlds information could never be made searchable or categorized because some data is private and other data is not defined in a computer readable form. as it will be quite some time before all of the world’s information is easily accessible even though they have made great strides. Home Pages The mission statement is graphic because it gives a sense of the scale of the endeavor in its bold declaration “to organize the world’s information” and become “universally accessible”. INTERNAL ANALYSIS MISSION STATEMENT Figure 4. 2007). The mission statement sets the company up as a resource that would be used by anyone who was doing research whether as part of a thesis or just a question out of curiosity. motivational. and their mission statement reflects their dedication to user experience in their promise to “provide the most relevant and useful search results…independent of financial incentives” (Google Inc. and long-lasting. but does not reflect the way they earn a profit.Google’s mission. It is complete in the sense that the goal is not just to organize information.

This begs the question of whether Google has a sustainable business model if in the future people begin to ignore internet-based advertisements. At that time.59 billion. In addition the Activity ratios of Receivable Turnover and Fixed Asset Turnover were also down slightly (Appendix A). the revenue growth is pleasantly tracked by the net income.2% versus Yahoo!’s 5. No company can sustain a greater than 50% growth rate for too many years in a row. 2008). Google slowed down by the end of the 2007 fiscal year. Google has a much higher Income from Continuing Operations/Sales ratio (Appendix B). Profit margin and Return on Assets were also down. after all. What they mean is that Google is moving out of its explosive. Most of its online products are free to use and are supported by text ads that are displayed within the interface (Google Inc. they are still much higher than Yahoo!’s ratios. The shares have now dropped down to the high $300 range (Google. 2008) due to the recession the United States is currently experiencing. The growth ratios such as Sales Growth. These numbers do not mean that Google is in trouble. exponential growth and it will eventually settle at a more steady growth rate if their business model remains successful. a whopping 882% return in 3 years (Google. 2007). Google is a relatively young company that has been public since August 2004. Google is not a seasonal or a cyclical company. Since the fourth quarter has not yet been reported for 2008. Asset Growth were all down from 2006 (Appendix A). the stock had reached a high of around $750.The mission statement will probably not change either through the actions of competitors or through a changing external environment. which indicates that Google is more profitable than Yahoo. As stated earlier. Google’s Return on Assets shines as well at 23. the Current Year Quarterly Stock Prices table in Appendix D shows fiscal year 2007 numbers. Yahoo. Google’s spectacular growth is shown in the charts in Appendix C. Google’s stock performed remarkably through the end of 2007 and the Quarterly Stock Highs and Lows graph showcases that continued growth (Appendix D). The two companies have a roughly equivalent Cost of Goods Sold/Revenue ratio at 40%.4 times the revenue of Yahoo (Appendix B).9% (Appendix B).. Income Growth. but still at healthy levels. Information retrieval is likely to only become more important in the future and therefore Google has set itself up well with the long-term vision of their mission statement. however. a share of the stock sold for a paltry $85. because its services are constantly desired. In the past 5 years revenue has grown from $1. 2008). This projected prosperity does not. FINANCIAL ANALYSIS Financially Google is in much better shape than its main competitor.47 billion to $16. but Google’s Liabilities /Total Assets ratio is half of Yahoo’s indicating that Google is managing their debt better. Appendix D shows that Google has not yet had a quarter where income or revenue was below the previous quarter’s reported numbers. but common size ratios allow comparison of the two. Google has about 2. Google derives approximately 99% of its revenue from advertising (Google. include the discussion of the company’s stakeholders in the statement or specifics on the monetary value creation. 11 . In the Net Income Trend Graph. Keeping in mind the facts mentioned in the previous paragraph. By late 2007.

2005). its value chain is a bit more nuanced. In fact the company often gives aptitude challenges and tests to help recruiters sift through the massive amounts of resumes they receive (Kopytoff. distribution. Google gathers all the web users it can (the raw material) by enticing them to use its stellar search product with highly relevant results delivered promptly. through assorted “signs” (text advertisements) it directs these same web users in the form of traffic to its advertising partners who transform the traffic into “conversions” or sales on their sites (the finished good). Since Google doesn’t produce physical products. a large percentage of the cost structure is the infrastructure and systems. Google has locations all over the world (Google. 2008) to localize distribution. Google adds value not only by directing a quantity of web users to specific sites. Google’s Value Chain Next to the employees. Google has always tried to hire the most qualified and competent individuals to ensure that it excels at the research and development of its technology and systems. 2006). sales. 2007). In this manner. VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS Google’s primary activities in its value chain are heavily dependent on the support activities of administration and human resources (Figure 5). Google’s servers and internal software allow it to conduct operations. Google uses advanced analytics to measure the efficiency of its supply chain (the web users). but also by sorting the prequalified visitors using keyword association and search history to recognize users’ interests (Levin. Each activity contributes to the value chain by increasing the profit of the firm. and service. and service which in turn ensures maximum profit on a global scale.Google’s primary activities in its value chain vary slightly from a traditional model where raw materials are processed into finished goods for sale to a customer. By shifting activities geographically. Figure 5. Profit is maximized by the company’s cultural awareness and social competence to tailor products to the regional needs of its users. Then. marketing. Google ensures that the users who are directed to a partner site are more likely to purchase a product there. This data about the history of its users is important because it helps Google improve its search 12 . Google can also take advantage of diversity from a human resources perspective and also perhaps lower salaries in countries other than the United States. Google has even begun outsourcing some of its copywriting to firms in India (Baker. gaining value in each step of the process.

Google’s search offerings are rare because of the relevancy of the results. imitability.Google faithfully adheres to the provision in the mission statement which recognizes that “advertisements should not be an annoying interruption” (Google Inc. Many business are dependent upon the traffic AdSense brings to their website to generate income. Since Google has the largest market share. which is uncommon. New technology and word-of-mouth promotion by its loyal users can bring in new customers and thereby increase the profit margin. “long-tail” searches like “cerebrospinal fluid”. Google has sustainable competitive advantages because the remarkable scores accrued in measures of value. simply do not provide links that are as useful as Google’s. Google’s website features a minimalistic design. Google has used its analytics tools to help understand the social complexity of the meaning 13 . their search engine can effectively learn more quickly than competitors’ products. 2007).. a competitor could not replicate Google’s search results. rarity. Google’s main competitors.. Google has achieved the top market share in the search industry precisely because their product is rare.Google’s operations exhibit path dependency because it takes time to collect the data to provide results and even more time to analyze both the content and users reactions to the results. fast computer memory. They are able to provide excellent links in the first few results for both well-known subjects such as “Dallas Cowboys” and uncommon. Google has servers all over the world all synced up and all running on a very large quantity of RAM. COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES VALUE As mentioned in the Value Chain section.algorithms and advertising interface. RARITY IMITABILITY With each search Google refines its results so that the search engine gets “smarter” and caters to people’s individual preferences. For the advertisers this increased traffic translates into increased sales and directly helps the bottom line. 2007). Google’s search products bring value to their customers because they provide relevant websites promptly. Without going through a process of refinement over a significant period of time. The Google home page can only contain 28 words as a policy established Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Most websites feature some sort of banner advertising and are littered with hundreds of words. and substitutability. This keeps the clutter to a minimum which is a stark contrast to Yahoo and Microsoft’s search home pages. Google’s results are not easily imitated because of the large infrastructure requirements to serve the relevant pages quickly. Google excels at directing a large quantity of visitors to websites using its AdSense program. the company’s founders. Microsoft and Yahoo. This rare service is testimony to their charge to never “compromise…user focus for short-term economic gain” (Google Inc.

Earth and Maps. Google’s minimalistic interface is physically unique and has remained different because the competitors value advertising money more than user experience and devote larger swaths of screen real estate to graphical and motion ads. These products are the key to augmenting the company’s advertising business and expanding the breadth of the brand. Google does not confine itself to the search product it is most well known for and has special applications for browsing different kinds of information such as its Shopping. Several of these unique provisions include its Docs & Spreadsheets productivity suite. one word like mouse has a variety of different meanings with each meaning being most important to certain people. STRATEGIC DIRECTION STRATEGY Figure 6. Complimentary products serve to increase the use of the each of the other products and increase brand awareness. Google should be able to sustain its competitive advantages through the foreseeable future. the more opportunity there will be to show them ads. and Music applications. For example. and right now searching the internet is arguably the best for retrieving information efficiently. the more uses a person has for Google services. This causal ambiguity leads to the belief that perhaps the time to start an internet search company was in the 1990’s and it would be vastly more difficult to gain market share in a competitive environment where users are used to the novelty of Google’s interface. Books. but it will need to continue to innovate new ways to diversify its advertising business so the company is not dependent on solely the AdWords service. Google reinforces its brand image by keeping its name in nearly all its products. 14 . Products of the Brand (Joaquin. Some of Google’s success is due to its strategic management or simply to the luck of being at the right place at the right time. There are different ways of organizing and accessing information. SUBSTITUTABILITY Google consistently delivers relevant results at blazing speeds with minimal hassle. From Google’s perspective. Google’s strategy is built on a strong foundation of broad differentiation of complementary products.of keywords to specific groups of users. These three competitive advantages set its core search functionality apart from the competitors whose web portals simply can’t keep up. Picasa the image organizing and editing program.

This is why Google encourages free internet access with citywide wifi and lobbied the Federal Communications Commission to allow use of the “white spaces” as recently as the first week of November 2008 (Lawson. 2008). 2007) Google also knows that an increase in the number of internet (or other information media) users will in turn bring more users to Google. always viewing Google advertisements). 15 . 2008).Figure 7. in September 2008 (Guynn. By making such useful products cheaply available. more customers today are able to meet a wide range of wants through the products and services Google offers. The old mode of ‘communication’ is now the new mode of ‘living’. Google Products Yearly Unique Visitors (Riley. By creating a phone operating system built around the internet and integrating Google’s search and other web technologies into the device. Android. These unused frequencies between television channels can be utilized to create a situation where a person is always freely connected to the internet (and in turn. Google appears to be pushing the adoption of smartphones and changing consumers’ perceptions of the purpose of a “phone”. Another example of this phenomenon is Google’s recent foray into the cellphone business. Google introduced the TMobile G1 and its accompanying operating system.

STATED STRATEGY The leading competitors to Google’s work strategy are the technology giants. Google stands true to its declaration in the company mission statement to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. This statement provides Google the opportunity to create its own microcosm of the world and opens the door to virtually limitless expansion. 2007). All of these companies’ motivations are simple -. The more data Google can gather and associate with a user account the more they can learn about what associations to make to give better relevance to their search product and the ads in the search interface. Google’s advertisements will be personalized according to hobbies. Figure 7 demonstrated that the company does have a few breakout successes like Book Search.try to draw the most advertising dollars from their respective internet properties. Google’s goal is less about making money with their products and more about gathering information. but other seemingly mature product markets such as email yielded success as well. providing the premier search service in numerous languages and countries. For example.interests. STRATEGIC FIT 16 . But. Eventually. advertisements in the mail interface have notoriously low click rates.Google does not make money on most of its products. Yahoo and Microsoft. Google’s products do not fit nicely into a BCG matrix. which is a stark contrast to most successful companies. and even one’stendency to purchase a specific type of product online. all the ads will be personalized in a way that television advertising agencies could only dream of with their age and gender demographics. because people simple aren’t shopping for products while they are checking their email. But Google refuses to be anxious by this as the AdWords on their search service and AdSense on external sites are enormously popular and keep the company profitable. Google’s great organizational skills are not just philanthropic – the company uses the same relevance data for its search results that it uses to deliver advertisements and make money (Google Inc.. The sober fact is that this idea is not farfetched at all. Figure 8 shows a rather humorous view into the future where Google’s information indices extend beyond the outside internet to a much more personal level. which is better suited to the incremental innovation at traditionallymanaged companies. It has expanded nationally and globally. Secondly. Google’s overarching strategy is to maximize its information gathering about individuals so it can transition its relevance algorithms from content-based to individual interestbased so that banner ads are just as much of a resource as text.

109.489. this was not always so -when Google was started.Ad Server Google Double Click Yahoo MSN AOL Adbrite However. Google manages to stay abreast of the crowd as illustrated in Figure 9 which displays Google covering over 90.739 1.67% 3.121 156. communities. Yahoo! To connect people to their passions.203.575 Market Share 77. Each of their mission statements seem to indicate that they wield the world’s information to facilitate human connections. Figure 10.30% 34. minimalistic design on its home page.39% 11.462 6. Google To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.446. 2008) Market Share 35. However. and the world’s knowledge.98% 2. the company has added all the services of its competitors (and more) to its war chest.290.147 8. (Rimm-Kaufman.676 Figure 9.140 362.35% 6. The company sought to go in a different direction than the other web portals that tried to bring everything to the user on their home pages.079.70% 4.84% 1. These two companies together draw the vast majority of unique users. Monthly Unique Users 1.34% Unique Domains 91.88% 4.976 3.099 1.931 309. 17 . While Google has maintained a very sparse.748 5.54% 9. which is the image banner advertising complement to Google’s text ads. They also control DoubleClick.02% Each of the competitors offer many services on their websites and strategically do so to try to engage users for as long as possible. Ad Server Market Share (Attributor Corporation.28 5.201.000 domains and thus having the broadest reach.326 73.107. it distinguished itself not by offering many products but simply making search work as fast as possible. 2007) Microsoft To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

Google regularly explores all three manners of diversification with new start-ups. One example is OpenSocial which allows developers to create applications that will work on all the member companies’ websites. Such motivation helps Google innovate and diversify into previously untapped businesses but usually still makes use of their core competencies and capabilities. with acquisition. Back in the early 2000’s Google provided all of Yahoo’s search results. Google understands the wealth in diversification. Earth. etc. Google understands that valuable profits and minimized risk can be garnered with international operations. which is the largest social networking site. advertisements. By giving developers a common API. This alliance leverages the capabilities of both phone manufacturers and independent developers to compete with Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform. DoubleClick . The company’s international revenue totaled over $2. Exploring new opportunities constantly over a solid base of research could prove profitable with the use of products that can reduce cost – cost of production. ACQUISITIONS ALLIANCES It is interesting to note the Google and Yahoo recently explored an alliance for advertising but federal judges threatened an antitrust investigation so Google backed out. OTHER STRATEGIES START-UPS Several of Google’s products are derived from acquisitions including Docs. These new products are crucial in gaining leverage in the constantly changing market and providing an alternative industry if need be. 52% of their total revenue (Google. Google has in the past started organizations to leverage the power of alliances. However.7 billion in the second quarter of 2008. as mentioned earlier. RIM’s Blackberry. the alliance hopes to draw some of the attention away from Facebook. Yahoo and Google in fact have a history together. from a click on an ad to the actual purchase of product. Google also created the Open Handset Alliance to promote the use of its open source Android operating system. the Average Sales Per Click in Figure 10 shows that Microsoft is more effective at generating conversions. This move did not cause a financial setback being prompt and respectful of other partners. These products have expanded Google’s brand and brought the previous users of these services to Google. 18 . added the banner component of Google’s advertising business and brought along significant revenue to Google’s income statement. and Apple’s iPhone. In fact both Gmail and Google News started off as 20% projects. Google has a rule that employees can spend 20% of the time working on pet projects that are not part of their job description. and with strategic alliances. and YouTube.The cost to place an ad through Google’s AdWords program has increased over time. which is attributable to their increasing market share and leverage in the industry. 2008).

Google’s diversification coupled with its ongoing promise to deliver on its strategy has been the key to its success. Middle East. As Figure 11 shows. within each top-level activity. This hybrid form of functional and multidivisional structure works well for Google. It ensures the centralized planning a large company needs while giving the small business units the flexibility to innovate like a small start-up company. Google follows a fairly regular functional structure with management positions specialized by value chain activity. & Africa Corporate Development Real Estate Research Marketing Asia Pacific New Business Development Financial Planning CULTURE 19 . Figure 11. As a globally diversified company. Corporate Structure (Google. These positions are further divided and grouped into regions of interest that aid the company in managing the breadth of its operations. 2008) LEADERSHIP & CULTURE STRUCTURE Board of Directors Executive Management Group Engineering Products Sales Legal Finance Chief Information Officer Product Management Americas General Counsel Treasurer Engineering User Experience Europe. there is a multidivisional structure where small business units are divided on the basis of geography or product market. Google remains the top brand image in the market.

" He also added that the slogan was "a bit of a jab at a lot of the other companies. internet access. in our opinion. who said he "wanted something that. 1 followed by 100 zeros." The name of the company is a play on the mathematical term “Googol”. 2008) Around the office Google’s employees get around on Segway and Razor scooters. ''We are basically running a small municipal transit agency. Google is often lauded for the way the company treats its employees.” The motto was first suggested by Paul Buchheit. dry cleaning. but on top of that are first-class dining facilities. CEO TRANSPORTATION (Google. this transportation keeps them from having to spend hours in the Silicon Valley traffic. For nearly a quarter of Google’s home office staff. 2007) has been the trademark bonus of the Google corporate environment. the creator of Gmail.” (Google.Google’s informal corporate slogan is. “Don’t be evil. were kind of exploiting the users to some extent. they offer free bus rides to the main Mountain View office.'' said Google's director of security and safety. once you put it in there. “You can be serious without a suit. custom bicycles. would be hard to take out. it will take 300 years to accomplish their goal (Mills. massage rooms. 20 . and the elaborate snack stations scattered throughout the office halls prove it has been carried out. Marty Lev (Helft. 2007). Ever since then “an unending supply of wholesome. 2004). But for the longer morning commute from home. Let's face it: programmers want to program. 2008) EMPLOYEE PERKS "The goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees' way. and recently. So we make it easy for them to do both. and allow pets onboard. There’s a rule that workers can never be more than 100 feet away from food. FOOD Google hired their first chef in November 1999 when Charlie Ayers. won a cook-off judged by the company's 40 employees. These quirky things are part of what sets Google apart from the rest of corporate America. 2005). who at the time. carwashes. We provide a standard package of fringe benefits. ex-chef for the Grateful Dead. Fortune magazine ranked Google at the top of its lit of the best companies to work for in 2007 and 2008 (Fortune. Google Reveals its 300-year Plan. Eric Schmidt. gyms. free food” (Dudley.Perhaps that’s because Google’s corporate vision includes such axioms as." -Eric Schmidt. haircuts. It represents the company’s unique vision to organize more information and make more money than customers and investors thought was possible. they don't want to do their laundry. Even their IPO was unique – they use a Dutch auction in which the market determined the initial stock price to prevent insiders and institutions from quickly selling for a profit (Salkever.just about anything a hardworking employee might want. is fond of saying that according to their math. The busses feature bike racks and leather seats. commuting buses . laundry rooms. Google’s CEO. 2008). especially our competitors.

THE 70/20/10 RULE Figure 12. 2006). and was previously CEO of Novell. and 10 percent on unrelated new businesses. 2008). 2009). other SEC filings. this unusual combination of technical and business backgrounds was key to Schmidt’s success at Google (Google Inc. 2004). and Schmidt run the company as a triumvirate because they believe that the “shared judgments and extra energy available from all three of us has significantly benefited Google” (Google Inc. These managers ensure Google stays innovative. but even the top-level managers adhere to the rule. According to Page..Google allows employees to spend 70 percent of their 10% time on the core business. In 2001. Google hired a Chief Culture Officer. they spend 70% of time on search and advertising. They feel that the salary sends a positive message to both employees and investors that their interests very much the success of the company and the longterm stock performance. they hired Eric Schmidt. in 2006 to help maintain their characteristic start-up atmosphere (Mills. Page. 2005). According to Eric Schmidt. Schmidt’s roles included providing business supervision as well as "building the corporate infrastructure needed to maintain Google's rapid growth as a company" (Google. according to Vice President of Search Products & User Experience. Stacy Savides Sullivan. Marissa Mayer (Eckoff. and videos are often very personal. who had multiple degrees in engineering. 20% 20 percent on related projects. 2008). 20% on adjacent businesses like Google News and Google Earth. right now the top management has already taken the proactive step and each of the three take a $1 annual salary (La Monica. The Related Projects engineering and design New Ideas staff make use of the “free time” to persue new products and technologies.. The three meet daily in order to update each other on the business and brainstorm about the immediate issues (Google Inc. This rule is so important 70% that Google has people on Core Business staff to manage the 70/20/10 rule. They also have a Chief Internet Evangelist and a Distinguished Entrepreneur on staff to help identify and enable new technologies. Meet Google's Culture Czar. 2007). LEADERSHIP Google’s Leadership Development and Compensation Committee keep the compensation of managers in check and broadly work to entice and retain good employees (Google. Brin. and top-level management communicates in the first person to connect with investors. 2004). Google’s annual reports. they are certainly not going without. Employee Time at Google The culture that Larry Page and Sergey Brin started as the founders largely influences the leadership within the company. served as CTO of Sun Microsystems. Brin and Page were tied for 21 . Google also employs managers in unique positions that other companies may not have known they were missing. The 20% rule has a good return on investment since about half of Google’s new product launches occur as a result of that “free” time..However. As the new CEO. 2004). However. and 10% on new things like the free wireless initiative (Battelle.

5 billion (Forbes. Apple’s engineers make an average of $97. In addition. has been criticized for its tight control over its music distribution system and private APIs in its software. However the company did award most of its employees with equity in the company that grew substantially after the company’s IPO.by contrast. Google management’s can achieve their goals and keep all stakeholders (developers. In a recent article by the Wall Street Journal. which was seemingly very bad given the high standard of living in the Silicon Valley area. Google will need to constantly keep checking itself to ensure the culture remains. these investments have historically produced great returns and have fueled the company’s innovation and speedy new product launches (despite an appearance excess). Microsoft received a lot of bad press for their monopolistic actions such as bundling software in the Windows operating system like the internet browser and media player. 22 . the company appears to have since rectified the low wage situation because according a recent news article. 2008).573 plus stock options -. Even Apple. customers. and investors) happy through the continued use of frank and consistent communication. some Google managers are quoted as saying they are revaluating the employee perks. each with a net worth of $18. productive atmosphere. then the company’s success is likely to continue… perhaps even long enough to realize full 300-year plan. If Google can figure out how to weather the negative economic environments while maintaining its fun. Figure 13 shows how employees at every level of the company can manage the company’s image in the eyes of the stakeholders. 2007).the 5th richest people in the United States in 2007. Google’s implementation of its corporate vision as been wildly successful so far. As Google moves further ahead with its cloud computing and smart phone platforms it will increasingly run into the same sort of backlash for keeping software proprietary. Google’s management will have to work hard to keep their open culture do their best to not “be evil” like the other large companies. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS While it is important to control spending. and infrastructure development due to lower revenue projections in light of the current recession (Morrison. another challenge the company faces is how to retain their fun image. Google’s engineers now make an average of $112. Google was criticized in its early years for paying its employees below industry averages. with the next largest market share. The company has managed to keep a very distinct culture intact throughout its growth over the past 10 years. Proprietary products have historically worked well for companies (just look at the multitude of cell phone adapters in the market) but in order to keep its image.840 (Truta. 20% time. Going forward. 2008). As Google grows in size.

The degree to which the company succeeds in the future will largely depend on how it leverages its experience while staying true to that vision. Team Blogs & Videos Gmail Google Docs Google Privacy Communication Reports Speeches Letters Google’s success is clearly attributable to how it treats the people who have a stake in the company. Google’s founders started the company with a unique vision and the implementation of that vision has been very successful. Keeping Stakeholders 23 . CONCLUSION Figure 13.Open Source Software Chrome browser Android operating system Python programming lang.

48 13.3% 24.2% 51.336 5.63 0.2 5 5.08 14946.077 3.225 0 934 3.6% 5.0% 68.5% 43.550 3.0% 8.470 5.4 33.48 10.0% 7.Basic APPENDIX A Prior Year $ 10.8% 33.1% 0.8% 0.0% 8.10 5463.204 6.039 202 25.0% 79.6% 13.0% 40.605 4.699 1.545 7.395 115 18.137 2.8% 76.0% 8.189 5 Years $ 1.2% 37.2% 23.0% Current Year $ 16.322 13.2% 15.581 4.996 460.305 1.336 2.6% 23.084 4.272 2.2% 4.1% 0.8% 10.0% 19.RATIO ANALYSIS Google Income Statement Revenue Cost of Goods Sold Interest Expense Tax Expense Income from Cont Operations Net Income Balance Sheet Cash Short Term Investments Accounts Receivable Inventory Current Assets Long Term Investments Net Fixed Assets Other Assets Total Assets Current Liabilities Total Liabilities Stockholders' Equity Cash Flow Cash Flow from Operations Dividends Paid Interest Paid Per Share Market Price at Year End Earnings Per Share .12 0.5% 24.0% 39.459 RATIO ANALYSIS Growth Ratios Sales Growth Income Growth Asset Growth Activity Ratios Receivable Turnover Fixed Asset Turnover Profit Ratios Profit Margin Return on Assets Return on Equity Price Earnings Ratio Liquidity Ratios Current Ratio Quick Ratio Solvency Ratios Debt to Total Assets Times Interest Earned (Accrual) Times Interest Earned (Cash) 56.036 2.2% 0.3 3 1.466 2.53 Percent 100.52 72.4% 45.594 6.775 1.434 18.082 8.72 24 .0% 70.017 640 343 688 10.060 4.9% 30.0% 32.279 691.308 17.6% 100.649 1 1.040 1.2% 41.0% 0.5% 29.21 Percent 100.0% 3 Years $ 6.139 4 Years $ 3.0% 10.8% 100.4% 100.7% 38.473 1.1 10.646 25.289 1.473 3.1% 9.6% 25.1% 9.49 8.1 4.1 30.7% 7.032 2.1% 7.8% 100.6 4.9% 0.1 8.00 9.

473 1.10 5463.039 202 25.0% 10.336 1.969 2.3% 40.33 30.9% 40.2% 8.7% 10.775 1.594 6.6% 59.470 5.036 2.0% 5.25 0.238 2.082 8.204 337 695 660 6.289 1.1 7.49 8.646 25.336 2.084 4.9% 68.212 606 12.230 931 11.514 11.2% 23.9% 5.PRIMARY COMPETITOR ANALYSIS (Yahoo!) Google Income Statement Revenue Cost of Goods Sold Interest Expense Tax Expense Income from Cont Op Net Income Balance Sheet Cash Short Term Investments Accounts Receivable Current Assets Long Term Investments Net Fixed Assets Other Assets Total Assets Current Liabilities Total Liabilities Stockholders' Equity Prior Year Accounts Receivable Prior Year Assets Prior Year Equity Cash Flow Cash Flow from Operations RATIO ANALYSIS Income Statement Common Size Data Gross Profit/Sales Cost of Goods Sold Income from Continuing Operations/Sales Balance Sheet Common-Size Data Current Assets/Total Assets Current Liabilities/Total Assets Liabilities/Total Assets Equity/Total Assets Profit Ratios Profit Margin Return on Assets Return on Equity Liquidity Ratios Current Ratio Quick Ratio Solvency Ratios Liabilities/Total Assets Times Interest Earned (Accrual) Operational Ratios Receivable Turnover 9.919 6.300 2.8% 22.514 16.649 1 1.514 488 1.0% 59.1% 30.056 3.1% 100.839 Yahoo! APPENDIX B 25 .697 12.0% 5.6% 23.060 4.0% 26.4% 100.473 18.41 1.2% 10.561 1.308 17.5% 18.230 2.0 0.12 1.137 2.22 8.322 18.

189 $640 Revenue Income .000 $10.000 $1.466 $343 TREND ANALYSIS 4 Years Ago $3.000 $3.Continuing Operations Cash Flow from Operations Total Assets 3 Years Ago $6.017 $2.000 $2.581 $18.594 $5.000 $5.000 $6.000 $5.605 $3.000 $25.336 REVENUE TREND NET INCOME TREND $20.000 $15.000 $0 5 Years 4 Years 3 Years Ago Ago Ago Prior Year Current Year $6.000 $0 3 Years Ago Prior Year Current Year Total Assets 26 .000 $10.000 $2.APPENDIX C 5 Years Ago $1.000 $20.000 $0 3 Years Ago Prior Year Current Year Income Continuing Operations Cash Flow from Operations ASSET CHANGES $30.272 Prior Year $10.084 $5.459 $10.139 $2.775 $25.000 $4.550 $3.000 $0 5 Years Ago 4 Years Ago 3 Years Ago Prior Year Current Year INCOME TO CASH FLOW COMPARISON $7.473 Current Year $16.000 $4.

00 2nd Q 3.594 10.00 $200.872 2.27 $401.48 Annual 16.16 $390.000 2.00 $0.QUARTERLY DATA Current Year Revenue Last Year Revenue Current Year Income Last Year Income 1st Q 3.352 845 1st Q $458.33 3rd Q 4.000 0 1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q Last Year Revenue Current Year Revenue QUARTERLY INCOME 2.90 4th Q 4.00 $400.679 3.00 1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q High Price Low Price 27 .500 1.245 921 2nd Q $522.000 Current Year Income 500 0 1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q Last Year Income QUARTERLY STOCK HIGHS AND LOWS $800.690 1.00 $600.997 APPENDIX D CURRENT YEAR QUARTERLY STOCK PRICES High Price Low Price QUARTERLY REVENUE 6.185 4th Q $691.231 2.000 3.70 $419.254 1.48 $460.456 1.473 1.000 1.206 1.605 5.000 4.000 5.827 3.608 1.046 3rd Q $567.000 1.664 2.

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