Happy Birthday Google!
Can anyone remember life before Google? I certainly struggle to and Tamar is actually three years older than Google, 10 this month.
I dimly remember back when Google first became a blip on the internet horizon and murmurs went around the online world that this was a search engine that actually worked and produced genuinely useful results. Google has gone on to completely dominate our lives both off and online in a way we could never have imagined.
Everything about Google was cool in the ‘old’ days, the ever-changing logo, the stories of life on Google campus, everyone wanted to work for Google and all other online brands wanted to be them so badly it hurt. They were hip, they were cool. How could you not love a company whose code of conduct says "don’t be evil"!
But then inevitably came the backlash against the behemoth who dominated the internet in the same way Microsoft dominated the desktop. Google were referred to in many quarters as "as evil as Microsoft". The move into China and their compliance with government censorship certainly did them no favours and I thought that that might well have been the kiss of death for them at the time.
But despite a few rocky moments Google has endured and it’s now one of the most recognised brands in the world. Turning over nearly £9bn with profits of about £2bn and Fortune Magazine reports that it still tops the polls of the most desired places to work. Today it controls around 40% of all online advertising as well as 70% of all user searches and this week it announced a bold move into Microsoft’s own backyard with the launch of its browser, Chrome, to compete with IE and Firefox.
It’s not fashionable to admire Google quite as openly as we all used to a few years ago but I have to confess I’m an unashamed fan despite (maybe because of?) the fact that my life consists of largely of trying to outwit them. For making my working work such a challenge and so much fun over the last ten years I salute them – Happy Birthday to you!