Ten years ago saw Google venture into new territory, launching as it did on New York’s Nasdaq.
Google was always confident about its prospects – it still is – but nevertheless, with such major financial transitions, you can never be quite sure how things will unfold.
The first day of trading quickly put to bed another apprehension. At the end, its shares had jumped up by a massive 18 per cent, valuing the now public company at $27.2 billion (approximately £16.3 billion).
Fast-forward to today and the tech giant has grown at a phenomenal pace, both in terms of what it stands for and how much it is now worth.
With regards to the latter, it is now valued at an impressive $391.36 billion. As for the former, in addition to search – of which it has effectively monopolised and transformed beyond all recognition – it now specialises in mobile phone software, cloud-based technology and video-sharing content.
That is but a tiny slice of its empire and it is fair to say that Google has a lot of influence in areas you wouldn’t automatically associate with the company. Take for example driverless cars, which it is helping pioneer. It seems anomalous at first, but it is powering the technology behind it.
At the time, when it made its now historic IPO, there were plenty of influential, tuned-in people who thought that its moment in the sun would be fleeting. In a traditional media sense, they thought Google would be yesterday’s news, good for nothing but holding fish and chips together.
It is worth mentioning Eric Schmidt as well, who today acts as executive chairman of the tech giant. He may not have founded Google, but has been an instrumental figure in enhancing its scope. The company credits him with “dramatically scaling its infrastructure and diversifying its product offerings while maintaining a strong culture of innovation”.
Google is more than just a tech-based organisation – it is a brand, a way of life, a tool through which many of us, without even knowing it, experience, engage and see the world.
From a lazy morning search about celebrity escapades to reading a quality piece of investigative journalism from an independent news provider to looking for the top ten places to propose and how to check your car ahead of an MOT, Google is always there.
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