Episode 182: Google: The New World Superpower

This episode of the Sofa King Podcast looks at the largest superpower on earth—Google. It was founded in 1996 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page as part of a research project for their PhDs at Stanford. They wanted to create a search engine that was smarter than conventional search engines at the time, one that would search based not just on the number of keyword hits per page, but on logical relationships per page. They figured out their algorithms, and their original product (called Back Rub) was born. Google moved to a friend’s garage (now the CEO of YouTube) and hired one person, and they were off and running.

As early as 1998, tech giants and investors understood the significance of their search engine, and people like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos invested $100,000 each just to get a part of the early formation of this soon-to-be giant. However, early on, Google struggled, and Brin and Page even tried to sell the company for a measly $1 Million dollars to Excite in 1999. They were turned down as being too expensive, but now they are the wealthiest corporate brand on earth.

So how do they make their money if all of their services tend to be delivered to customers for free? Advertising! Their use of targeted ads through their Gmail service, and the way their search engine ranks the hits on Google’s website, Chrome, and Android devices all help generate money. Some say their advertising money accounts for something around 90-96% of massive wealth.

We also talk about the employees who work for Google, and the crazy nature of their main campus called the Googolplex. From free gourmet food to nap pods and Google themed condoms, this location makes Google regularly rank as the best company on earth to work for because of these perks.

More interesting than Google’s past, however, is its future. They are heavily invested in AI and robotics, and the founders have both gone on record saying this is no longer a search company, but an AI company. Their massive list off acquisitions grows, and their power seems to be pretty limitless.

What do they do that is good for the world? How is all their stuff free? What nasty tax schemes are they involved in? What do they have to do with NASA? Why do the rent a flock of goats? What happened on board the mysterious off-shore Google barges? Listen, laugh, learn.

 

A link to the Google acquisitions index to show all the companies they buy: https://www.cbinsights.com/research-google-acquisitions

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