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Home News Google is a tech giant now, but it’s been a survivalist since...

Google is a tech giant now, but it’s been a survivalist since it started

Document Analysis NLP IA

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Affirmation0.16666666666667

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Summary (IA Generated)

Today it might seem that product“>Google’s power and success were inevitable — thanks to Larry Page and Sergey Brin cracking the search code — but the reality is quite different.

Google reached its current heights only by adopting a survivalist mentality — first clawing its way to sustained relevance, and then eventually to dominance in areas like search and mobile operating systems.

The company’s early fear of failure still seems visible in many of its current decisions, such as when it pays competitors (like Apple) to make it their operating system’s default search engine, or when it fills its search results with its own products.

Google’s survivalist story begins at a time when Internet Explorer reigned supreme and Microsoft could have easily displaced Google as its browser’s default search option.

Back then, you didn’t type search queries in your browser’s address bar.

That workaround was Google’s Toolbar, a browser extension that added a Google search bar right under the browser’s address bar.

A few years after Google released it, hundreds of millions of people were using Toolbar, thanks largely to Google signing distribution deals with companies like Adobe to put it in their install packages, and also its ease of use.

But as Google started developing other web-based programs that would become core products, like Gmail, Docs, and Calendar, the notion of allowing another company — especially a competitor like Microsoft — to control people’s experience of the web made Google uneasy.

Google saw Microsoft developing its own search engine, first called Live Search and then called Bing, and decided it could not rely on its Toolbar alone to encourage people to use Google search over competitors.

Google Chrome took off because it was fast, simple, and easy to use, and also because Google used similar distribution deals from Toolbar to push it out to the masses.

Google didn’t want another company — whether it was Microsoft or Apple — controlling how people accessed the web and its products from their phones and other handheld devices.

Without Android and Chrome, Google, “would have been relegated to probably irrelevance,” Brian Rakowski, a Google VP of product management who works on both Chrome and Google’s mobile efforts told us.

For more stories about Google’s incredible rise, covering everything from the mobile phone wars to the company’s internal tensions to its current antitrust battles, subscribe now to Land of the Giants: The Google Empire.


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