Google’s Gameplan for the next billion clicks

Dec 10 2012, 01:49 IST
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SummaryTechnology alone does not make a successful company. Business tactics do.

Between now and 2015, the powerful internet company expects 500 million new users from emerging markets to come online, compared to only 15 million new users from the US. A large part is going to come from India, a strategic market for Google and a place where most of these new users will experience the Web for the first time on a mobile device—not on a desktop computer. The Silicon Valley firm is moving aggressively in terms of investments and fine-tuning products for customers here

Technology alone does not make a successful company. Business tactics do. In his best-seller The Google Guys, Richard Brandt has succinctly captured how Google, a thriving corporation teeming with youthful and smart computer scientists and a incredible knowledge of the internet, has become one of the biggest, most influential companies in technology today. For the uninitiated, when the brainy pair of Stanford University computer science students—Larry Page and Sergey Brin—launched Google in mid-1998, it was Yahoo that sat on top of the internet industry. More than 25 million people visited Yahoo every month and it was a place where 75% of Web searches were begun. In short, it was one of the most hot internet properties at that time.

Then Yahoo fell apart, primarily because it was still playing by the old rules and was oblivious to the sweeping changes that were taking place in the dot-com economy. Not quite Google, the Mountain View, California-based company, which had by then come up with a much better way to search on the internet. Not only was Google in sync with the flow of change, its pace of innovation was growing by leaps and bounds. Fuelled primarily by a new business model in the form of online advertising, rather than technology alone; the initial design of Google’s search engine did not have technology much more advanced than its competitors. It was how its founders used and refused to abuse the technology that mattered, stresses Brandt, in his must-read for anyone who deals seriously with cyberspace.

Cut to present. There is no doubt that Google is today one of the world’s most powerful internet companies. When senior Google management talks about activating the internet for the next billion people, it is bound to have a significant influence on modern industries, including IT, telecommunication, publishing, broadcasting and entertainment.

Last week, Singapore was the venue for Google’s technology leaders to give a glimpse on

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