The market is agog with the news of Google’s upcoming IPO. It is really going to ignite the minds of investors and techies alike.
It will be a cliché to say that Google has become a generic verb! Folks just “google for it” – be it a research thesis for obtaining a doctorate, or a techie trying to get a solution for his network problem.
In eighteen months:
* Google has quadrupled its size
* sextupled its annualised earnings
* boomed its profits by a factor of 23 to a mind-boggling $350 million!
I really turn green thinking of Sergei Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google who are in their mere thirties!
But Fortune has voiced a certain jarring note amidst the gaga. Besides the much-publicised news of Yahoo! and MSN pouring millions to set up their own search engines – the former having acquired Inktomi and Overture and MSN planning to bundle the search engine with its next version of OS, the real Achilles’ heel of Google being lack of customer “lock-in”. People come search and go, unlike in Yahoo, where folks dwell in mails, briefcases, my Yahoo’s, discussion groups etc.
Perhaps Google has perceived this shortcoming and has started an effort to have a sort of Googlised community. First in the series is the promotion of Orkut.com, a social networking outfit started by one of its employees. Google regularly throws out new products and services to see if they stick. Google News, for example, began as the personal project of Google engineer Krishna Bharat in 2002. Google has acquired Pyra Labs and Blogger and its discussion groups are very famous amongst geeks!
Google aspires to become a portal like Yahoo. Google already helps people shop, read news, thwart pop-up advertisements, get stock information and publish to the Web. With a social networking component, at the very least, it would likely feed investor demand for a public offering because of its diversified assets, financial analysts say. Investors expect Google to go public sometime in the spring.
Let us wait and watch (and if you have a finger on the crispy Greenbacks, try and have a piece of the pie!)
- Much row on Mike Rowe (soft)!
- Can we call it a “wide open” Welcome!