2008 Annual Report
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We are all in uncharted waters.
– CEO Eric Schmidt
Query volume index for “unemployment” and “foreclosure” from Google Trends
2008 Founders’ Letter
Since 2004, when Google began to have annual reports, Larry and I have taken turns writing an annual letter. I never imagined I would be writing one in the midst of an economic crisis unlike any we have seen in decades. As I write this, search queries are reflecting economic hardship, the major market indexes are one-half of what they were less than 18 months ago, and els. unemployment is at record levels.
Nonetheless, I am optimistic about the future, because I believe scarcity breeds clarity: it focuses minds, forcing g people to think creatively and rise to the challenge. While much smaller in scale than today’s global collapse, e, the dot-com bust of 2000-2002 pushed Google and others in the industry to make some tough decisions — and we all emerged stronger as a result. This new crisis punctuates the end of our ﬁrst decade e as a company, a decade that has brought great change to Google, the web and the Internet as a whole. As I reﬂect on this short time period, our accomplishments and our shortcomings, I am very excited about what the next 10 years may bring. But let me start a little farther back — in 1990, the very ﬁrst web page was created at http://info.cern.ch/. By late 1992, there were only 26 websites in the world, so there was not much need for a search engine. When NCSA Mosaic (the ﬁrst widely-used web browser) came out in 1993, every new website that was created would get posted to its “What’s New” page at p a rate of about one a day. Just ﬁve years llater, in 1998, web pages numbered in the t tens of millions, and search became c crucial. At this point, Google was a small research project at Stanford;... [continues]
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