Google Case Study

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I. Case Introduction and Key Points

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Google is a multinational internet and software corporation that specializes in internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. It hosts and develops a number of internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program. Its mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Some of its many successful products are Gmail, Google Chrome, Google Docs, Google Earth, and Youtube.

Co-Founder Sergey Brin and CEO Larry Page, created their own search engine in 1996, known first as BackRub, now known as Google. In August of 1998 Google received its first investor funding of $100,000. Google started with 40 employees and it currently has over 30,000 employees worldwide including offices around the globe. Today Google has come a very long way from a start up search engine company running from a garage to their current offices in Silicon Valley. Although Google has become a top innovator and garnered the best brand loyalty any company could want they need to continue to innovate and stay ahead of the game.

II. External Environment Analysis

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Who Are Google’s competitors? Initially, it might appear that this technological behemoth has no competitors. However upon closer examination, one finds that Google is at war with Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo on several plains. Google’s competitive environment is complex and convoluted because it’s so broad covering so many industries and markets.

Socio-Cultural

Google has great brand Identification similar to Xerox and Q-tip. People do not make photo- copies. They Xerox. People do not use cotton swabs. They use Q-tips. Now, people no longer search the web for things. They Google! This brand identification gives Google a competitive advantage over other would be search engines.

In addition, do to technological advances in the .com boom, the world has become more inter connected. Google’s Android mobile phone platform and mobile applications enables it to benefit from this. There is Google earth for all platforms and computers. Then you have Google maps embedded in the iPhone as apart of the operating system (OS). So, while driving if you are looking for a good restaurant Google maps will list all of the notable ones within a given radius. Only Apples Siri can compete with this. Google maps are inferior to Siri. Siri’s functionalities extend far beyond that of Google maps and Google searches.

Technological

Again, during the dot com boom Google purchased and laid a lot of “dark fiber”. Dark fiber is simply unused fiber optic cable. In addition to this Google, unlike all of it’s competitors, Manufactures all of its servers. The Gartner group estimated in 2006 that Google was the 4th largest server manufacturer. This is vital because in the realm of information and technology storage and bandwidth are ones lifeblood. This gives Google a competitive advantage over Apple, Microsoft, yahoo and Amazon.

In the realm of mobile devices Google’s Android is open source and has an app store similar to Apples iPhone. Microsoft’s windows phone is almost not even worth mentioning as they are now obsolete but were once a driving force behind the development of the Android.

Google also led the way in the development of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). This goal of the OHA was to be the first open, complete and free platform for mobile devices.

Political/ Legal

Google hasn’t had many legal issues. In china Google is in a battle with the Chinese government regarding freedom to search for certain forbidden terms. Google has also faced some copy write issues due to the storage of information on its servers. Most political and legal issues for Google usually surround free speech vs. censorship.

Demographics

Google’s user base is primarily young. Thus Google will not...
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