REV: APRIL 11, 2011
THOMAS R. EISENMANN
oogle’s mission is to organize the world’s inf
nformation and make it unive
ersally accessib and useful.
— Google’s mission state
In January 2010 Google lau
unched the Ne
exus One mo
obile device— elegant to
rehensive voi recognitio to reduce dependence on keyboar
rd-style text e
Since the fall of 20
008, Google’s Android ope
erating system had power various m
mobile phones. But
Google had extend its role w
with Nexus O
One: Google designed the phone and planned to sell it
direct to consum
mers. Was ther any limit to Google’s asp
oogle, based in Mountain V
rnia, had gros revenues o $21.2 billion and an oper
incom of $5.5 billion in 2008. A of year-end 2008, the co
ompany had 20,164 emplo
oyees and cash and
valents of $8.7 billion. (Exh
hibit 1 shows Google finan
ncials from 19
999–2008.) Founded in 199 the
company complete its IPO in August 2004 at $85 per share. Google’s share price exceeded $6 in ed
Janua 2010, givi
ing the comp
pany a $189 b
billion marke value. Mea
anwhile, Google.com enjoy
65.6% share of all U.S. searche in Novem
mber 2009; Ya
ahoo.com, its closest rival had just 17
(Exhib 2 outlines trends in se
earch engine market share Outside th United Sta
ates, Google’s lead
even larger, exceeding a 90% share of s
search querie in numerou countries. (Exhibit 3 re
marke share by co
Sin its IPO, Google had la
aunched a flu
urry of produ
ucts that exp
panded its do
omain beyond web
search These inclu
uded Gmail, Google Map Google Bo
ooks, Google Finance, Goo
ogle Docs, G
ndar, Google Checkout, an more. Ac
cquisitions of YouTube an DoubleClick had expa
Google’s presence in online vid and display advertisin These initi deo
iatives fueled speculation about
Google’s strategic objectives. P
Products like Gmail and F
Finance, along with person
offere on Google home pag moved th company t
toward porta like Yahoo and Micro
MSN. Book Searc Maps, an Checkout suggested that Google was enterin the traditional .
gholds of e-commerce gia
ants like eBay and Amazo Finally, Google’s ad-su
ding e-mail, calendaring, and docume
ment systems, threatened Microsoft’s O
erings. These many servi
ices and dive
tors raised th question: What
shoul Google do next?
Professo Thomas R. Eisen
nmann and Smita Bakshi, Sebastien B
Briens, and Shailen
ndra Singh (MBA 2
2004) wrote the or
riginal version of th case,
“Google Inc.” 804-141. It was replaced by “
“Google Inc.” 806-1
105, prepared by P
Professor Thomas R. Eisenmann and Senior Researche Kerry
Herman Global Research Group, which is now being replac
ced by this version prepared by Pro
ofessors Benjamin Edelman and Tho
ann. This case was developed from p
published sources. HBS cases are de
eveloped solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not s
intended to serve as endor
rsements, sources o primary data, or illustrations of effe
ective or ineffective management.
resident and Fellow of Harvard Coll
lege. To order copie or request perm
mission to reproduc materials, call...
References: 2 Chad Bartley and Steve Weinstein, High Growth in Search Creates Opportunities for Niche Players, Pacific Crest
Securities, November 4, 2003, p
“Worldwide Web Domination,” Industry Standard, August 6, 2001.
Saul Hansell, “AOL Coaxes Google to Try Busier Ads,” New York Times, December 20, 2005.
aspx, accessed January 10, 2009.
8 Robert Peck, Alexia Quadrani, Victor Anthony, and Julia Choi, “Google Cubes,” Equity Research, Bear
Stearns, December 19, 2005, p
Saul Hansell, “Your Ads Here (All of Them),” New York Times, October 30, 2005, p
Official Google Blog, September 17, 2009.
11 John Battelle, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture
(New York: Penguin Group, 2005), p
Google Inc., Form S-1 Registration, April 29, 2004.
Thomas R. Eisenmann, “Betting on Google’s Future,” Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2004, p. B2.
“Google: One Million Servers and Counting,” Pandia Search Engine News, July 2, 2007, http://www.
pandia.com/sew/481-gartner.html, accessed January 10, 2010.
Vise and Malseed, The Google Story (New York: Delacorte Press), 2005, p. 256.
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