Google Is Turning 20: The Most Important Milestones In The Company’s History
There isn’t any other technology company that comes even close to the footsteps of Google towards shaping the Internet as we know it. This year, Google is celebrating its 20th birthday which is a great way to see what the company has achieved so far.
Currently, Google manages eight products with more than 1 billion users each. People from all around the world use the Google software to search the repository of human knowledge, as well as communicate, perform work, consume media as well as maneuver the vast internet.
Today, we are going through the nine most important milestones throughout the history of the company.
September 1998: Google Raises $100,000 In Angel Funding
Two years after Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched Google on Stanford University’s network, Google raises $100,000 in angel funding. The duo also relocated to the garage of Susan Wojcicki, who later became the CEO of YouTube in California. This is how Google was incorporated with a $100,000 investment from Sun Microsystems and its co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim.
2001/2002: Schmidt Was Made Chairman Of Adult Supervision, Yahoo Fails To Buy Google For $3 Billion
In 2001, Page and Brin recruited Eric Schmidt and positioned it as a chairman of “adult supervision”. The company was rapidly growing and needed guidance. With a seasoned background in engineering and as a former CTO of Sun and CEO of Novell, Schmidt joined the board of directors and stayed in this position for 10 years, seeing the giant through its 2004 IPO, the introduction of Gmail and Google Docs and the acquisition of YouTube.
2004/2005: Google Goes Public, Google Maps Launches
After the initial investment of $100,000, Google received a series of other angel investments, one from the Amazon founder and CEO JEff Bezos. The angel investments preceded a more formal $25 million funding round in 1999, after which Google Maps launched in 2005. With the introduction of the Google Maps, Google positioned its web-only renders with step-by-step direction and zoomable maps.
2006: Google Launches Search Engine In China, Acquires YouTube
Google has launched its search engine in China in 2006, after which it acquired YouTube for a tidy $1.65 billion in a win-win situation – where YouTube gained access to Google’s hefty resources and Google won the war for online video traffic. Soon after that, Google acquired Doubleclick and cemented its ad empire.
2008: Google Launches Chrome
The Chrome browser was launched in September 2008, with a 40-page comic explaining how it works and how it will go along with the announcement. Ten years later, Chrome is the world’s dominant web browser and has a 60% worldwide usage share. Later that month, Android launched on the T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream and paved the way to future success as the first native mobile OS.
2010/11: Google Starts Working On Self-Driving Cars, Google+ Launches
The self-driving car market was first coined by Google in 2010/11, just like the social network which was named Google+ and replaced the Google Buzz microblogging tool. Even though Google+ had many downfalls, the years of redesigns have helped the social network to further develop.
2014: Google Acquires AI Research Lab Deepmind
Google had a hard fight to buy London-based AI firm DeepMind. However, that acquisition helped Google to develop the AI marketplace. Since then, DeepMind has stumbled in its initial forays in the UK healthcare system and has been efficiently running since then.
2016: Google Assistant Launches
As Android evolved, Google saw multiple opportunities – one of which was the launch of a virtual assistant that reached the market two years after Amazon’s Alexa and five years after Apple’s Siri. However, Google’s assistant has nearly caught up with both of them and has rapidly grown to compete directly against Alexa for consumer-facing AI dominance.
2018: Eyeing A $1 Trillion Valuation
Google is officially worth $1108 billion and its parent company Alphabet, is currently valued at around $851.2 billion. With this, Google is one of the first companies that are nearing the $1 trillion mark in their valuation.
In the end, it is safe to say that Google is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, online giants out there. The impressive 20 years of history and evolution are the perfect benchmark for many new companies entering the digital marketplace.