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Google Turns 10: Not a “One Trick Pony”

On the 10th anniverary of the founding of Google, ANALYST, the flagship publication of the Institute for Chartered Financial Analysts of India, published in its November issue an interview with Professor Hemant Bhargava about the search engine giant’s business and its “phenomenal rise” as one of the most recognized brands in the world.

Bhargava explained that very rapid growth curves are not unusual for technology start-ups when they enjoy positive network benefits, meaning the value of the company’s product increases as it wins more adopters. But Google’s metoric growth happened despite the lack of direct network benefits.

Bhargava said Google became the leading search tool during the late 1990s because of its “elegance and clarity” of its interface and “the technology that lies under the hood,” and that Google’s innovative data mining and Web crawling, distinctive algorithms and cloud computing innovations made it “arguably the best, search product.”

He predicts that the economic downturn could dent Google’s online ad revenue, but  points out that company is not a “one-trick pony.” Many of Google’s “experimental” products have been not monetized, including Froogle, Google Scholar, Google Books, Checkout, Google Earth and Google Apps. The company could still expand its business selling traditional media advertising, or capitalize on multimedia search.

Google is also quietly developing a diversity of intellectual property, which could be tapped for commercial purposes. With energy consumption one of the biggest issues facing the IT, industy, Bhargava said Google might be able to make a busines out of its expertise in energy management for its server farms. And its new browser opens other opportunities.

“Chrome is much more than a Web browser: it is a potential operating system and if offers Google a powerful way to gather data about user behavior, both of which create new revenue possibilities,” Bhargava said. “Put all these things together, and you might even see Google emerge as a provider of integrated network-based computing services.”

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