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Friday, April 2, 2010

An Unorthodox Corporate Saga

When i thought about the Unorthodox Corporate Saga two things would come in to my mind

1 : Rebels with a Cause
2 : The Google Economic Model

Google's story has been retold many times: the saga of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students who began their collaboration at Stanford University in the spring of 1995 with a project to improve search engine results. Today, little more than a decade later, they head one of the most successful enterprises in history.

In many respects, their story resembles that of all entrepreneurs—Steve Jobs or Bill Gates in consumer computing, even Henry Ford or Alfred P. Sloan in automobiles. But more so than most of their predecessors, Page and Brin's chosen marketplace and the context of their venture are central elements of the Google story.

1 : Rebels with a Cause

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have undeniable talent. Who else in recent memory has been able to start and build a world-changing, international powerhouse seemingly overnight?

Page and Brin have the self-confidence and conviction of visionaries for whom making a fortune is not enough. They want to change the world, and they are driven by a shared desire to improve Internet searching.

Nonconformists, they make decisions that buck conventional wisdom with ease. Anyone tracking the Google IPO learned this early when Google adopted a Dutch auction format that gave the investment world quite a stir in its attempt to democratize the sale of shares.

And Page and Brin are true friends, a characteristic shared by several company co-founders before them, like college buddies Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the two Microsoft co-founders, and college friends Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston of VisiCalc (the first spreadsheet). Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs met as 18-year-olds at a summer IT class hosted by Hewlett-Packard. Hewlett-Packard, in turn, was founded by college friends Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. And the list goes on.

Friendship creates a safe space for people to exchange and test their ideas, and friends can drive each other to succeed. In an environment as risky and turbulent as Silicon Valley, friendships can foster an us-against-them mentality that helps companies resist the pressures that threaten their independence.

Finally, but no less important, Page and Brin figured out how to take advantage of every available resource. In his pivotal book Art Worlds, the sociologist Howard S. Becker demonstrates that artists—the most individualistic of individualists—need what he terms "art worlds" to create their work. Entrepreneurs are no different. The co-founders of Google benefited from both a favorable environment and fortunate circumstances. The university they both attended, Stanford, competes with the University of California, Berkeley, to train some of the most highly skilled developers of web technology. (Two earlier large search engines, Yahoo! and Excite, also got their start at Stanford.)

Page and Brin founded Google when startup funding was available within their financial environment, and the legal environment facilitated the mobility of expertise and free circulation of ideas. Maturing hardware technologies meant that the memory and microprocessors they needed to build their engine were getting cheaper all the time, thanks to manufacturing in southeast Asia.

The main points regarding the Rebels with a Cause given here

Direct Heirs of Artificial Intelligence

The Invention of Page Ranking

An Environment for Innovation

Job Mobility and the Exchange of Ideas

A Short Leash

Winning Independence

What About the Rest of Us?

All the seven points will be discussed as separate posts with the respective point as the main title for the post.

you can find the related posts by the forum search with the highlated text

2 .The Google Economic Model

Like network television shows and other search engines, Google is free but with certain strings attached. For example, the "free" programs on network television are only free to view if you own a television set or a computer—and then only if you pay your electricity bill. You'll also have to watch commercials (or work to avoid them) if you still want to watch the programs for "free." In the same way, the Internet is not "free" for most people, who pay to subscribe through a service provider. Although you may not notice the cost because you get so much in return, somebody pays for everything. This reality disproves the fallacy of getting something for nothing.

Google Is Free, But …

After that cautionary note, let's examine some "free stuff " in economic terms. Anthropologists first explored this concept with Marcel Mauss's analysis of the potlatch, a Native American ceremony where a tribe hosts a festival and lavishes gifts on the guests who are then expected to reciprocate later. This practice constitutes a gift economy, with rituals involving exchanges of property and prestige through symbology and relationships.

The Native American potlatch custom is one example of an economy based on gift exchange. More contemporary examples include open source software, which is free software developed by groups of dedicated but unpaid volunteers. The creators of open source software give users the source code for their program and the right to use, copy, modify, and improve it. In exchange, the creators expect users' contributions to improve the program, whether those contributions are simply comments and suggestions or actual development and testing.

Traditional scientific research is another example of a gift economy. Scientists publish their research in print journals or online and present their results at conferences. Other scientists cite their work, and the researchers become more prestigious within the scientific community as the number of citations to their work increases. The scientific community benefits from the increased pool of knowledge, and individual scientists benefit from their growing status and the awarding of more grants or funding.

One final example of gift economics might be what are known as captive sales techniques. Manufacturers of inkjet printers give the printers away or sell them at ridiculously low prices, knowing they will get a return later by selling ink cartridges.

Two-Sided Markets

The Cost-per-Click Advertising Model

The Power of Minimalist Ads

Ads That Inform Rather Than Persuade

Automating Ads Reduces Overhead, Not Confidence

Competitive Bidding

How to Keep Channel Surfers

All the seven points will be discussed as separate posts with the respective point as the main title for the post.

you can find the related posts by the forum search with the highlated text

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