Innovation is the application of new ideas that are novel and useful. It has existed all throughout humanity and enables change. One if the biggest innovations of our time is the internet. It connects people across the globe to interact with each other, share ideas and have access to more knowledge than they could ever hope to learn all at the comfort of their home. The internet was originally invented as a defense system that could function during a nuclear war, but as people realized its potential, they started using it for other things like storing massive amounts of research data and connecting scientists and researchers around the world. Society was greatly affected by the internet when it got popular. It started out small, but as it slowly became the norm, society adapted around it. Nowadays, it can be hard to imagine life without the internet as it dictates almost everything we do. Shopping, chatting, learning, interacting with other people are just a few of the things that the internet has made so easily accessible to us. But the internet itself is massive and finding what you want can be nearly impossible. Fortunately, search engines do this task for us. Search engines must be able to narrow down the influx of information to what you want to see and present it to you, the ideal search engine should be able to predict what you want based on past information and be able to give it to you in a fraction of a second.
In 1995, two Stanford students set out to create a search engine that could separate the world’s information and make it easily accessible. Three years later, on September 4, 1998 their company went public and Google was born. Now, Google has grown to be the largest search engine in the world and one of the largest companies in the world. Although the original goal was to make a search engine, Google is so much more than that today. It has been the leading innovation since it conception, creating new and useful tools and products that add to the Google experience. While its products have been what caught everyone's attention, Google’s core values are what kept it at the top. Rather than attempting to be good at a lot of things, Google chose to focus on one thing and the very best at it. While this mentality may have changed now, as they continue to push the boundaries of innovation on not just one but many different topics, it is what allowed them to dominate the market for search engines the way they did. After Google established itself as a major company in the world, it started to look beyond the search engine and see what more could be done. It is this flexibility that kept them fresh and relevant. They reinvented online documents with google docs, presentations with google slides and graphs with google sheets. All these things coalesced into one unified place where the user could store all their data, this was called google drive. Google then looked outward to mobile phones and launched the android operating system which enabled phones to have the same versatility found in computers. They even connected the world further with google maps, which creates virtual map of the entire world that is constantly being updated the moment things change. As a result of all these things, they have made a name for themselves as one of the most technological companies around. Google is the most influential company in the world because of its social impact, its economic impact and innovation.
Society defines humanity, and something that can make a large impact on society has a lot of power. Google has a lot of reach as seven of its products have over 1 billion users. These are Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps, YouTube, Android, Google Play Store, and Google Drive. On April 24, 2012, Google launched the Google Drive. This product has reinvented a multitude of things while making them all free and easy to use. Firstly, Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service which allows users to store files on their servers, use the same files across devices, and share files. Google drive encompasses Google Docs, Slides and Sheets. Prior to the Drive, people had to either download large chunks of data or pay to access all their online files. But with Drive, it was all centralized and with the addition of Docs, Slides and Sheets, there was no longer any reason to use other products that did the same job. Thus more users were drawn into the Google ecosystem. Another product that changed the way people interact was Gmail. Launched in 2004, while it may not have been the earliest form of electronic mail, it is the first one to draw in such a multitude of users. Paired with other google products like Drive and how seamlessly they worked together, more and more users were drawn to the Google ecosystem and the ecosystem is their biggest social impact. A business’s ecosystem is its network of organizations that keep you latched onto the company for new products. The reason people buy iphones every year is because apple has a large ecosystem that draws users in and keeps them there. Google’s ecosystem is even more massive than Apple’s, because while Google may not be pushing its products to only work with each other, its ecosystem is all about data. It knows everything anyone has ever searched up using its search engine. Google reads your mail. Google tracks your location in high detail. Google knows what you searched for. Google knows what websites you visited and how long you spent on each one. Google knows what’s on your calendar. Google knows what you looked for on Google Maps. If your photos are stored in Google Photos, Google knows literally everything about your life – where you live, what kind of clothes you wear, where you go on vacation, who your friends are, what car you drive. Google known more about its users than anyone else in the world does. Personalized ads are how Google uses this information they gathered to send ads that people will actually click on, this is quite important to Google as it makes nearly 85% of its income from advertising. While it may be scary how much influence and power Google hold with its search engine alone, it is also in its best interest to keep your information private because if it gave it away then Google was gain a competitor in an area that they never had before. Advertisers never see users’ personal information. They tell Google what they would like to target in precise detail. Google analyzes the data and delivers the ads. Researchers don’t get to see the information either. It’s not made available to them. Governments and law enforcement agencies almost never see your personal information. Google pushes back as hard as possible and it advocates for privacy in the debates going on globally about personal data. Google employees never see your personal information. That’s not the way it works inside the company. Google is under constant attack, like all big companies, probably more of a target than most, and has never had a major data breach. As you can see, Google is devoted to making sure that the data they have about their users is never given out. Of course, Google still tires to lock consumers into their ecosystem with Google Pixel Buds that work best with Google Pixel phones, Google Home smart speakers that work best if you continue to add more devices in the same system which, in turn, encourages people to buy more google products so that all tier devices work together with ease. While many companies have this ecosystem with high end tangible products, Google tends to focus more on the online portion and establishing itself as a world influencer.
Google’s global impact on the global economy is massive. Google is worldwide, they have over 70 offices in 50 different countries. It has over 94,000 employees around the world. And with over 70,000 people using the browser per second, it is easy to see just how much a technological giant Google is. People turn to the web to learn, discover, find, and buy things. Being online can have a big impact. It’s where businesses can connect with their customers. As a result, more and more businesses are looking to advertise online. Sot they turn to Google. In 2017, Google’s search and advertising tools helped generate $283 billion of economic activity for more than 1.5 million businesses in the U.S alone. Google helped provide $67.4 billion of economic activity for 268,000 California businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits in 2017.Even in a state like South Dakota with about 869,666 in population, Google estimates it has provided an economic impact of about $133 million. This shows how much of an impact Google has made in the U.S, but what a about the rest of the world? In Canada, businesses generated 10.4 billion dollar through economic activity last year through the use of advertisements on Google. They also raised the UK economy by about 11 billion dollars, which led to the creation of over 200,000 jobs.