Google, the company started by two Stanford University students in 1998, has been making waves for a few years now, as it has become the most popular search engine in the world for its simple, effective, no-nonsense way of doing things.
Google, a private company looking to list on the stock market this year, has had a very "interesting" culture - it's taken its privacy very seriously, and its "don't be evil" mantra has given a few clues to its interesting culture. Another hint to its interesting culture is the kinds of people that are making Google the success that it is - around 10% and its 1000 or so staff have PhDs, and the two founder-friends of the company are just reaching the age of 30.
One of the enigmatic things about Google is how its search engine chooses which of the 3 billion+ pages in its database should appear at the top of a search result, all with about 0.1 seconds of thinking time! This hidden - and highly valuable - part of the Google machine has given rise to some urban myths about how the philosophy of Google and its people creep into its public search results.
One of the best examples of this potential 'human effect' is the "weapons of mass destruction" test. Follow the instructions below to give it a shot for some really interesting results:
- Go to www.google.com
- Enter "weapons of mass destruction" into the search field
- Click on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button - this automatically sends you to the top result on the Google list
- Read the resulting 'error' page carefully.
All of this quirkiness has got a lot of straight up and down people in the finance sector wondering what to make of this company which is planning to list for billions on the stock market later in the year. After the doom and gloom of the last 4 years in the corporate internet world, we think Google is the ideal company to reignite some excitement into the morose technology marketplace.