Incredibly, it took Google just 18 years to reach this adult milestone on September 27, creating a market value of more than $ 530 billion. It can be even more surprising to think about how search engines have changed the lives we know.
Google, now a subsidiary of parent company Alphabet Inc., started in Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s dormitories at Stanford in 1998, where the IT department at Stanford University complained about Page and Brin school officials. Ask them to find a real office. which occupies all the bandwidth of the university.
When I joined the company in November 2001, it was clear that we were changing the world. As one of Google’s first employees, the second attorney hired there sometimes winced at the thought of what we were building. It is an inspiring place to democratize access to information and bring the real world online.
Growing up in a working-class community, I had to travel to a wealthy community to visit a good public library and spent countless Saturday afternoons reading many reference books. how to apply for financial aid for college. In the days before the Internet, a good library and a friendly librarian were the keys to my progress.
After the introduction of the printing press a century ago, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie promoted the first great democratization of access to information. He became the world’s richest man in the late 1800s and then donated all of it, donating $60 million to fund 1,689 public libraries in the United States. In my opinion, Google has adopted Carnegie’s vision of putting information in the hands of the general public and put it on top of steroids, creating a virtual library similar to the 1998 science fiction movie.
Google is very good at indexing the Internet without humans. Intervention, unlike the previously selected media, such as Yahoo! Or LexisNexis, users don’t need to know how to use indexes or Boolean search methods. Google allows free search for terms or terms, which makes it possible to retrieve all kinds of information instantly, even if you don’t know where it’s hosted. With Google, you can find any needle in a haystack at any time. Unlocking this data is indeed a good equalizer: anyone can arm themselves with relevant information before seeing a doctor or applying for government assistance, housing or work.
Soon, Google will be able to easily retrieve any data on the World Wide Web. Fundamentally, Google began to index information that was not online before, such as distant files (imagine a very old text in Salamanca) to make this knowledge searchable. Photos and videos of people followed closely. Then of course Google Cars started navigating and mapping our streets. This, combined with the GPS, gives us all the new superpowers to be able to orient ourselves in almost any small town or big city in the world.
Google is now a global archive that stores our history.
It is as if a virtual world is being created alongside our real world, an increasingly powerful simulation of reality. Thanks to Google, the creation and storage of information itself have grown exponentially, because people and academics can access the information, allowing them to make new discoveries. In turn, these discoveries are shared with the world because of the shared culture at the core of the Internet and Google’s philosophy. All of these have accelerated the pace of discoveries.
Of course, there were casualties. Google has changed the newspaper business forever, shutting down most map publishers almost single-handedly. It changed advertising, using and refining A / B testing to understand our tastes and why people clicked on them. Sometimes I worry that tech companies have gotten too good at this, drawing on these experiences and applying them to more and more other ways of attracting us collectively.
This kind of information acquisition without the supervision of trained journalists also brings other costs, resulting in the Internet full of misinformation and false information. Today, this is most evident in our malicious US presidential election, where objectivity seems to be of little value, making organizations like factcheck.org indispensable reading material. At such a critical moment, the role of Google’s development and mature media in our society is gradually weakening, which may cause Alexis de Tocqueville, who believes in newspapers to “maintain civilization”, to the grave.
One thing is certain: With Google, the future will bring unexpected and sometimes even fascinating things. Self-driving cars, robots, gesture-sensitive fabrics, hands-free control, modular mobile phones, and transforming cities are some of the previous projects of this search giant. Although it is one of the largest companies in the world, it has maintained an entrepreneurial culture in their offices. . , Now has more than 61,000 employees.
By going beyond the limits of the online world to enter the physical world, Google makes us believe (and even hope) that when inspired by great goals, we can go beyond the limits. Everything becomes possible.
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