Posted April 7, 2008 11:46 am by with 5 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

The Internet is about speed and innovation and it feeds a culture of impatience. We don’t like to wait. Not for a page to load or even for another page of search results. What makes Google unique then, is their insistence on looking long term in such an uncertain and dynamic online world.

First start with the founders – who’ve each pledged to be at Google at least 20 years. Then consider that their goal is ambitious – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” That could take a while – according to Eric Schmidt, maybe 300 years.

How often do you hear a CEO talk about working on a project that is projected to last hundreds of years? Long after Schmidt is gone. I suspect that this long-range thinking enables Google to take on issues like global warming and other long-term initiatives of their nonprofit

In a ComputerWorld article Bala Iyer (goes to his blog), an associate professor of technology operations and information management at Babson College, says Google is the company to watch and learn from. He attributes Google’s mission statement and actions as showing “strategic patience.”

Rather than live by quarterly results and shareholder demands, they seem to be willing to disappoint in the short term to reach what they want long term. Google’s approach is even found in their IT infrastructure – which costs billions of dollars, but can be expanded quickly and supports hundreds of millions of users a day.

Google uses that IT backbone to “customize the Internet to its advantage.” Along with Google’s culture, their investments fuels their innovation. It’s what has helped turn Google into an extraordinary company – a company to watch – in just ten years.

  • Google is a very impressive company and IMO, they’ll continue to be impressive. I don’t think anyone can disagree and I think we all eagerly wait for Google news. I never heard about the 20 year commitment from Brin and Page – that makes the company a more attractive investment.

  • It is quite impressive to see a company like this. I think they’re in a unique position where they don’t have to worry about money too much (they are very financially successful), so that they can focus on ideals. This, to me, is how all people and companies should act — they should attempt to attain an ideal, not pander to the easy way. If we all acted with such noble intentions, just think about how the world, and the world of business, could be. 😉

  • Janet Meiners

    I think a reason they are successful is that they didn’t wait to focus on their intentions. Their intentions are what guided them to success and sustainability.

    Google keeps gaining marketshare and power so their goal to “do no evil” gets more & more complex. Their assertion to “do no evil” is quite bold. It’s not something written somewhere and never talked about, it’s part of their culture.

    But what’s even bolder is to say as a web company (a business that couldn’t even exist 20 years ago) they need 300 years to realize their mission! That is vision.

    I know Google is a business and I don’t agree with everything they do. But often as I write about them, I’m in awe. I’m awed at the brainpower, the number of products, the value, the way they wing certain things, how they leave products in beta forever, their style of marketing and PR, etc.

    As the article I quoted from points out, they are now the standard of a great company. They’re who everyone studies.


  • I don’t think there will be a problem with the users as long as they allow the new features to appear in a customized screen such as iGoogle.

  • Pingback: Long Term Thinking in an ADD World – Making Ideas Happen()