The Good, the Bad, the Google
With a stock price of $1,149 at the time of this posting, it's safe to say that Google has been on a roll lately. However, having said that, the company has had its fair share of misfires. With Google recently purchasing Nest for a massive 3.2 billion dollars , quite the audacious move, we couldn't help but reflect on the company's greatest triumphs and tribulations over the years.
Below you will first see a listing of Google's seven greatest successes and failures. Let us know if you agree with our list in the comments section.
We start our story examining Google's seven biggest success stories.
Google Search: The term "googling" has become synonymous with online searching for a reason. The company was able to burst onto the search-scene in the late 90s by providing search results that were quick and relevant. Over time, the engine has only gotten smarter and with new features like Google Now voice search, finding answers is getting easier than ever.
Chrome: Google’s Chrome web browser launched in 2008 and since then has eaten up 40% of the world’s browser market share. The browser gave users a snappier web-surfing experience, a ton of awesome extensions, and has pushed Microsoft’s IE and Mozilla Firefox to step up their game.
Gmail: Like many Google products, Gmail started out as an invite-only application. Released in 2004, Gmail offered a then-unprecedented 1GB of free space per user and allowed for attachments to be up to 25MB per email (which was again massive for the time). As of today, it is the most popular web-based email provider with well over 400 million active users.
Google Drive: Google Drive gives users cloud-based storage to save, upload, and create documents/spreadsheets/presentations from the comfort of their browsers all for free. The service has been so popular that Google has tripled users’ storage capacity from the initial 5GB to 15GB. The fact that it integrates with Gmail is icing on the cake.
Android: The highly-customizable mobile operating system was released back in 2008. At the time, many people doubted Google’s Android could compete with Apple’s iOS, but five years later Android now has roughly 80% of the smartphone market. Google’s mobile OS has also expanded from not only smartphones but to tablets, wearable computing devices, and cars.
Google Maps: Google's map service is the number one map application used today for multiple reasons, chief among them are that it's accurate and offers a number of different route options spanning a wide variety of transportation means.
YouTube: YouTube was founded in 2005 by three former PayPal employees and was subsequently acquired by Google the following year. It proved to be one of the best acquisitions Google has ever made and now generates over one billion unique visits per month.
Now we move on to Google's 7 worst failures.
Google Buzz: Google launched a social networking site before its Google Plus service called Google Buzz. The networking site was so unsuccessful that it was discontinued after a year.
Dodgeball: Google purchased Dodgeball, a mobile social networking app which gave users a way to text their friends where they were or where they were going. The firm eventually killed off the mobile social networking software and re-launched it as Google Latitude.
Google Wave: Google’s Wave service started out as an invite-only online application and combined email, instant messaging, and social media into one package. The service ended and was handed over to Apache Software Foundation for open source development three years after hitting the market.
Google Answers: Google Answers came out one year after Yahoo Answers and was discontinued after four years. The service was based on users paying for answers they would receive by researchers and eventually fell to Yahoo’s free answers service.
Jaiku: Jaiku was a Twitter-like blogging service that Google purchased back in 2007. Google eventually conceded that nobody was really using the service and shut it down roughly a year ago.
Google Video: Google launched Google Video roughly the same time as YouTube, a then non-Google entity, back in 2005. It never took off as Google would have liked and this eventually lead to Google purchasing YouTube in 2006. The tech giant finally gave up on Google Video in 2009, when it disallowed users to upload video content to the service. Videos on Google Video were eventually ported over onto YouTube.
Google+: The social media platform that the search giant tried to shove down everyone’s throats. Google+ may have the second largest social media market share but that’s if you count Gmail and YouTube users that were forced to opt in. The amount of people we know that actually use Google+ are pretty much nonexistent and it's a real bad sign when Google has to force its social media service on users.