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What We Can Learn From…Google? Alphabet?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you now know that Google has become a subsidiary of a much larger entity, Alphabet. This new setup will be run by the same boys-who-are-now-men, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Eric Schmidt will continue to play an integral role in their growth by reprising the role of Chairman in this new setup.

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Why is the world going nuts about this?

Well there are several reasons, but if we were to pick one? It gives us an insight into where the Google founders really want to be. All this while, we’ve been thinking that the brains running Google wanted to take over the world. Now, Google is the Jupiter of their Solar System. In one swift move, they showed us that their vision is much larger than what we had fathomed.

Here’s what’s most interesting. Larry and Sergey have been this way right from the start. Here’s an excerpt from their announcement of the new entity:

As Sergey and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago, “Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.” As part of that, we also said that you could expect us to make “smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses.” From the start, we’ve always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have. 

Google wasn’t a success by ‘accident’. Some luck, maybe. But dumb luck? Definitely not. Their decision to be unconventional and make a few risky bets along the way paid off in the long run. It’s not the only company to operate with that clarity, but it’s one that stands out at the moment.

Let’s not just look at it from a company perspective; personal vision is no different. How clear are you on what you want, who you are and how you wish to live? A sense of direction can have a massive payoff.

Of course, we also know that simply knowing what path to walk on won’t cut it. It takes a little more than that.

We’ve long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.

In business, there’s one simple rule: If you’re not growing, you’re stagnating. It’s strange how we understand this for organisations, but don’t always implement that ideology with ourselves. Sure, you may not want to be ‘revolutionary’, but how about ‘better’? We may not realise it, but it takes guts for a company to re-invent itself. If you really want something more, being uncomfortable and doing what you aren’t accustomed to becomes the norm.

Google has always been an example for many businesses across the world. What’s interesting is there are lessons for us as individuals too – even if you aren’t in ‘business’. It doesn’t matter what you do, but the patterns of success remains the same.

They shared their story here. What did you pick up from it?

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