What we can learn from Google’s Success

Everyone uses Google but have you wondered how it came to be the tech giant it is today? More importantly, what lessons can an individual learn from a company’s success story? To know them, read this email!

Google was initially conceived as a Ph.D. project by two students from Stanford – Larry Page and Sergey Brin

They noticed that the other popular search engines at the time like Yahoo, Excite, and Altavista were giving irrelevant results and easily manipulated.

 They came up with the idea that the ranking of a webpage in search should be determined by how many other pages on the internet linked to that page, thus proving that webpage’s credibility and authority.

On top of that, the pages linking to that webpage should themselves have high authority and legitimacy. This algorithm was the basis of how the search engine would work.

They patented their concept and called it PageRank.

As Page and Brin were more of scientists rather than businessmen, they decided that they wanted to sell their patent to Excite. They offered to sell it for a million dollars. The CEO refused. They then decided to reduce the amount but he refused again.

With no other option, they decided to pursue it themselves as a business and registered the domain Google.com

Around that time, they met an investor from Sun Microsystems who liked the idea and gave them 100,000 dollars as an initial investment.

The company hired its first few employees and started gaining popularity.

After this, other investors started putting money into it. Eventually, the investment they got exceeded 1 million dollars, the amount they were earlier willing to sell it for!

But while Google was rapidly gaining popularity, its main problem was that it did not know how to make money. So eventually, the founders again decided that it was probably best to sell the company.

They decided to offer to sell it to Yahoo for One Billion Dollars. Yahoo refused!

To add to it, around that time, the stock market crashed and investors were no longer funding companies with no path to profitability. Google itself was not even making any sales, forget about profit!

It was then that they came up with the idea of Google AdWords – which would get advertisers to place text-based ads above search results.

AdWords was a game changer! There were hundreds of millions of searches being conducted on Google even in the early 2000’s and placing ads on even a percentage of those began making a lot of money!

Not only that, but because they were a tech company, they did not have a huge overhead and much of what they made was pure profit!

Google continued to gain more and more popularity and started to have billions of searches conducted daily. As a result, their revenue and their profits both grew massively.

In 2004, they got themselves listed on the Stock Market and over the years became one of the biggest tech giants!

As of 2021, under the new parent company Alphabet Inc, which their founders created, Google has gone on to have a market cap of almost 2 Trillion Dollars! This is a company that just started around 20 years ago!

So, what have been the three main reasons behind Google’s Success?

The first reason has been constantly focusing on Innovation That Delivers Value.

By coming out with an innovative Search Engine that was vastly better than its competitors, Google became greatly popular and used that popularity to drive its profits.

But, it didn’t stop there. It encouraged employees to come out with innovative products themselves! It encouraged people to spend 20 percent of their time on creating innovative projects that could potentially become future Google Products. Revolutionary services like Google Maps and Gmail have been the results of the very same practice!

Second, it only competed in the long term in areas where it could be number 1 or Number 2. While it came out with several products, not all of them were successful. Google knew that not only was it important to make a profit from products, it was also important to discontinue those that had no future. By investing more in its winners and getting rid of its losers relatively quickly, it won big!

Finally, it learned from the mistakes of its competitors. When Google was offered for 1 Billion dollars, Yahoo refused and Google went on to become worth a lot more!

Google itself learned a huge lesson from this. In 2006, when it had become a big company, it was presented with a similar opportunity.

A new company that was extremely popular with users but was constantly making losses had offered itself for sale. Unlike Yahoo, Google recognized the massive potential of this loss-making company when combined with AdWords. Determined not to repeat Yahoo’s mistakes, they purchased this company for 1.65 Billion dollars!

That loss-making company was YOUTUBE which now makes billions every year for Google!

Yahoo itself made one bad decision after another and was eventually sold for a very low price.

On the other hand, Google went on to create immense wealth for its founders and shareholders also became one of the biggest technology companies on the planet!

Not everyone can be Google, but if there are three main lessons we can learn from their story, they are:

1)      Constant innovation that delivers value is at the core of success for any person/company.

2)      Compete at what you are good at and what is making you win. If it is making you lose and it is not your strength, it is better to divert your resources to what helps you win.

3)      It is good to learn from your mistakes but it is even better to learn from others’ mistakes as life is too short always keep making your own mistakes!

Even as an individual, these three lessons can be very valuable to your life! So, implement them today and see your life change!

Content creators, e-Commerce, and everyone doing business can learn from amazon

Today, Amazon is the largest eCommerce company in the world. It sells almost anything and everything. It is hard to believe that all of this has been accomplished within just 25 years through the vision of one man named Jeff Bezos!

There are 4 key reasons for the success of Amazon. Go through this article and think about how any of these 4 key lessons can be applied to your life!

Lesson 1 – Data is everything

When Amazon was launched in 1994 as an online bookstore, there were thousands of websites on the internet already. Most of these internet companies and websites have shut down. But why did Amazon grow and succeed?

One of the reasons Amazon was able to grow so quickly was because of its Data Collection and analysis. Jeff Bezos believed that having Data is Everything. So, it tracked which book a visitor was searching for, from which location, at what time of the day, what items they bought and what they left in the cart, etc. Based on this they came out with a sophisticated mechanism of predicting books very similar to what the customer had bought. They kept suggesting those books to that customer, which they often ended up buying as well!

This may seem straightforward with the technology of today, but back then it was truly a new concept!

This led to Amazon’s explosive growth and within a few years, it had become one of the biggest and most famous internet companies of the time.

You also have to understand that collecting and analyzing data is everything. Data helps you maximize your chances of getting more customers or maintaining good relationships with other stakeholders. Data on your performance is also important as it tells you where you stand currently and in what direction you have to go!

Lesson 2. To Succeed More, You Have to Enable Others to Succeed

Jeff Bezos understood that just selling books online or even selling other items on its own would put a limit to the growth Amazon could experience.

He had to find a way in which Amazon’s success could be scaled up massively. To do this he invited sellers of almost all consumer goods, whether they were large or small to sell their products via Amazon and get access to their customer base, which at that time itself had crossed 12 Million paying customers!

Selling via Amazon led to many small businesses getting huge visibility and sales. They started posting record profits and Amazon made massive money from commissions. So, the success of other large and small businesses via the Amazon platform led to its own revenues accelerating greatly!

Another example of this is Amazon Web Services or AWS.

Amazon had built strong internal cloud computing systems for its own use, but then after interacting with a lot of its major B2B customers they found that a lot of them were having problems related to their own technology setups.

It was then that they launched Amazon Web Services that provided cost-effective cloud computing and storage services to some of the largest as well as smallest businesses! This delivered so much value to other companies that AWS is now a multi-billion dollar business itself!

In fact, Netflix, Amazon’s biggest competitor in web streaming uses Amazon Web Services to store its own content! This is the sort of trust they have built up!

Remember, massive success is never achieved by only making yourself succeed, you have to make others around you succeed, whether it is your team, your customers, or your family!

Lesson 3 – Don’t be afraid to experiment.

The biggest game-changer in Amazon’s profitability came with the introduction of Amazon Prime. For the first time ever, for a small yearly fee, Amazon guaranteed free two-day delivery. It was a risky bet and would only work if enough people signed up.

Luckily, it worked and became one of the most profitable decisions for Amazon to date! It became the world’s largest subscription service ever!

After reading about so many successful initiatives of Amazon, you may think that Bezos was lucky with one decision after another or never made any mistakes.

But in truth, he admitted that he had made far more wrong decisions that had cost billions of dollars than he had made right ones!

Bezos said that when his right decisions worked, they easily recouped losses of all the wrong decisions! He said that if you have a 10 percent chance of success at something which has the potential of massive returns, you should take that chance. Because even though you may be wrong 9 times, the one time you are right will make up for everything!

Lesson 4 – Focus on The Long Term.

Around 1997, Amazon listed itself on the stock market. This was just around the time that the famous dot-com bubble was building up and people were investing in just about anything tech-related.

Amazon too benefited from it and its stock price rocketed. But when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, it bankrupted most new tech companies. Amazon was one of the very few survivors but its stock price fell down massively.

Many investors were thinking of pulling out of Amazon because not only had the stock price plummeted but it had not yet turned a profit. But Bezos told his shareholders that his focus was on the long term and not just quarterly results. He assured them that if they stuck by Amazon in the long term, they would 100x their wealth.

Not everyone believed in him and the stock price fell by almost 90 percent. Most of these investors were sure that Amazon would also shut down.

However, some investors decided to stick with the company because they believed in the long-term vision of Bezos.

Over the next twenty years, the investors who believed in Amazon from the beginning had their wealth multiply not 100x but 1200 times! In the process, Bezos himself became the world’s richest man.

This was not just because of luck. In the short term, Bezos had experienced several situations which could be called mistakes or simply bad luck, but by constantly practicing habits and principles for the long term, he ensured the eventual success of Amazon.

Remember, that short-term problem may arise for anyone, but those who persevere and keep their long-term vision intact, almost always emerge as winners!

I hope this article has been informative and inspiring for you. If you remember and apply the four lessons that we have learned from Bezos’s life, great things await you in life as well!

Lessons from Olympic and para Olympics success

India has attained unprecedented success for itself in the year 2021 at both the Olympics where it won 7 medals but also the Paralympics where it won an astonishing 19 medals.

This has not been a lucky achievement but something has been achieved methodically over the years.

This story is a testament to what an organization can achieve when the entire team plays its part in fulfilling its duties perfectly.

 At first though, I would request you to keep political views aside and only view this as a leadership case study!

This story begins right after the independence of India. With the exception of Hockey, India was not able to win medals at any Olympic events.

Because of apathy from the officials and lowering standards, after 1980, India stopped winning any medals at Hockey too and the last time it won an individual medal was in 1948.

As a result of continued failures for decades, the athletes themselves stopped believing that it was possible to win an Olympic Medal and when that belief was killed, it was impossible for them to win.

After a while, the attitude of many athletes was that they became satisfied with just qualifying and did not think they could actually win a medal, while many officials accompanying them treated the events as an overseas vacation!

This finally started changing in 1996 when after a drought of many years, Leander Paes managed to win an individual Bronze medal in Tennis. This was followed by a bronze in 2000 from Karnam Malleswari and a Silver in 2004 from Rajyavardhan Rathore.

By the way, in the Athens Paralympics of 2004, a disabled athlete named Devendra Jhajharia managed to win a Gold, but absolutely no one noticed it since no media house covered it. He travelled to the Paralympics with money he gathered ON HIS OWN.

When he left for Athens, only his father sent him off. His father told him that if he won a medal, a lot of people would shower love on him when he came back. But when he came to India after winning the Gold, only three people received him!

This indifferent attitude began to change somewhere in 2008, where India finally won 3 medals, including a gold. It was only then that Indians finally started believing that athletes could win multiple Medals at the Olympics.

But there was still a problem. Financial and infrastructural support to train existing athletes remained minimal and it was said that people who managed to win a medal, didn’t do it because of the system but despite the system!

When Olympians were getting this treatment, one can only imagine the plight of Paralympians who were disabled. They got virtually 1/10th the support and zero media recognition. This demotivated them further and India’s performance at the Paralympics was mediocre.

But a change happened after 2016 when India had one of its worst Olympics in recent years where they managed to win only 2 medals.

It was then that the country’s leadership decided that they would now create a system to nurture talented athletes and support them financially, logistically and psychologically right from their formative years, to ensure they become world class and become potential medal winners.

This was truly unprecedented in the history of India as never before had the country’s leadership chosen to get so deeply involved with the development of its athletes.

A lot of resources were allocated to talented athletes who were potential medal winners. They were given all the facilities they required and if world class coaching was not available in India for that sport, they were sent abroad to get international coaching. All of this was funded for several years.

On the other hand, Para-Athletes who had been ignored for several decades and treated as second class citizens were for the first time given tremendous importance in the scheme of things. In fact, they were given even more importance because a para-athlete needed a lot more equipment and facilities to perform to the best of their abilities as compared to an able bodied one.

But the most unprecedented thing that happened was that the Prime Minister of the country himself stepped in to encourage the athletes and the para-athletes.

Never before had the Prime Minister of any nation given such a warm send off to not only his country’s Olympians but also Paralympians. He held special interaction sessions with them and encouraged them to give their best WITHOUT putting any pressure on them to get a medal.

The athletes and para-athletes who were already incredibly skilled and world class because of their training, now just had to go out and perform.

Soon this paid off. India recorded its best ever performance in both Olympics and Paralympics. The Paralympic performance was even more astounding as India ended up winning 19 medals which included several golds!

But what happened after winning the medals was also unheard of. After each medal winning performance, the individual received a call from the country’s leader congratulating them on their victory.

In fact, Sharad Kumar, a Paralympian who won bronze in high jump told the story about how the American who won the gold was shocked when he found that India’s Prime Minister was personally calling up and congratulating Indian medal winners. The American said that nothing was bigger than having your country’s leader call you personally, not even a gold medal!

Things truly had changed in 2021. When Devendra Jhajharia came back to India from this year’s Paralympics after winning a 3rd Medal, he said that like his father promised, people did eventually shower love on him, it just him 17 years to finally see that love!

It isn’t as if these people didn’t get medals before, it’s just that they never received their due recognition! The sole reason for this change was because the leadership ensured that not only did the athletes get the financial support for training, but also the emotional support to stay motivated through pep talks, rewards and media recognition.

Furthermore, it isn’t as if the people who lost out on medals were ignored. In post event interactions, even the people who didn’t win medals were invited, told to not lose heart and prepare for the next event. The system’s support would always be behind them!

So what are the lessons learned from this story! Here they are!

1)      Massive success only happens when the entire team works in cohesion. An organ in the body can’t function if other organs don’t support it!

2)      Self Belief is everything. When athletes stopped believing they could win medals, India stopped winning.

3)      Support and encouragement from team leaders is a key ingredient for self-belief and skill development in team members.

4)      There maybe many in the team who may not be your traditional spectacular high achievers. Like Para-athletes, there maybe something in life holding them back. But if you provide even those people with the right resources and mental support, they have the potential to do wonders.

5)      People should be encouraged to give their best, but not pushed so hard that they feel their world will end if they don’t deliver.

6)      Small acts of praise and recognition given personally to each individual who performs may sometimes motivate them even more than actually getting a “gold medal!”

7)      Finally, even the people who maybe doing the right actions, but not getting the right results should not be ignored. They should be encouraged and their concerns should be heard. If they are on the right path, it’s only a matter of time before they start to deliver!

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