Yesterday, Barry Schwartz reported that Google filed their annual report which covers quite a lot of information. One part of this document I found interesting to read was the risk factors -- it shows us that Google knows they are still vulnerable to many things despite their success to this point.
Here are a few items from the document -- you can read more about these and other risks here.
- We face significant competition from Microsoft and Yahoo.
- We face competition from traditional media companies, and we may not be included in the advertising budgets of large advertisers, which could harm our operating results.
- We expect our revenue growth rate to decline and anticipate downward pressure on our operating margin in the future.
- If we do not continue to innovate and provide products and services that are useful to users, we may not remain competitive, and our revenues and operating results could suffer.
- We generate our revenue almost entirely from advertising, and the reduction in spending by or loss of advertisers could seriously harm our business.
- We are migrating critical financial functions to a third-party provider. If this transition is not successful, our business and operations could be disrupted and our operating results could be harmed.
- New technologies could block our ads, which would harm our business.
- We are, and may in the future be, subject to intellectual property rights claims, which are costly to defend, could require us to pay damages and could limit our ability to use certain technologies in the future.
- If we fail to detect click fraud or other invalid clicks, we could lose the confidence of our advertisers, thereby causing our business to suffer.
- Privacy concerns relating to our technology could damage our reputation and deter current and potential users from using our products and services.
- The initial option grants to many of our senior management and key employees are fully vested. Therefore, these employees may not have sufficient financial incentive to stay with us, we may have to incur costs to replace key employees who leave, and our ability to execute our business model could be impaired if we cannot replace departing employees in a timely manner.
- Acquisitions could result in operating difficulties, dilution and other harmful consequences.