Google proudly declares it does “one thing really, really well”: Search.
Google’s “one thing,” in fact, fuels 99% of the revenues driving its $150 billion market cap: online search and associated advertising services (AdWords, AdSense).
What about the other 1% of Google’s multi-billion dollar revenues? Google wants to do more “things” really, really well, and spur its market cap ever higher.
Google’s corporate “philosophy” of “Ten Things Google Has Found To Be True” has been amended to reflect its desire (and Wall Street’s) for diversification:
Full-disclosure update: When we first wrote these "10 things" four years ago, we included the phrase "Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat." Over time we've expanded our view of the range of services we can offer –- web search, for instance, isn't the only way for people to access or use information -– and products that then seemed unlikely are now key aspects of our portfolio. This doesn't mean we've changed our core mission; just that the farther we travel toward achieving it, the more those blurry objects on the horizon come into sharper focus (to be replaced, of course, by more blurry objects).
Google’s search juggernaut and Wall Street triumph lead many to believe it is inevitable that Google will succeed in all that it undertakes. By Google’s own acknowledgment, however, its diversification efforts to date are underwhelming:
Is Google Checkout desperate?
Revenues realized through the Google Publications Ads Program, our radio advertising efforts, Google Video and Google Checkout were not material in any of the periods presented, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, November 8, 2006, Form 10-Q.
Despite Google’s inability to diversify revenues to date, Schmidt is touting a seemingly innate destiny to achieve world wide information and advertising domination:
We are in the search business, so we need all of the information… ultimately our goal at Google is to have the strongest advertising network and all the world’s information, that’s part of our mission, Q2 2006 earnings conference call.
If you think about it, all the world's information includes personal information…
We're thinking about using our advertising system and our targetability for every form of advertising, Search Engine Strategies Conference, August 2006.
Given Google’s current “1 percent,” it has a long way to go!