After all, this is the company that just surpassed $50 billion in annual revenue in 2013, racking up an incredible total of $57.86 billion. After also exceeding $50 billion in 2012.
Google is also the same company that gained more than 6,000 employees in 2013, pushing its total workforce to 47,756 people at the close of 2013. And the same company whose shares were trading at an astounding $1,135.39 as the first month of 2014 went into the books – after surging more than 50% in value in 2013.
And the same company who recently ascended to No 2 on the World’s Most Valuable Companies list,
And of course, Google easily remains the top dog when it comes to selling digital advertising, with eMarketer reporting last summer that the company rakes in nearly one-third of all digital ad dollars spent globally – and half of all worldwide mobile online ads.
And revenue in the company’s core internet business totaled $15.7 billion in the final quarter of 2013, up 22% from the closing quarter of 2012. For the fourth quarter of 2013, Google also saw its number of paid clicks increase by 31%.
And while many analysts insist that mobile advertising remains a “challenge” for Google, the esteemed editors at Forbes estimate that mobile search ads contribute to approximately a third of Google’s overall value. Forbes also predicts that mobile search ads will generate nearly 35% of the company’s total revenues by 2020 – up from around a 14% figure in 2013.
Midway through the first month of 2014, Google made news for a major acquisition that also contained an eye-popping number – as in the $3.2 billion the company spent to acquire Nest Labs Inc.
If you’re not familiar with Nest Labs (or Nest for short), you’re probably not alone. The Palo Alto-based “home automation company,” whose tagline is “thoughtful things,” manufactures “smart” thermostats and smoke alarms for residences and businesses. The thermostat, for example, possesses the ability to “learn” when a homeowner wakes up, leaves home, comes home and goes to bed – and sets and adjusts the residence’s temperature accordingly.
Nest Labs was launched in 2010 by former Apple employees Matt Rogers and Tony Fadell, who also serves as Nest’s CEO. According to reports, Fadell, who helped develop the iPod and reported directly to former Apple CEO and icon Steve Jobs, will continue to run Nest and report directly to Google CEO Larry Page.
The Wall Street Journal account of Google’s big-dollar purchase calls Nest “a poster child for a technology movement known as the Internet of Things, which is adding sensors, computing and communications technology to make everyday objects more useful.” On their own site, Nest claims to “reinvent unloved but important home products.”
Of course, this isn’t the only recent out-of-the-box and possibly even off-the-wall (or in this case, on-the-wall) acquisition or innovation by Google recently. The company also made news for investing in robots (including a robotic “cat”) and self-driving cars, as well as introducing its ever-intriguing internet-connected eyewear, Google Glass.
Google even announced an innovative partnership with VSP, the nation’s largest optical health insurance provider, who will now offer subsidized frames and prescription lenses for Google Glass, the Internet-connected eyewear.
“While Apple hasn’t even put out a bigger phone, Google is leading in wearables with Google Glass,” said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis in a recent New York Times story. “It’s got driverless cars. It’s wiring up homes with tremendous Internet speed connections.”
Now, with its purchase of Nest Labs, Google appears to be turning its Glass eye towards wiring homes with more than just high-speed internet connections. After the deal went down, an array of technology analysts and executives were insisting it’s just the first of many further “entry ways” that will eventually lead to a full-on “move-in” by Google into our living and workspaces.
Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett predicted Google will soon offer a suite of smart home products – including locks, door bells, baby monitors and humidity monitors – each equipped with sensors to capture information and a Wi-Fi chip to relay the data. Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt envisioned Google merging Nest with its Android mobile-device operating system to empower an “intelligent home-energy and security system.”
Colin Angle, chief executive of Massachusetts-based robot manufacturer iRobot Corp., mused on an even broader scale, stating:
“I am convinced that we will see a robot collaborate with home information systems to allow seniors to stay out of assisted-living facilities.”
No matter what the future may bring, we’re not really sure we want to see a day where that galloping, somewhat terrifying robotic Wild Cat is being kept as a house pet by anyone, young or old. Something more like The Jetsons’ Rosie, however, could be kind of interesting.
What do YOU think about all this Nest-ing going on over at Google? How do you anticipate it shaping the future…or even the near-future? And what would you like to see happen the most?
Let us know in the comments section below this blog post. We’d love to hear your thoughts.