Google And The Rise Of The Little Guy

It was around the time when Google was going public that I asked myself for the first time: What is so special about this company that makes them so successful in business? I think yesterday I found the answer!I will grant you that Google is the number one search engine company in the world with a market share that exceeds Yahoo and Microsoft, combined. But that is not it. Google makes money from every imaginable word in the dictionary through its AdWords advertising system that was the first in its class. But that is not it either. In my view, Google’s success is more dependent on who it helps succeed rather than how.Allow me to explain in specific detail. Real estate used to be a business about relationships and I don’t mean that in a good way. If you were someone starting out in real estate in the pre-internet era, you had better join a reputable franchise that had the resources to have the full page newspaper and real estate book advertisements, the intricate relocation networks and massive agent rosters for cross advertising of listings. You could go open a Joe Schmoe Real Estate company and farm your local territory to make a decent living but if you really wanted to make a big impact you had to join the good old boys with the deep pockets.The introduction of the internet and its quick spread shook things up a bit in this industry of ours. After all, now all MLS listings were available on the internet and every agent had the same access to the same databases regardless of the name and size of the company. This leveled the playing field further but it did not complete the task since the majority of prospective clients still used conventional methods to find a real estate professional and in those conventional methods, the big firms still had the advantage.[Enter Google]Google has done something special that an elite few companies have achieved in the history of business: They changed the way something was done in a massive scale. Now when consumers need to look up anything from movie times to product reviews to finding a service provider they simply “google” it. Google has managed to centralize the way people all over the world look for products or services. Do you realize how revolutionary this is?On a different note, as great as this “search centralization” can be for Google’s business model, it does not guarantee their ultimate success. Granted that search centralization will certainly peek the interest of advertisers and attract their dollars. But how is this different from a free magazine that sells advertising to companies that want to appeal to its readership? In my opinion, Google’s success is not based on its ability to sell a lot of advertising, per se. If you think about it, so does Yahoo, Myspace and Mapquest. What makes Google special is its contribution to the rise of the little guy.A while back I read a book called “The Long Tail” by Chris Anderson that introduced a concept that in today’s business world the most successful businesses sell “less to more”. And Google is the ultimate illustration of this idea. Sure, Google still strives to get massive corporations to pour their millions of dollars in monthly ads into the Google churn. But most of all, Google provided a way for companies with a monthly advertising budget of a few hundred dollars to effectively target their advertising to potential clients and customers and actually be successful at it. That is selling less to more: Small advertising from millions and millions of small businesses. In my opinion, this effect ultimately levels the playing field completely and allows creative competition between all real estate companies big and small. This allows John Doe and his 200 SF home office to compete at the same level with the big plush office franchise and have a fair chance to win. In the history of business there has never been another company that has been able to give such opportunity to the little guy. And now they are expanding this opportunity through their new Audio Ads program that gives small businesses a chance to advertise on the radio and do so professionally and affordably. I firmly believe that its contribution to the rise of the little guy is the reason (above all others) for Google’s amazing success.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.