Do you remember those days in early 1996 and 1997 when Google had not yet been introduced? Some of the search engines that were prominent by then were AltaVista, Lycos, Yahoo, Excite, Ask Jeeves, and Web Crawler among others.
The main focus of these search engines portals was to keep you on their sites. That's why most of them were displaying news, weather updates, information, and entertainment. Due to the speed of the Internet back then, the primary content on the portals was text-based.
Yahoo turned down the offer to buy Google for $1 million back in 1998 because it wanted to keep people in their portal, the popular business model of the time.Currently, Google has over $140 billion annual revenue, and when was the last time you used Yahoo?
Why has Google continued to be relevant?
1. Google Maps
Although there was some resistance at first internally within the company and externally, Google dominated the market over time and now Google Maps is the standard for maps and locations of interest (restaurants, hotels, and offices)
2. Google Chrome
Google Chrome is so efficient in terms of load and response time that I have not used a desktop mail client in more than ten years. In comparison, the desktop mail clients are sluggish.
Gmail launched in 2004 as invite only, you had to be invited by someone already on the platform. It continues to be the email standard in terms of reliability and performance. My email firstname.lastname@example.org uses Google Apps, which has the same functionality as Gmail, but I can use my domain name aymanitani.com
4. Google Drives, Sheets, and Cloud
There was a lot of skepticism for Google's cloud based offerings in the beginning, especially by other big legacy companies. With time, the legacy companies had to restructure their own business to catch up with Google's cloud offerings.
I appreciate that I keep a close eye on the evolution of technology and how we use it as consumers, and as a consumer myself I get a front row seat to see how it evolves. Some people have made a career out of it: Gaming Anthropology is a career of studying how gaming has evolved throughout the years. How would your parents (aunts, uncles, and some friends) have felt in the 90s if you told them you wanted to be a "Gaming Anthropologist"?