Monday, November 25, 2013

11: Internet Business

In the fight to own the Internet, companies like Google do everything in their power to increase the productivity and creativity of their employees. It is obvious through the lavish offices owned by many internet-based companies. Everyone knows how Google ensures that its workers are spoilt for choice in terms of food, leisure and comfort. However, because of these great incentives, it expects its workers to come up with the most effective solutions that would increase the people using their search engine.

Cafe in Google, Dublin

Meeting room in Google, Dublin

Conference Room in Google, London

Other companies are not far behind. Facebook, even though it is only a social network, or a form of social media, it has great influence over its users. It can compete with Google in terms of depth of knowledge of their users. However in terms the things that can be done on the different platforms, Google has a wider stretch. But since the main revenue for Google is its ads, Facebook stands a fighting chance against them. Before we continue, shown below are some of Facebook's offices. 

Facebook India

Facebook Singapore

Facebook Singapore

Facebook and Google are each other's competitors in the online advertising business. The majority of Google's profit is raked in through the AdWords and AdSense. However, with the rise of Facebook, they need to be really careful. In 2010, Facebook's ad revenue hit $1.86 billion dollars. 

The projected income for 2011 was $4.05 billion internationally (from advertising), of which only $2.19 billion would originate from USA. Below are some charts charting the revenue from advertising from Google and Facebook. 

The above charts were taken from this website: here.
This will now lead me to talk about how Google is micromanaging their employees and making them look at every detail in every aspect of the company.

The Forty Shades of Blue Experiment.

In its bid to become the best, Google analyses all their decisions on the basis of data collected. This is how choices are made at Google, that is, according to Douglas Bowman. In his own words;

Bowman, Google's visual design leader, left Google (the ultimate dream company for many) after deciding that he would not stand decisions about design based on user data. He continued;

The point of the matter is, Google cares about how their users view them. If small tweaks and adjustments would make users more willing to respond to links, they are willing to test this idea out. They care enough to make and experiment on small and minute details of their company, in hope that users would like them more.
In terms of level of interestingness, it would be very cool to just test things out and record the data, analyse data before making a decision. However, if all decisions had to be made in this manner, it would be very tedious for employees and difficult for them to just get anything approved since the process is so long. However in terms of making revenue, the company might be just wasting resources. 
For the companies, Google and Facebook, they come up with apps and improve their design to increase revenue. However, for us we see on a "fun" or "interesting" level. Apparently every decision that users make online have been calculated and tried and tested by the thousands of Google employees. If Google has to test out forty shades of different blues and hold debates about the pixel width, then the industry must be so competitive that they are forced to do things like that in order to stay at the top of their game. 

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