I ran across a few interesting posts in regards to Google this am. Of particular interest to me was the overview of their acquisition activity in 2005. All of the data and commentary stems from Google’s 10-k filing. Scott Devitt of Internet Stock Blog does a great analysis of the filing and points out:
The company noted that 15 acquisitions were made during 2005. The total purchase price for these companies was $130.5 million. In addition, Google paid $400,000 for an undisclosed patent last year. Several other acquisitions have already been made in 2006, including dMarc (for $102 million, with about $1.2 billion in payments through 2008 if certain goals are met), Writely, and @Last Software
As Ben Barren points out, thats 1.25 startups per month in 05, a healthy appetite to say the least. I think it will be interesting to see what their total acquisition count is in 2006, certainly a year chock full of innovation.
Another point of interest to me was this line from the 10-k filing:
“We began as a technology company and have evolved into a software, technology, Internet, advertising and media company all rolled into one”
Many readers know that there has been considerable debate as to whether Google is in fact a media company or not, certainly they did not begin that way. My feeling, since the launch of AdWords, was that they will one day call themselves a media company, and their actions over the past year shows us that they have been moving steadily towards a model that will eventually classify them as one, one way or another. So, here it is straight from the source, Google calling themselves a media company in relation to everything else they are. This concept goes back to 2003 for me.
Check out this post from my old blog “Media Mind”, from March 2003, when I first wrote about my prediction of Google’s transition into a media company. There was some debate back in June of last year as well, I discussed it in this post. Here is an excerpt:
The debate by some is that Google is not a media company, but I question if that really is so and if so, for how long? Certainly, Google doesn’t look and feel like a media company, it shouldnt be compared to the GE’s, Time Warner’s & Disney’s, etc.. clearly its not. But where is Google going? I would define them now as a technology company that is morphing into a media company. Not a traditional media company, but a truly unique media company of the future.
Of course, now its very interesting times for Google, and they have alot more to consider to keep them on the “do no evil” mantra. As bicyclemark commented on the post from last June:
“their products and operation in general are collecting a whole lot of information about people and what is in their computer, and the big question for the future is — what might they do with all this information?”
This is the ultimate question and one that remains to be seen. The Google evolution is a saga unlike one we have seen before, so it goes without saying, stay tuned.
per Frank Gruber, Ben Barren & Internet Stock Blog