Google Ventures: One Year and Going Strong
There are many benchmarks business owners measure against when determining their success as a company. Some may have visions of gaining a specific number of customers, while others dream of expanding globally. It is by now blatantly obvious that Google has shattered any and all marks of success. If you disagree, you should not be reading this, or using the internet, or operating any object that requires electricity. Google’s prosperity can be contributed to their strong willed leadership, top notch business ethics, and constant pursuit of innovation. Sure, you can also place any positive adjective describing a business in there and it will most likely fit.
Last March, Google decided to push the envelope even further by starting Google Ventures, a venture capital branch of the company. I think it is safe to say that in the start-up and tech world there are few greater accomplishments than being able to start your own venture capital entity. The financial backing along with the business knowledge needed to take on such an endeavor attests to the acumen of the company. If you start a successful venture capital firm, you have made it. Oh yes, Google has surely made it (if there was ever a doubt).
It is only fitting that Google travels this route. The “Google Guys” (as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are rightfully named) got their start coming out of a masters program at Stanford. Stanford continues to be one of the best schools in the world for producing high-tech, prosperous, start-up business. Also, being located near Silicon Valley (the mecca of entrepreneurship in the U.S.), doesn’t hurt either. Sooner or later, Google was bound to make moves in this direction.
Google Ventures exists to seek out only the most innovative businesses and brilliant entrepreneurs in hopes of growing said company dramatically. Essentially, they are trying to find the next Google, and in return receive a nice little stake of equity in the invested company. Currently, Google has put capital into companies from industries including consumer internet, software, hardware, clean-tech, bio-tech, and healthcare. The latest company buzz is Google’s recent investment of $39 million in a couple of wind farms in North Dakota. That spare change has to be used for something, right?
So what is the big deal? The big deal is that Google Ventures will hopefully lead to something that will change our way of life, much like Google has. Entrepreneurship is cool. Entrepreneurship is a leading factor in helping countries escape recessions and is a driving force of our economy. Entrepreneurship is where the pinnacle of innovation occurs. That is exciting to me. It is astonishing to think that 10 years down the road could look incredibly different from life right now. We are at the forefront of a technology revolution (I will save that sermon for another time), and I can’t wait to see how it pans out.
One year later, Google Ventures seems to be headed in the right direction, and quite honestly, Google’s map has no other direction than forward.
**If you would like to read more on the positive impact of start-up businesses and the continued importance of entrepreneurship education, I have a self-authored 60 page thesis that could come your way. It also works great to level out a table, or start a fire.