Ten years ago today, Google (GOOGL) went public, and what a difference a decade makes.
Since its IPO, the company has moved beyond being a search engine. Gmail had just launched the previous April. It bought YouTube in 2006. In Q2 of this year, Google's Android operating system had about 85% of the smartphone operating system market share according to IDC. This year it bought a drone company and debuted a driverless car prototype.
Some of Google's endeavors may still seem like a hodge-podge of businesses to some, “I think what’s interesting, really, about this look-back to 10 years ago is that Google really did lay out for us how it was going to operate the business,” said Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli. He said that Google stated its intention to lay a lot of bets on things “that look kind of wild and speculative,” even if they don’t all work out. “But they’re going to stay focused on improving the product with that overarching goal of making all relevant information more available and they’re pretty much done that,” said Santoli.
Google may have had a clear vision of its future when it went public, but the company success wasn't so clear.
“The degree of skepticism surrounding Google’s IPO was enormous,” recalled Santoli. The initial public offering price was $85, at the low end of its revised price range. Santoli said the psychological hangover of the Internet bubble from the previous few years had colored the public’s view of Google.
It’s much different today. Google's market capitalization is about $400 billion with a profit margin of about 20%. And the stock price? As of yesterday’s close, Google share price has gone up more than 993% since the IPO.