Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2010 (Revised December 2010)

Google Inc. (Abridged)

by Benjamin Edelman and Thomas R. Eisenmann

Abstract

Describes Google's history, business model, governance structure, corporate culture, and processes for managing innovation. Reviews Google's recent strategic initiatives and the threats it poses to Yahoo, Microsoft, and others. Asks what Google should do next. One option is to stay focused on the company's core competence, i.e., developing superior search solutions and monetizing them through targeted advertising. Another option is to branch into new arenas, for example, build Google into a portal like Yahoo or MSN; extend Google's role in e-commerce beyond search to encompass a more active role as an intermediary (like eBay) facilitating transactions; or challenge Microsoft's position on the PC desktop by developing software to compete with Office and Windows.

Keywords: Business Model; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Corporate Governance; Organizational Culture; Organizational Structure; Competitive Strategy; Search Technology; Web Services Industry;

Citation:

Edelman, Benjamin, and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Google Inc. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 910-032, February 2010. (Revised December 2010.)