On balance, do you think Google has a serious public relations problem? I believe Google does not have a serious public relations problem because of two reasons; first, Google has reconciled with many companies or organizations even if they have litigations, second, Google fires excellent talents and specialists on public relations problem. It is true that Google have experienced litigations. As Google expand its size and growth, they are more likely to have litigation and regulation, especially from competitors or other organizations.
However, Google won most of its cases. For example, Google has been working on Google Books Library Project. The main purpose of this project is to make a lot of books in many libraries available on-line. Against this project, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a lawsuit as an infringement of copyright in 2005. It took so long time to be judged, but Google finally reconciled with AAP. Although the detail of this litigation is not announced publicly, Google has suggested separating the profit earned by selling books.
Of course Google needs to make profits because it is a business firm whose primary goal is earning profits to stockholders. However, one of the most important missions of Google is to make more information available to more people. Many publishers also benefits by Google Books Library Project because customers get more opportunities to know their books. Google will have litigations in the future, but Google will be able to reconcile them if Google can provide benefits to other organizations and construct win-win relationships. The second reason is Google has excellent talents.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page were Ph. D students of Stanford, and what’s more Google has had outstanding software engineers and mathematicians, many holding worthless stock options. These talents and plenty of funds are able to attract more marvelous employees specializing in legal problems such patents, copyrights, or trademarks. Specialists concerning legal issues are especially important for Google, because Google provides service rather than products. Because of the feature of intangibility, services can create profits by licensing.
Thus, at the stage of planning Google needs to consider whether a new project is legal or not, and they can actually judge these problems thanks to excellent talents. To conclude, I believe Google does not have serous relations problems, because Google can reconcile the litigations by creating win-win relationships with other organizations and holds excellent specialists who can consider whether a new project is legal or not. What is a strategic window of opportunity? What kind of firms are most likely to discover such a window?
The first window of opportunity was emerging of Internet. In the 1990s, the Internet has emerged and many people got a accessibility to a lot of information through the Internet. However, it was not easy to find what a researcher looking for because the amount of information is massive. Researcher sometimes felt frustrated with the clutter of Web sites. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, considered this problem as a window of opportunity and believed a better use of links would help researcher to find more relevant information for their researches.
Based on this strategy, Brin and Page started to work on analyzing Web links in 1996. Through the process of analyzing Web links, they developed a ranking system for searching the Internet that yielded prioritized results based on relevance to the object of the search. In the next year, they developed the search engine, and they provided it to students, faculty, and administrators on the Stanford campus. This is the first opportunity for Google, and resulted in the birth of Google.
The second window of opportunity was they have developed the new type of advertisements. After the development of search engine, the number of people using is increased, but its revenue from licensing remained small. Google needed to expand profit to maintain their vision of vast information available to users without charge. Then, Google decided to allow advertiser access to their multitude of users. They developed the standards for size and type of advertisements in order to avoid the irrelevant ads.
At first Google offered advertisements to large businesses, but they noticed substantial market potential soon. This is the Google’s strategic window of opportunity. They found out the potential market by allowing smaller businesses to easily sign up online with a credit card, and their advertisements to start running within minutes. Although other competitors already offered advertisements for large businesses, Google is the first company that noticed the advantages of speed and low cost of advertisements for small businesses. Brin and Page also added another innovative idea.
The ranked advertisements based on relevance, and this innovation helped providing feedback to advertisers. Considering Google’s strategic window of opportunity, Google found out the customers’ problems such as a clutter of Web sites or difficulty for small businesses to run their advertisements, and Google solved these problems with innovative idea. Thus, a firm needs to have excellent ability to find what potential customers need and also own innovative idea or skills to satisfy those needs in order to discover a window of opportunity.
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