Buy Existing Paper - Alphabet Inc. Analysis

Description

Alphabet Inc. Analysis

Abstract

Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate, founded by Lawrence E. Page and Sergey M. Brin in 2015 by restructuring of Google Inc. and Google Subsidiaries with a goal of making all the companies under one roof as a publicly owned company. The company subsidiaries are Google Inc, Android Inc, YouTube LLC, Calico, CapitalG, Google Fiber, Chronicle, Waymo LLC, Nest labs, Google X, etc. The company is cruising in the fields of Technology, Internet, Software, Advertising, Life Sciences, and Autonomous Cars. The formation of Alphabet Inc. made the services more accountable, independent and leader of the market. As per the Forbes report, Alphabet Inc. is the world’s twenty fourth largest company with a Market Cap of $579.5 Billion (for the year 2017). It is the world’s best employer with about 72,000 employees. Alphabets core products Android, Search, Chrome, etc. have more than a billion subscribers every month. Most of the company’s revenue is generated from internet advertising services.

 

Porter’s Five Force Analysis.

This model helps to analyze whether the company’s industry is attractive or unattractive. The industry of Alphabet Inc. is considered as Online Advertising because most of the company’s revenue is generated from it.

Buyer Power:

                Weak; the buyer has very less bargaining power as the process is completely algorithm and online based.

Supplier Power

                Weak; the supplier has very less power as Alphabet Inc.’s Google AdSense and AdWords are the only customer for many websites.

Threat of New Entry

Strong; As the online marketing is completely about efficient algorithms and perfect predictions, a company with a better technology can easily enter the industry.

Threat of Substitutes-alphabet Inc. Analysis 

Very Strong; As the switching costs are very low and hardly takes minutes to shift, there exists threats from the substitutes.

Competitive Rivalry

                Strong; Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft are the Alphabet’s biggest competitors. As most of the products are similar and the switching costs are low, this makes the industry environment highly competitive.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths-Alphabet Inc. Analysis

  • Leader of Search Engines

The biggest strength of Alphabet Inc. is the Google search engine. Its popularity is domineering which led to term Google as dictionary word meaning search. The innovating technology of Google search engine helps Alphabet Inc. gain most of the market share. The market share is 91.25% where the biggest competitor Bing search engine has just 3.08%, which is nowhere close. This technology leadership provides sustainable advantage as the company’s position helps to drive high revenues.

  • Android being the most used mobile technology

Google (Now Alphabet Inc.) acquired Android Inc. in 2008 as a competitor to Apple Inc’s IOS. Android is an open source software, as a result top mobile brands like Samsung, LG, Motorola, etc. adopted android for their smartphones, which made android the global leader of smart phone generation. 87.17% of the market share is for the Android OS whereas the compiler IOS holds only 12.1%. Android is the leading mobile OS being used in more than 1 billion devices.

  • Internet advertising revenue

Revenue acquired from digital (internet) advertising is a key strength for Alphabet Inc. it holds 42.7% of market share in the advertising industry. These online advertising is generating millions of dollars of profits to the company. This revenue model through the partnerships of many third-party sites has held the company in an improved ability to mop up the resources.

  • Consistent financial performance-Alphabet Inc. Analysis 

The financial performance of Alphabet Inc. has witnessed a strong and stable growth since the beginning. As per Forbes, the company’s revenue increased from US$66,000 million (Financial Year 2014) to US$90,272 million (FY 2016) with a total market cap of US$579.5 billion. The overall sales of the company are US$89.92 Billion. The company is successfully growing its revenue and cash flow over the past few years, this strong and sustainable growth provides Alphabet Inc. a platform for future growth.

 

Weaknesses

  • Over dependency on advertising revenue

The revenue generated from advertising is 80% of the overall revenue generated by the company. Any potential dips in the revenue will have a negative impact on the company’s total revenue. The company has to develop a more robust and efficient business model that embraces e-commerce and mobile commerce.

  • Unsuccessful Social Media

Even though Alphabet Inc.’s products are mostly internet based and are very successful, two products miserable failed are Google plus and Hangouts. These both were released to compete in the Social Media industry against the big boys like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, but were barely used by the users. This failure reduced the advertising revenue earned by the social media marketing.

  • Declining Ad rates

Due to increasing ad content in the IoT, there is drastic drop in the pay per click costs since 2013. This may be because of the ongoing global economic slowdown or increasing competitors. Indeed, Alphabet Inc. must be cognizant of the upcoming challenges.

  • Reliance on secrecy

The Algorithms and models used mainly to predict the user behavior on Search Engine, YouTube, Google Maps, etc. are all kept secret. This opaque model was slammed by many expert users as this data mining can cause a serious trouble for the users if the user data is misused. Anyhow Alphabet Inc.  is taking steps to reduce this issue by providing a bare bone version of its unique search engine algorithm.

 

Opportunities-Alphabet Inc. Analysis

  • The Smart Phone Generation

Perhaps the biggest opportunity for Alphabet Inc. in this generation is increasing the sales of its smartphones “Google Pixel”. As the most used Smartphone-OS Android a product of the company, it is very important for Alphabet to make the best smartphone on the globe. The sales of Google Pixels are not high, as it is a premium flagship mobile with only four variants released so far. By the end of 2017 google was able to sell 3.9 million devices with a market share of 1%.

  • Autonomous Vehicles

It is believed that the future of the automobile industry is autonomous self-driving vehicles. Alphabet (Google then) acquired an autonomous car development company “Waymo LLC” in 2009. Waymo have been installed in around 20,000 Jaguar I-pace electric sedans and many other vehicles and is almost ready for the product launch. This auto pilot vehicle technology is a greatest opportunity for the Alphabet in the process of business expansion.

  • Cloud Computing

In the recent days all the top computer services companies have started their cloud storages and giving gigabytes of data to the user for free of cost. Google Drive pioneered in providing storage and cloud solutions, there is great opportunity for Alphabet to move into enterprise market using the cloud -computing algorithms.

 

Threats

  • Facebook Market Expansion

The popularity and increased usage of social media is seriously threatening Alphabet Inc.’s dominance in the internet world. The biggest competitor of the company is “Facebook”. Facebook which started as a social media website have increased the features like online advertising, market place, and artificial intelligence, etc., it seems to be a threat to Alphabet.

  • Mobile Computing

Newer companies like Spotify are growing rapidly in the field of mobile computing with ferocity which can be the cause of threat to Alphabet’s market position.

  • Ad blockers

The revenue of the Alphabet has a serious threat from Ad blockers. Every browser supports free ad blocker add-ons which hide the ad content of the browsed website. This will affect the business as Google AdSense charges only for “Pay Per Click,” which means that if user is not seeing the ad and clicking it, the revenue acquired from the advertisement is zero.

 

 

VRIO Framework Analysis-Alphabet Inc. Analysis

 

Valuable: Yes Alphabet Inc. is valuable. The Innovative services offered by the company in many platforms are valuable.

Rare: Yes, Alphabet Inc. is rare. The company’s technology infrastructure, algorithms, etc. are unmatched and rare.

Inimitable: Yes, many competitors tried making similar products like maps, search engines, etc. but failed to maintain stability and are unable to sustain in the market.

Organization: Yes, the formation of Alphabet Inc. made the company more organizational. Alphabet Inc. has the best campuses throughout the globe. It is ranked in the top position for its relations with the employees throughout the organization, resulting impeccable work force.

Competitive Implication: This creates a sustained competitive advantage.

 

PEST(EL) Analysis

Political Factors

The reason for formation of Alphabet Inc., is to reduce the taxes. Alphabet Inc. is one of the U.S. companies that stuffs lot of cash in foreign banks. The U.S. government is posing political pressures on theses corporates to bring back the money. This political factor affects Alphabet Inc. as the corporate taxes in the United States are very high.

Economic Factors

                As a multinational leader, Alphabet Inc. poses threat from the US Dollar rates. There is a possibility that Alphabet may lose lot of money if the dollar is weak, which leads to a huge drop in Alphabet’s high stock price and reduced market capital.

Social Factors

                Many users are suspicious and distrusted on Alphabet as the products use lot of user’s personal information for data mining, predictions and suggestions. Leak or misuse of these data may put Alphabet in a troubled situation. This distrust is affecting Alphabet as many users are shifting to more secured products.

Technological Factors

                Some competitors like Amazon, have devised algorithms that are as popular and effective as Alphabet’s products. There is strong treat that a competitor could come up with a better search and prediction solution than Google, which affects Alphabet very bad.           

Environmental Factors-Alphabet Inc. Analysis 

The formation of Alphabet Inc. is a great model for the present factor’s, but there may exist threats from environmental factors in the future, as most of the infrastructures of google require large amount of electricity and natural resources. As the price and demand for these resources are increasing rapidly, there exists threat that Alphabet might make all the services paid and lead to decrease in the users.

Legal Factors

Legal costs could increase as Alphabet has entered heavily regulate fields such as finance, insurances, telecommunications and automobiles. This may even lead to restriction on its operations.

THE “10 FLATTENERS”

When the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus was voyaging throughout the world he discovered that the world is sphere and was in search for wealth in form of precious metals, silks and spices. But today it is important to think in a way that world is flat as we are now connected with all the knowledge centers on the earth together into a single global network the world wide web. According to Tom Friedman, the wealth of today’s world is software, brain power, complex algorithms, knowledge workers, call centers, transmission protocols, and break-throughs in optical engineering. The process of flattening the world have taken place by the convergence of ten major political events, innovations and companies. Alphabet Inc. have used these ten forces that were formed resulting those events, to increase its influence over consumers and continued the monopoly in the industry.

 

Flattener 1: The New Age of Creativity

When the Walls Came Down and the Windows Went Up – “Created a single global market”

The Cold War was not between the two countries; rather it was between two economic systems, Capitalism and Communism. Communism was a system for making people equally poor, but Capitalism made people unequally rich. The fall of the communism eliminated a physical and geopolitical barrier. The advancement of the capitalism eliminated the limit on the amount of information that any single individual could amass, author, manipulate, and diffuse. The globalization of technology advanced the companies in every field like music, maps, video, photograph’s, etc. this lead to free-market capitalism. The process of flattening the world started by the invention of personal computers.

Alphabet Inc. has a bigger market capitalization than the computer company Apple Inc., this made the company most valuable internet-based company with a net worth of nearly $580 billion (Forbes report 2016). This success originated in one simple insight from the founders of the company, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. In the late 90’s they found that the sprawling, chaotic mass of the material was cascading onto the internet could be tamed by ranking search results according to their popularity on the world wide web. After that they haven’t looked back, making billions from internet advertising and embracing most challenging ideas in the world of technology and created a single global market for online marketing. Alphabet with knowing the importance’s of personal computer market and revenue launched chrome book and chrome OS and successfully reached the targeted customer.

 

Flattener 2: The New Age of Connectivity

When the Web Went Around and Netscape – “Popularized the Internet”

The internet was invented in 1969 connecting two computers between Stanford university and UCLA. The world wide web is commonly known as internet, but there is a difference between them. Basically, Internet is a collection of networks, but world wide web is a system of creating, organizing and linking documents so they could be easily browsed over the internet. Netscape was a huge flattening force as the Netscape browser not only brought the internet alive but made it universally accessible for all the age groups. The real flattening of the earth is meant by that a person is capable to connect and communicate to anyone on the globe and can access information on his fingertips using the internet.

Alphabet Inc’s product Google search engine played a very crucial role in the process of popularizing the web. The Google search engine took the web to next level, it commercialized the internet and laid the foundation stone for internet advertising and ranking.  Google saw the key to the web’s future by helping users exclude almost everything on any given topic and restricting search results to the most relevant pages. Alphabet Inc. have wonderful products which make the customers to stick to the company throughout their journey on the internet, these products include YouTube, Google Play Music, Chrome Browser, Google Maps, Gmail, etc. Alphabet is the one, which offered a powerful new way to search the proliferating mass of information on the world wide web. Google Chrome browser holds the highest market share about 63.36%, which proves that Alphabet is the global leader among the internet-based companies.

 

Flattener 3: Work Flow Software-Alphabet Inc. Analysis

“Regardless of the location, enabled faster, and closer collaboration”

The flattening of the earth started by the rise of computers and spread of the internet. The third flattening force was, letting people not just connect to each other but creating an ability to work together on the internet. It formed a whole new global platform for collaboration. This platform enabled plug and play, compete & connect on – in order share work, exchange knowledge, start new global companies, sell goods, provide services, etc., all over the globe. This new form of collaboration is remembered as one of the most important turning points in the history of mankind.

Alphabet plays an important role in connecting and collaborating people through social media, email services, cloud computing, and many other work flow software. Gmail is the second largest mailing service with 26% of market share. Google docs workflow makes easier to use the cloud-based tool Google drive. Alphabet cloud computing technology’s market share is of 3.95%, which is the third highest.  Alphabet is a true solution for many companies to collaborate with the workforces throughout the world

 

Flattener 4: Uploading

Harnessing the Power of Communities – “Empowered all internet users to create content and share it”

Uploading information, videos, music, data, etc. by any individual in the internet has become very easy and is a huge flattening force. It enables the information spread and helps humans to participate and make their voices heard. Among the ten flatteners, uploading is considered as most disruptive. The count of uploaders is increasing day by day as the people are getting positive feedback from their uploading experiences.

YouTube LLC, is one of the revenue generators for Alphabet. It is a video-sharing website, allows users to upload, view, rate, share and subscribe to other user’s video channels. It offers wide variety of videos. YouTube is an unbeaten king in the industry, it holds a market share of 76% making it the largest viewed website among the multimedia website and the second-most popular website in the world wide web. Independent content creators have built a revenue generating job by uploading interesting videos. YouTube generates money by ads using Google AdSense.  In 2017 YouTube made a revenue of 3.5 billion dollars and is an important asset for Alphabet in online advertising.

 

 

Flattener 5: Outsourcing-Alphabet Inc. Analysis

Y2K- “Contracting with an outside company and then integrating and their work back into your organization”

Millennium Bug or Y2K bug (Year 2000 bug) was a problem occurred in coding of computerized systems and created havoc in computers and computer networks around the world. This was a costly bug, almost USD$ 300 billion was spent in order to recover from this bug and upgrade the computers. This bubble burst has tanked the American share market and lead to layoffs of high payed programmers. The country which benefited the most from this bubble was India because many top-level programmers were available for very low salaries. Those programmers were hired by American big boys to work for them from India and paid them salary from U.S.A which was very less for U.S. market but was a high pay back in India. This phenomenon is called “Outsourcing”. This is one of the flattening force.

Alphabet Inc. presented the Indian IT the chance to add a “prestigious and lucrative client to their roster”. It has outsourced many projects to U.S. based IT companies like Cognizant, IBM, Accenture, etc. which currently has most of their employees in India, and many Indian mass recruiters like TCS and Infosys are also part of Alphabet outsourcing family. In Alphabet the outsourced projects are basically non-core parts of its business, such as Software development, IT infrastructure Management, Call centers, IT service firms, etc. The company have benefitted in many ways by outsourcing and saved lot of money.

 

Flattener 6: Offshoring

Running with Gazelles, Eating with Lions- “Relocating an entire operation to another country”

Outsourcing and Offshoring might have same benefits but the core competences of this flatteners are completely different. Unlike Outsourcing, where the company makes another company as a partner and perform some limited non-core functions, Offshoring is a company start operating from a different country, where the work done is same. The products are same but made with cheaper labor, lower taxes, subsidized energy and lower health-care costs. This flattener made many companies to become multinational.

As discussed earlier, the formation of Alphabet Inc. from Google is to reduce the taxes. This formation was successful by offshoring many of the company’s operations to Ireland, India and China. In 2015 alone Alphabet saves a whopping $3.6 billion taxes by offshoring many of its operations to Ireland.  The 12% tax rate in USA which is business unfriendly and made Alphabet to offshore most of its operation, in fact 56.3% of the company’s operations are offshored.

 

Flattener 7: Supply-Chaining-Alphabet Inc. Analysis

Eating Sushi in Arkansas – “Creation of networks that could collaborate and share information for increased efficiency”

The 7th Flattening force “Supply Chain Management” is very crucial for a company because it makes a competitive advantage by getting a best product at a lower price around the globe. If the company is not the first to figure out and get the product, the competitors in the race will grab it and move forward. This product can be anything, it can be a paper towel or a time machine; the market needs the best product in the correct time. So global supply chains are essential for both retailers and manufactures.

Alphabet Inc. (then Google Inc) launched its own strategy to take on supplier diversity and make an efficient and profitable supply chain, this helped the company to drive economic impact for small businesses and fit companies agile culture. Alphabet Inc started to acquire companies with smaller size which have a game-changing innovative product but failed to be a global technology leader because of their small size. Alphabet acquired more than 200 companies and some of this small companies include Sprinks which is now Google AdSense, Outride which is now Google personalized search engine, Zip Dash which is now Google maps. This supply chain made the Google to acquire expensive companies like Android, Applied Semantics, YouTube, DoubleClick, Nest Labs, HTC, Motorola, etc. and become the most valuable company on earth. Alphabets supply chain strategy has been to enable a platform where a human journey on the world wide web starts with Alphabet and ends with Alphabet. In terms of supply chain technology, this may be the most powerful demand sensing system ever built. Alphabet is believing this strategy is going to help to be successful in the fields of Automobile, AI, Robotics and House Automation.

 

Flattener 8: In-sourcing-Alphabet Inc. Analysis

What the Guys in Funny Brown Shots are Really Doing – “Delegating operations to another company that specializes in those operations”

In-sourcing is a new form of collaboration and creating value horizontally and flattening the world. Not every company can afford a complex global supply chain, this lead those companies to choose insourcing. In -sourcing is the practice of using another organization’s resources to accomplish a task. The main agenda of In-sourcing is to reduce costs of taxes, labor and transportation.

As the biggest Internet-related services company Alphabet used to lack in building technological products like smart phones and PC’s. The company have opted the insourcing strategy for manufacturing well finished and successful products like Nexus smartphones, the Pixels, Google Cardboard VR, etc. For Nexus smartphones, Alphabet have insourced with companies LG, Motorola and Huawei. Later in order to make more profit from these devices the company have insourced the Pixel smartphones to HTC and made an interesting move by acquiring most of HTC smartphone company. The Google VR kits (Google Cardboards) are insourced to small third-party companies which made Alphabet’s Google VR be the cheap and best product in the VR kits market. Alphabet which has booming R&D and is ready to enter the stormy field of Automobile industry is insourcing with BMW, Jaguar and Fait Chrysler for their product Waymo. With more innovative ideas Alphabet Inc. is more likely to insource many upcoming products in the field of Artificial Intelligence and acquire the companies as much as possible to make them the decision makers in those companies.

 

Flattener 9: In – Forming

Google, Yahoo!, MSN Web Search – “The ability to search for information”

In-forming is a search for knowledge. It is an individual’s personal analog to all the flatteners we discussed in this paper. Informing is the ability to build and deploy your own personal supply chain of information, knowledge, and entertainment. It enables self-collaboration, makes an individual self-directed and self-empowered. Informing is empowering the formation of global communities, across all the countries and cultural boundaries, which makes it a critically important flattening function.

The very first goal of Alphabet (then Google Inc.) is to make easily available all the knowledge throughout the world and in every language. The Google search engine enabled every individual on the earth with a search solution to universal access information all over the world. Google is now processing billions of searches throughout the globe in a single day. Top printing presses like Oxford and Cambridge have added the name Google to their dictionaries as word with a meaning of “search”. Google made the search for information easier and accurate. The founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin understood that thousands of web pages are added to the World Wide Web every day and found that the search engines in late 90’s are incapable of keeping up the pace. They together developed an algorithm which search the information by PageRank with an analysis of the page content. Even though Google search engine is not the first in the market, today 90 out of every 100 people use google to search content on the internet.

 

Flattener 10: The Steroids-Alphabet Inc. Analysis

Digital, Mobile, Personal, and Virtual – “Technologies that enable all forms of computing and collaboration”

When Author Thomas L. Friedman wrote the book “The World is Flat” in 2005 he believed that this tenth flattener is the future for all forms of collaboration. He defined this flattener beautifully in six different attributes naming them “The Steroids”. The first steroid is about computing, second is about instant messaging and file sharing, third involves around the breakthroughs in making phone calls over the internet, fourth is about videoconferencing, fifth is about computer graphics, and final sixth steroid the most important one, talks around new wireless technologies and devices. Today in 2018 we can clearly experience the enhancements taken place because of these six technologies.

Alphabet, has every product in these six categories. From last to first, Alphabet is the leader in wireless technologies and devices, the most used smartphone OS – Android is owned by Alphabet and, it almost sold 4 million Pixel devices (Alphabet’s flagship smartphones). In the computer graphics, Alphabet has many products which are leading in the market, among them the important ones are Google VR, and Google Design. Alphabet has good products for video conferencing, they are Hangouts and G suite. Google Voice is one of the top telephony services, voice and texting; it works with a technology Voice over IP, where voice calls use internet for connectivity. For file sharing Alphabet has a cloud-based technology Google Drive with a market share of 40% and the most used. For instant messaging, Hangouts is one of the best platforms as it integrated to the most used email service Gmail. Alphabet is betting big in the computer technology, they launched a new Operating System named Chrome-OS, it is available only for the device manufactured by Alphabet partnered like Samsung and Acer. Chrome OS market is not as big as Windows or Macintosh but is growing rapidly.

 

 

Conclusion

The American journalist and author Thomas L. Friedman explained beautifully how human innovation, new technologies and globalization made the world flat in his enthralling book “The World is Flat”.  The book explained the ten flattening forces which makes the people connected and increases the work collaboration. Alphabet Inc. is one among the very few companies that checks all the boxes. The company’s structure and product line are similar to the ten flattening forces and fits perfectly in the flat world model.

References

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