It's a very tasty apple. And it seems that with every bite, somehow it manages to grow larger.
What started out as a project by a couple of guys just chillin' around and doing the college thing, has turned into a force that has undoubtedly changed the way the world functions. Google has changed the world. It's a bold claim, but it's been made before, and I'll make it again.
The driving force behind Google seems to be a desire to take a problem that we didn't even know we had, and create or acquire and develop on top of another service in order to solve that problem. Back before Google Maps there was Yahoo! Maps and Mapquest (and some other ones that aren't big enough for me to remember off the top of my head.) These services were good, they were usable, and most people were satisfied with them, but Google has gone above and beyond them. Sure, the directions are never perfect, but neither are the ones from the other guys, but when I need directions I turn to Google.
When I need to do product research, I turn to Google. Google Groups is a great place to find reviews, or just a web search to bring up the relevant pages on Amazon or epinions or all those other sites. Looking for an image? Google. Entertaining video? YouTube (you know who owns them, right?) FeedBurner, Blogger, GrandCentral, Google Documents/Spreadsheets, the list is much larger than that, and it keeps growing.
Google keeps track of the traffic statistics for this blog. They also provide the ads that I make absolutely no money from (and am going to rearrange and make less obtrusive with the new layout and design.)
I've gotten all the way down to this point in the post, and I just remembered the biggest Google service that I rely on – Gmail. I'll ramble on for pages about how much I love Gmail, so I'll just say that I think it's an incredible email service.
What worries me though, is that all companies come and go. Google is strong now, they're the biggest player in this market, but what happens when they start to falter? Will someone else rise up and dominate the internet, the worldwide market place? Will someone else change the way people interact with each other and the way we share and spread information? Or will Google just become an unstoppable force?