How Google started to make 165 million dollars every day? - Karthik Siva - MARKETING Magazine Asia


How Google started to make 165 million dollars every day? – Karthik Siva

google karthik culture

In 2002, Google was a small company making 10 million dollars a year and was in a race to build the best pay per click metric for the new internet driven economy.

Google was trying hard to make Ad Words work better and link advertisers with key search terminologies. A special team was hand picked to address this challenge. But it was not working out.

Larry Page was frustrated and stuck a post it note in the pantry with the following statement – “ These Ads suck”.

Jeff Dean, a senior employee at Google saw this note and was intrigued and challenged. He was not part of the team working on this specific project. He decided to take a crack at addressing the problem.

It was Friday. He spent the whole weekend grappling with it and single handedly managed to crack the problem early morning on Monday. He emailed his magnum opus algorithm to Larry Page and went to sleep the whole of Monday not realising he had not only made history, but he had also made Google very rich.

This algorithm transformed Google and started to generate 165 million dollars every single day!

There were other much bigger companies also in the fray trying to create a powerful system to link search terms with advertisers. These companies had deeper pockets, larger pool of talent and bigger resources.

So, what made Google out smart them and pull this off? What made Jeff Dean show this extraordinary initiative even when it was not his job to address this problem?

The answer is – Google’s culture. Google deeply respects its people and gives unprecedented freedom, autonomy and space to experiment. Google does not penalise its people for failure. It brings people with cognitive diversity and lets them spar with each other.

Finally, Google is meritocratic, data driven and empowers its talent to deliver a performance other companies can only dream about.

Culture is not just a touch feely aspect of a business. It drives performance and can often be the biggest competitive advantage for a business!


Karthik Siva is a highly acclaimed and respected international strategy consultant, nation branding expert and leadership mentor to CEOs and entrepreneurs. He is the Chairman of Global Entrepreneur Xchange, the founding Chairman of Global Brand Forum, Asia’s most influential Forum for brands, business and leadership, described by BBC as the “Davos of Branding” and by Straits Times Singapore as the “World Cup of Branding”.

Karthik is also a highly sought after keynote speaker and trainer in international and regional forums. Karthik’s leadership and expertise has been recognized and commended by several CEOs and entrepreneurs including Nobel prize winner and former Vice President of the United States – Al Gore. Karthik is also the author of Tools, Tips & Thoughts for Entrepreneurs, SPARK and How to Present and Persuade with Power?.


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