In case you almost missed it (we wouldn’t blame you if you did) today actually marks the 10 year anniversary of Google’s IPO. Although one of the most influential companies the world has ever seen, things got off to a bit of a rocky start back on August 19th, 2004, the day Google officially went public.
Still seen by many as a one trick pony, Google seemingly only had one product to sell: search. This is largely what lead to an initial public offering of 19.6 million shares at the price of $85 a share, still a success, but short of Google’s original $108-$135 estimate. In his 2004 post, value investor Whitney Tilson didn’t believe Google had staying power saying:
“Just as Google came out of nowhere to unseat Yahoo! as the leading search engine, so might another company do this to Google… I am quite certain that there is only a fairly shallow, narrow moat around its business.”
But as we all learned, archiving the internet and all of its data would later prove to be more lucrative than anyone would guess, and although selling ads is still Google’s bread and butter, we’re seeing the internet search giant branch out into software development (Android, Chrome OS) and even more recently, dabbling into robotics and self-driving cars.
While there’s no question of the value of Google’s stock — rising 1,293% during their first 10 years — it may surprise you to find companies like Monster Beverage Corp performing better with a 6,406% increase during that same time span, or even Apple at 4,274%.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin originally agreed to only work together for 20 years and while 2024 is just around the corner, it’s interesting to see the huge strides Google has made in just a short amount of time. And where nobody could have guess Google would take over the smartphone market, it’s almost scary to think of where they (and us) will be another 10 years from now.