Google co-founder, Larry Page, issued his annual founders’ letter yesterday reflecting on the state of Google and advancements they’ve made in 2013.
Here are some of the main highlights from his letter.
Advancements In Search
Larry starts off by saying that he believes Google is staying true to its mission, which is “to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible.”
There are over 100 billion searches a month, 15% of which have never been seen before. Google updates its index within seconds to ensure the freshest results are shown. Thanks to Google’s Knowledge Graph, users are able to get direct answers to more questions, and voice search now works in over 38 languages.
Despite all of these achievements, Larry says they’re still “a million miles away” from creating the search engine of his dreams, which he defines as “one that gets you just the right information at the exact moment you need it with almost no effort.”
Google Now is tackling the challenge of understanding information in a deep way, often providing information before users have even asked for it. Larry says Google+ recommendations have become a great source of information as well. It’s still early, but significant progress has been made in understanding the context of a search.
Advancements In Multi-Screen User Experiences
The Chrome browser has over 750 million users and works seamlessly across devices. “Open a map on your desktop; when you switch to your mobile device, the same tab will be open so you can pick up right where you left off.”
Google+ allows users to easily view photos on any device by instantly uploading them to the web. That means if you lose your phone, your photos don’t get lost as well.
In less than six years, over one billion Android devices have been activated. “We’re now taking Android to wearables, like watches, and to cars, where we can make it super easy to get directions, make a call or play music.“
Larry says Google is still a big believer in simplistic design, which was a huge part of their original success. He intends to apply the same principles across all Google products.
Larry believes incremental changes lead to irrelevance, especially in technology, which is why Google will continue to invest in the long term. A few of these investments have involved acquiring new companies, like Nest. Larry also highlights the Google Shopping Express same-day delivery service and self-driving cars as a few of Google’s”big bets” that will pay off over time.
Larry finishes the letter by saying he and Sergey are still as motivated today as they were when they started. You can view his full letter, which is quite an interesting read, right here.