Google’s latest earnings shows that it’s simply not ‘lit’
Image: justin sullivan/getty images
Google is honestly so boring.
Yes, they’re an incredibly successful company with so many awesome things happening inside their headquarters in Mountain View, California and their other offices worldwide. Some of these "other bets" we know of like Waymo for transportation and Verily for healthcare.
But when it comes down to it Alphabet is Google, a search engine and advertising giant with growing revenue, even as Facebook and Amazon compete for similar dollars.
On Thursday, Alphabet announced its earnings for the first quarter of 2017. Pretty great, it seems: stock was up by more than 4 percent in after-hours trading. Google it turns out can still surprise analysts, beating expectations. The tech giant pulled in $24.75 billion, a 22 percent increase from the year prior.
Cool. Even with all the scandal around "YouTube-gate," with Google placing advertisements on neo-Nazi videos, they brought in more cash. Cool.
You wouldn’t really sense the enthusiasm in their earnings statement. "Our excellent results represent a terrific start to 2017, with revenues up 22% versus the first quarter of 2016 and 24% on a constant currency basis," Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet, said in a statement.
"We clearly continue to benefit from our ongoing investments in product innovation and have great momentum in our new businesses across Alphabet," it continued [emphasis mine].
Honestly, that could apply to any company I cove: Facebook, Twitter, Amazon. If you’re not investing in product innovation, what are you investing in?
I missed the first part of the earnings call, where Google CEO Sundar Pichai read prepared statements because I honestly didn’t know it started before 5 p.m. ET. But guess I didn’t miss anything — or anything that exciting.
I jumped in at the line of Pichai chatting about Take Your Child to Work Day: "Thousands of excited screaming kids running around the Googleplex which is some times how I feel too." Um. Okay.
Other cool things include the lawsuit going on between ride-hailing giant Uber and Google’s Waymo. Analysts asked Pichai and Porat and they pretty much said life is great. Meanwhile, Business Insider scooped right before the earnings that the head of Uber’s self-driving group is changing positions.
"I want to let you know that Travis and I have decided that I will be recused from all LiDAR-related work and management at Uber, through the remainder of the Waymo litigation," Anthony Levandowski wrote in an email to Uber employees.
They spoke a little bit about YouTube TV, the company’s new packaged content offering.
"We’re just getting started. The product is really intended for the YouTube generation," Pichai said.
But Facebook provides competition for the "YouTube generation" as does Snapchat, both of which are finding and owning millennial attention. Google recently surveyed teens and wrote it up in a report called "It’s Lit." According to "It’s Lit," YouTube is the "coolest brand," followed by Netflix, followed by Google.
As for why Google has become so boringly successful, Pichai noted: "Our engineers are really, really good at working."
Meanwhile, Google cofounder Sergey Brin is building a blimp.