The Fast Company 50 - 2009
Google may have gotten tougher on revenue-challenged projects and scaled back perks somewhat (people, the free meals are for the employees who are working late, not takeout for folks headed home), but the company doesn't lack for ambition. Looking at the breadth of its accomplishments last year, you can't help but imagine that lurking beneath the Googleplex is a secret lab exploding with ideas.
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After months of G-phone hype, Google unveils Android, the first free, open-source oeprating system for mobile phone, With Samsung and Motorola handsets on the way, Android users could well out-number iPhoners.
Google has the confidence/
arrogance to try to build a better Web browser. Cloud-friendly Chrome debuts with a 38-page manual/comic book. With only a tiny percentage of the market, it doesn't threaten Firefox or Microsoft Explorer - yet.
Seth McFarlane's "Calvacade of Cartoon Comedy"
Google teams up with Family Guy's MacFarlane on a high-profile experiment; distribution through AdSense of original animated shorts that can be embedded any-
where on the Web.
A search-analysis tool pinpoints flu outbreaks, even ahead of the CDC.
In a daring show of efficiency and media savvy, founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page skate between Manhatten press conferences.
CEO Eric Schmidy serves as an economic adviser to Obama during the campaign, giving Google a powerful ally.
A $125 million settlement with pulishers expedites Google's grand plan to make book searchable online (although Harvard University Library, an early partner, opts out of the copyright part of the project).
Proctor & Gamble
The internet ad giant swaps employees - and ideas - with consumer- product behemoth P&G.