“Don’t be evil” happens to be a Google informal corporate slogan or motto which has the main aim of preventing large multinational companies from exploiting the users or the workers. The slogan was also aimed at sensitizing these large corporate organizations which in the process of maximizing their short term benefits or profits destroy their competitive position and their long term brand image.
Proponents of this motto believed that if this culture is installed amongst business entrepreneurs, they would conduct their activities and make their decisions honestly. They believed that this would be a win-win situation where entrepreneurs would make profit and at the same time ensure that their brand image is still good. (Stross)
To be loyal to this motto, for a very long period of time, Google ensured that its activities are transparent. The company designed a revolutionary search algorithm which was aimed at searching parameters and in the process present credible results. This can be described as a transparent way of preventing deception of users in terms of the information that they need. By the fact that their search engine or rather their search formula is the most popular and reliable, they had and still have a chance of exploiting their users. (Schrag)
For instance, in 1999, Google was undergoing some financial difficulties, and during such times, the executives at this company would have tampered with the search formula but they chose to remain put. A lot of investors tried to pressure them to take in the advertising model that was then popular which was being promoted by Overture, Inc. but they refused. They chose to preserve Google, Inc. integrity which was focused on credible results generations through their algorithm. This is a clear indication of how dedicated they were to see to it that they are living free of ‘evil’. They were in need of money and they had all the opportunities to exploit and deceive the users but the chose not to. (Stross)
However, this has not been the case at Google all the times. There are some other situations when Google is known to dump the motto and focus on its affairs as a company and short term benefits. For instance, Google considers paid advertisement and pop-ups as “evil”. It happens that the company failed to uphold after they invented the new search engine. They tried this new search formula on the famous Stanford populace. The founders of the formula realized that due to its features, a lot of people will come to like and to use it.
They therefore refused to take money and this had a major long term effect on the entire Google, Inc. profits. As employees of Google, Inc. this was wrong and unethical as it was against the motto. In addition, they continued pointing their fingers on other competitors such as Yahoo, Inc. describing them as evil and profit hungry failing to remember that this new search formula was making more profit than all the others combined. (Schrag)
In conclusion, even though Google has tried to be loyal to its motto of “Don’t be evil”, it has failed in the recent fact as it has been ranked among the top profit making online companies. It can be understandable that it is doing this due to the competitive nature of the market and the world economic hard time. Another good example of such is the recent case involving the china government. All in all, through its varied features such as Maps, Google Earth, Street View, good can be described as a model of a corporate citizen through, transparency, the education that it offers to users, and turning down government subpoenas in the open.
Schrag, Robert. Planet Google. 2009. 7 June 2010 <http://mediasite.online.ncsu.edu/online/Viewer/?peid=f6a6008253c04c3d8f7236d65946747a>.
Stross, Randall. Planet Google: One Company’s Audacious Plan To Organize Everything We Know. New York: Free Press, 2008.