Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) recently launched its new Pixel smartphone. It became the 157th product the company owns and supports. The list includes dozens of consumer products, business applications and developer tools, and it shows how broad and deep the company’s reach into the tech world has grown. The list is also littered with Google failures.
Many of the products are familiar to hundreds of millions of people. These include the flagship Google search product, the Android mobile OS, YouTube (the largest video site in the world), Chrome (one of the world’s most widely distributed browsers), Gmail and Maps.
Among the business applications that have a huge effect on the web are the Adwords and Adsense products. They power a huge number of the world’s website marketing e-commerce, offering publishers small and huge the ability to target audiences in way that traditional advertising does not. For small publishers who do not have ad sales forces, these technologies may be their only source of ad revenue.
Among the Google initiatives that have largely failed, Google’s suite of office products was supposed to allow it to compete with Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint products. Google Docs, Drive and Sheets have a large market with small businesses that use them for free. They were an early version of cloud-based business services but never found a market of businesses that would pay for them. Nevertheless, they are products that have become essential to small companies.
Another of Google’s failed initiatives is Google+, which was meant to be the company’s Facebook killer. Alphabet has mostly abandoned the product, although it still has tens of millions of users.
Another group of Google products are largely curiosities, most developed years ago, and are expensive for Google to operate. First among these is Google Earth, which allows people to see satellite images of virtually the entire globe and is strong enough for people to zoom in on their own homes and properties.
Finally, Google has a long list of products that are obscure enough most people could not identify them. These include Google’s Camera product, which is not available in many countries. Also, Google Expeditions allows people to see the surfaces of other planets on virtual journeys, Google One Today allows people to give money to nonprofits and Google Nik Collections is a photo editing and enhancement product.
Google’s 157 products not only show the company’s broad reach, but also the areas where it has tried to be a major success and failed.