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Google turns 13 today! It seems hard to believe that there was a time when we didn’t turn to Google to look up everything from driving directions to restaurant recommendations. 13 years. That was the time when Microsoft was fighting the monopoly stigma and dealing with anti-trust lawsuits, and Google was the young and idealistic newcomer!

Many, many happy returns of the day!

I still remember the first time I heard about this new search engine. We were visiting family in Boston and were at Faneuil Hall – upper level – and a friend mentioned Google. She was still in college at that time I believe, and she couldn’t stop raving about it. I came home and checked it out and the speed and volume of relevant information was so noticeable that it was a seamless adoption! Do you remember when you jumped on the Google bandwagon?

And now come the teen years. Will Google go through a period of defiance and uncertainty? Will there be angst about making a mark on the social network? Will there be the mixed messages about being the fresh-faced kid on some days and a mature adult on others? Yes, it seems like Google will go through a brand version of all this. It may be hard to no longer be the “good child”, and to have to worry about how that young kid, Facebook, keeps changing the rules of the game, but I believe that if Google stays true to its core principles, it will emerge strong and confident!

So, here’s my advice to this new teenager:

  • Be the defining force of the Information Age.
  • Do it better than anybody has ever done it before.
  • Continue to raise the bar in terms of offering targeted and pertinent information.
  • Maintain the trust of friends – don’t be tempted to share others’ secrets.
  • Explore opportunities.
  • Don’t get distracted by every new fad.
  • Leave some of the world for others to conquer!
Google, happy birthday! Here’s wishing you many more years of continued success!