Google: the awkward years


Did you see Google this morning? It sloped down the stairs at 11am, grimacing. It wouldn't do any of its homework and when we told it off for not having mowed the lawn, it told us we hated us and stormed towards the door. When we asked it where it was going, it said, 'out'.

We couldn't work out what was wrong with it - but then we remembered: today's it's birthday. A cause for celebration, you might think; but this is Google's 13th. Our little boy is now a surly, hormone-ridden, angst-laden teenager.

Yes, hard as it is to believe, it's 13 years since Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched a little search engine from their parents' garage (those Silicon Valley cliches, they never get old.) Now, Google is a monster, employing over 20,000 people. And like all new teenagers should, it's become prone to flashing its pocket money around, recently paying $12 billion to buy mobile phone manufacturer Motorola.

But of course, the teenage years are rarely easy ones. Google has to contend with a tough new rival in the social scene, Facebook, as well as spots and all the other problems that come from being that awkward age. What will it look like when it's 18 and all packed up for college? We'll have to wait and see.

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