Don't be Evil

"Don't be evil" was the one-time motto of Google. The Silicon Valley giant prided itself on being about people and not bottom-lines. Google used data to create new ways for people to get the most from technology. The internet search engine, maps and navigation, and commerce were all improved by Google, making our lives that much simpler, easier and more enjoyable. People were attracted to Google and the company's influence in society soared.

But the motto and influence did not last. Google's decline is an interesting lesson. The tech company, despite its philosophy, is a business at the end of the day, not a philanthropic organization. "Don't be evil" worked for the corporation until the profits started to even out and eventually drop. Google, thus, started to adopt approaches of other "evil" companies. In 2006, Google ventured into China to increase sales. The integrity of their search engine was compromised when the Chinese mandated a controlled search, and they ultimately left China in 2010, though rumor has it they are looking to return. In 2015, the company hired as its CFO an executive from Morgan Stanley. It was not some hipster, techie running the operations of the eclectic organization, but now a businessperson. Google became more complex, creating a conglomerate named Alphabet Inc., and is no longer on the cutting edge of creativity–—the one creating the change—but reacting to Facebook and Apple. In October 2015, the corporation officially changed its motto to "Do the Right Thing."

The gates of the netherworld prevailed against Google because the institution, unlike the Catholic Church, is about money and not strictly about souls.

back to top