If you bought Google during IPO or around when it hit the market you probably thought your were pretty smart. At the time you might not have been so convinced and perhaps as you saw a sizable enough gain you dumped it? My grandfather always says don’t apologize for a profit, but the concept of the long-game couldn’t be more obvious with Mountain View.
Google’s IPO was not deemed highly successful at the time. The Nasdaq was suffering from weakness, the first-day pop of Google shares was less dramatic than people hoped for, and it was commonly written that Google was massively overpriced. Bill Gates said “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.” I think he was right, and Google is an excellent example of this, along with Apple, Netflix, Priceline Group, Facebook and plenty of other growth stocks that lead their markets.
When Google went public there was no YouTube and it was practically impossible to do anything data-centric on a mobile device. There was no Android, and most people didn’t expect us to move so heavily towards mobile technology. We also probably didn’t think that, ten years later (today), Google would look interesting because of wearable computing or self-driving cars.
But even with all that’s changed, Google is still primarily an advertising business. AdWords and Adsense are still the big drivers of revenue. They’ve just gotten a whole lot bigger. So happy anniversary and wise investing!