Google was founded only a decade ago and it has long been an essential part of our lives. Here is the Google mission statement: To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and available, a job that Google CEO Eric Schmidt estimated (in 2005) would take around 300 years.
One of the ideas that makes the company great is its 70/20/10 philosophy: It spends 70% of its resources on its core business, the search; 20% on related areas, such as Google News and Google Earth; and 10% on employee initiated projects that may be related to nothing else that Google currently works on. Imagine what your job would be like if your boss asked you to devote 10% of your work day exploring subjects of interest to you! The results for the employee? Personal freedom, intellectual stimulation, and loyalty to the company. The results for Google? Innovations that become important in the long run.
Here is the Google Factory Tour webcast--an exploration of the company, its people, and its ideas and philosophy. The video is several hours long, but I am working my way through it and am finding every minute fascinating. It took place way back in 2005, even before the release of Google Earth, but it is still a window into one of the world's most innovative and successful companies.