Recently, CNN.com ran an article titled “What should Google do with its $10 billion war chest?” It mentioned that Google’s $10 billion coffer is predicted to grow to $12 billion by the end of 2006.
What kind of a number is that, anyway: $10 billion, or even more so, $12 billion? The ‘B’ word does get bantered about quite a bit these days. Try $274 billion (and running) for the war in Iraq. Or Bill Gates’ net worth of $27.83 billion. Goodness! That is more money than the total global population of 6.5 billion.
But I digress. The original question was what should Google do with this $10 billion, give or take a couple of billion.
Of course the analysts have some ideas, none of which sounded very interesting, frankly: Saving for a rainy day (are they expecting an apocalyptic flood?), buying a bunch of small tech companies, international expansion, adding travel search, venturing into social and user-generated content, bla, bla, bla.
What to do with $10 billion dollars, indeed. I have a few ideas: stop world hunger, provide quality education for all our children, save our forests, stop global warming, and make the use of non-petroleum, non-nuclear, non-hydro alternative energy a reality.
The ramblings of tree-hugging dreamer you think? Perhaps. Just pick one, then. My choice would be quality education for all our children. Google could endow the nation’s schools an internet-connected computer for every student. The students could benefit from the enormous breadth of information available on the internet. There is power in knowledge. Put that power in the hands of our children. And, by providing this resource, Google would even make a good start of fulfilling its mission “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”