Short-term hits to the wallet may ultimately be good for the company

The mother ship behind Android (that’d be Google) reported its Q4 earnings on Thursday, and while there isn’t a lot of Android-specific news to consider form the report (we did get small nuggets on the Nexus 6, Google Play usage and and Chromecast use), I know many of you are interested in Google as a whole, or even Google as an investment. So my mission here, as usual, is to summarize some of the most important data points and comments coming out of the earnings release and analyst conference call.

To frame this discussion, I think it’s important that people keep in mind Google’s tradition of focusing on long-term projects. Google’s founders control a large block of multiple voting stock, and this capital structure was designed with control in mind. Larry and Sergey don’t want Wall Street forcing them to worry about short-term performance. They want to be free to make very long term investments in projects that they expect to yield results way into the future.

We can look at projects like Google+ or Google Glass as potential failures. We can remind ourselves of all the beta products Google built only to shut down later. If we do this and act like the company’s track record is poor, we are acting exactly opposite to how I believe successful entrepreneurs act. Any great business leader will tell you that it’s important to fail at things. If you are not occasionally failing, you are not going after big enough goals.

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