Scott Burns (ridiculously invasive registration required) column in today's Tennessean contains this note:
...Google, which, at its recently reduced $369 a share and $109 Billion marktet capitalization, is still valued at more than eight times General Motors and nearly twice as much as the entire newspaper industry."
He's talking about "residual" - an economics concept that entails value not captured by standard measures. The suggestion is that Google's value, (and Yahoo's, etc.) is the "residual" of lots of value that wasn't captured when tens of thousands of individuals put in untold hours of high-value time working on startups during the dot-com burst. And that work continues today. The value ultimately shows up somewhere, and part is in IPO's, stock prices of the companies that succeed, etc.
Google worth more than the newspaper industry? Does that make sense? Well, when's the last time you "newspapered" something? Eight times more valuable than GM? Well, if you had to bet, which organization would you say is more likely to survive twenty years from today, GM or Google? Very little "residual" value's gone into newspapers or automobiles (in this country) in recent years. And it shows.