I love that Stars page...why haven`t I seen this before? Amazing.
As for Google, I agree that they have made huge strides. However, I don't think that most people realize the kind of design work and management needed to accomplish it. Even this video that you posted left me wanting a better explanation.
One last thing, I think that a lot of people think that design is still a luxury. When we see huge companies like Google and Apple using design, it's expected. I'd like to see more case studies of small companies leveraging design to gain market advantage.
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper." - John Ruskin