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.
"Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at...." Thoreau