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Larry Page says that when you're obsessed with the present you're not looking ahead to the future

"We're still 1 percent to where we should be. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to try to move things along. Not enough people are focused on big change. Part of what I'm trying to do is take Google as a case study and really scale our ambition such that we are able to cause more positive change in the world and more technological change."

"I have a deep feeling that we are not even close to where we should be."

I. Google -- Doing Its Own Thing

Those sound like the words of a CEO of a company struggling technologically.  But surprisingly the come from Larry Page, the current CEO of Google Inc. (GOOG) -- the maker of the world's most used search engine, most used online advertising service, and most used smartphone operating system platform.

In a new interview with Fortune, Mr. Page emphasizes Google's philosophy on how it differs from competitors.  He says that most rivals who have issues with Google are more worried about themselves than their end users, where as at Google it's all about providing the best experience for the end user, which is built on the premise of openness.  By providing Google services on as many platforms as possible (even those of arch-nemesis Apple, Inc. (AAPL)), Mr. Page says customers will have access to the best options on the market.

As for Apple locking out Google Maps and other apps from iOS 6, he simply comments, "We try pretty hard to make our products be available as widely as we can. That's our philosophy. I think sometimes we're allowed to do that. Sometimes we're not."

Larry Page
Google CEO Larry Page [Image Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek]

The CEO accuses Apple (and its late CEO Steven P. Jobs) as being overly fixated on Google.  Reiterating his comments from a previous interview, he says that Apple's legal campaign against Google is partly to rally the company against its competitor.

But he says that if you're fixated on your competitor, you're not looking forward at your own future.  He remarks, "I don't like to rally my company in that way because I think that if you're looking at somebody else, you're looking at what they do now, and that's not how again you stay two or three steps ahead."

To him, Google has no real "competitors".  He comments, "I feel my job is mostly getting people not to think about our competition. In general I think there's a tendency for people to think about the things that exist."

II. Risky Efforts are Important to Software Giant

The interviewer asks about Google's so-called "70-20-10 model" in which 70 percent of the company's spending is devoted to search/advertising, 20 percent is devoted to apps (like Google Docs), and 10 percent is devoted to experimental efforts (like self-driving cars and Project Glass).

He says that Google still mostly follows that model, but that some projects fall on the border of categories.  He comments, "So where would you put Android? It's probably in the 70 in terms of impact -- the monetization is at an early stage."

As for Google Plus, he says the social network is faring "pretty well" and is "improving".  He suggests that with Plus and other services users may not have received quite what they initially expected, but that Google's philosophy is that users must get accustomed to services before making judgements.

Google Plus
Page is optimistic about Google Plus. [Image Source: Google]

As for how long he will remain CEO at Google (Eric Schmidt was chief for 10 years), he says, "I don't know. It seems impossible to predict."

Source: Fortune



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RE: Well said
By Tony Swash on 12/11/2012 7:10:51 PM , Rating: -1
quote:
But he says that if you're fixated on your competitor, you're not looking forward at your own future.  He remarks.


Over 90% of Google's revenues come from products that are over a decade old, over 80% of Apple's revenues comes from products that did not exist over six year ago, Apple has built a $30 billion plus a year business on a product that did not exist two and half years ago.

quote:
"I don't like to rally my company in that way because I think that if you're looking at somebody else, you're looking at what they do now, and that's not how again you stay two or three steps ahead."


That's rich from the company that redesigned it's phone OS to look like iOS, that built a tablet after Apple created the mass tablet market, that copied Facebook with Google+. Other than the original Adsense and Pagerank what product has Google been the first with to the market in the last decade?

I loved the bit about Android monetization being "at an early stage". Android is a cost center for Google. It is an utter failure from the point of view of Google's business and a failure in terms of resolving Google's gigantic strategic problem which is that ad income (Google's only source of revenue) on mobile devices is a fraction of ad income on the desktop and the former is eclipsing the latter when it comes to internet usage. That's what Android is supposed to have addressed and it has failed to do so, great chunks of the the Android ecosystem are Google free (Kindle, China, the Nook) and even in the parts that includes Google services Android earns less revenue for Google than iOS. If it's all going so swimmingly well why doesn't Google release Nexus sales figures? Or an Android cost -revenue breakdown?

Page thinks Google has no real "competitors". No competitor in a business sector facing shrinkage. Every single statistic and analysis points to the same basic fact, ads earn significantly less income per user on mobile devices compared to desktop/laptop users. In five years the vast majority of internet access will be via devices and probably via apps, and nobody clicks on the ads.

quote:
We try pretty hard to make our products be available as widely as we can. That's our philosophy.

Like Turn by Turn in maps on iOS? I guess that one slipped off of Google's radar somehow.

Only Samsung and Apple are making any money in the new mobile device markets. All the other big players in mobile are a commercial failure, all of them. Apple is still growing very strongly, it's sales and profits are all growing strongly.

This diagram says it all.
http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/12/11/smartphone-...

One final indicator - Chitika, compared the web traffic generated by Nexus tablets to the Surface RT as a percentage of tablet web traffic. The Nexus was 0.91% and Surface was 0.13% of tablet web traffic. Guess which tablet go always scores over 90% on tablet web traffic?

http://insights.chitika.com/2012/microsoft-surface...


RE: Well said
By Jereb on 12/11/2012 7:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
"Over 90% of Google's revenues come from products that are over a decade old"

So what if google is making most of it's money off of long term technology. How long do you think apple would continue to make money if they stopped making new iStuff. About a year, maybe 2? Fact is Apple has no ability to generate continuing longterm cashflow from old products. Not when everyone replaces there phones every few years.

That's rich from the company that redesigned it's phone OS to look like iOS, that built a tablet after Apple created the mass tablet market, that copied Facebook with Google+. Other than the original Adsense and Pagerank what product has Google been the first with to the market in the last decade?

Well didn't apple take inspiration of tablet technology from the first people who made tablets? How is that different to Google opening a social network similar to facebooks? And isn't apple starting to fall behind in terms of bringing things to the market first, the iPhone 5 was a bit lackluster on new features.

I would say that android is still apples biggest threat, android has been picking up pace and apple has been losing market value and share.

I'd say unless Apple releases another game changer they are going to lose their premium product status.

Also, what the hell is with iMAC's using the mobility version of AMD's graphics cards!! Those are for laptops Apple!! BAD APPLE!!!


RE: Well said
By Tony Swash on 12/11/12, Rating: -1
RE: Well said
By Dorkyman on 12/11/2012 8:46:58 PM , Rating: 5
Time will tell about Apple's future performance, but please, enough with the cult worshiping. I worked for Apple for four years, I know all about thinking differently, left the company on good terms in order to start my own project.

Jobs had a knack of coming up with "insanely great" products with few exceptions. Now he's gone. Nothing stays the same forever. We'll see how Apple does; so far in the past few months we've seen some goofs that never would have happened a few years ago.


RE: Well said
By spaced_ on 12/12/2012 3:37:04 AM , Rating: 2
Ahh. You're always good for a laugh when I come here.

You remind me of when I wanted to start a religious cult when I was younger. Just you know, to get free money, from the believers. They'd be happy, I'd be happy. Win, win.

I certainly admire Jobs for his ability to influence people. He built a multi-billion dollar empire and a cult to go with it. But, he was a self-obsessed nutbag, so for that, unfortunately, he loses brownie points with me.

It is interesting though, looking at the similarities in neurotheology to company worship these days. I kind of found it annoying, irritating, the company worship. But I have a different perspective now, it is a tool that I can use. And I could use it to do good with. I certainly don't need to start a cult anymore, just start a company and ensure I target the right audience.

I don't care about benefiting myself anymore, I'm too old for that, so I'd probably look to put the proceeds towards something meaningful. Still, I appreciate the future revenue stream. Thanks. Keep up the good work!


RE: Well said
By Richard875yh5 on 12/12/2012 9:51:38 AM , Rating: 2
"I'd say unless Apple releases another game changer they are going to lose their premium product status." I'd say Apple already lost their premium product status to Samsung. From here on they are only going deeper in the hole with their law suits.


RE: Well said
By MartyLK on 12/12/2012 1:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd say Apple already lost their premium product status to Samsung. From here on they are only going deeper in the hole with their law suits.


This is pretty much correct, technically. Though they are still highly valued and premium products to a huge number of people, still.

I have a GS3, and although the best phone in the market right now, it doesn't have the build quality of the iPhone. It's close, and certainly more than acceptable, but just not quite the hardware that hardware-worshipers would go crazy about.

But for functionality, features and overall quality, the GS3 spanks Apple's ass.


RE: Well said
By Autisticgramma on 12/12/2012 10:50:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Over 90% of Google's revenues come from products that are over a decade old, over 80% of Apple's revenues comes from products that did not exist over six year ago, Apple has built a $30 billion plus a year business on a product that did not exist two and half years ago.


Yes but for how long? Apple tends to flash bright, and burn out. We're seeing that decline now. With out something (Some one mentioned oled displays, now that's something!)they're going to be 1999 apple again. (pre ipod)

I'm sad to say that since the lawsuits started apple has been playing catch up on the phones. My 18 year old niece gave her iphone to goodwill! for the Galaxy3, a year ago you would have thought it was also a pacemaker. (OMG I'll DIE!) All the evidence I need, my stock sold at >$600.

Apple did some amazing things during the '00s, it will be remembered fondly.

However Anthony, your apple bone- I mean love is showing. We're all embarrassed for you, here's a pillow.


"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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