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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 8:18:49 PM , Rating: -1
How long do you think apple would continue to make money if they stopped making new iStuff.

Clearly not for long but that's as likely as California being wiped out by an astroid strike. The difference between Apple and Google is that Apple has entered new markets with new categories of products and in five years built a business with them that is bigger than both Google and Microsoft and Facebook and Amazon combined. That's innovation. Google had one very good money making idea fifteen years ago, since then zilch. So it's a bit rich getting lectures form Larry about innovation and the problems with Apple's business strategy.

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

Presumably bit like BMW say, who have failed to come up with the follow up to the automobile and lost their premium status.

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!

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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