Google CEO: We Have no Real "Competitors", Apple's Fixation is Self-Destructive
December 11, 2012 4:45 PM
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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. (
) -- the maker of the world's most used search engine, most used online advertising service, and most used smartphone operating system platform.
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."
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
), and 10 percent is devoted to experimental efforts (like
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.
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."
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RE: Well said
12/12/2012 4:15:13 PM
This whole discussion has many good points.. Apple makes great products, and manages to market them at a much higher profit margin than their competitors (also helps them having the first successful content distribution system out there). They may not get there first, but they usually do it right, which was what drove them to their current popularity.
The last few years haven't exactly been revolutionary, though.. most importantly on the software end. iOS remains popular despite lack of new features with each new release (can't tell how many iPhone 4S users I know who wish they could downgrade from the recent updates); but OSX is the real issue, and is in serious danger of becoming entirely irrelevant. MS was hounded by letting so much time pass before offering a successor to XP, only to get demonized when a few changes were introduced with Vista -- where Apple has somehow gotten away with not offering any real changes to OSX in a decade. Sure, a total rewrite isn't necessary with the Darwin/FreeBSD core.. but a few improvements here and there certainly can't hurt. Whenever I'm stuck on a Mac, I feel like I time-traveled back to the days of netscape navigator with it's entirely bland and overly cumbersome interface.
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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