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Schmidt admits that he thought the "don't be evil" slogan was stupid when he first came to Google

In a recent interview with NPR, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said that he used to think his company's famous slogan -- "don't be evil" -- was stupid.

NPR host Peter Sagal interviewed Schmidt recently on a segment called "Not My Job," which humorously speaks with important leaders and includes a game of some sort. 

Sagal asked Schmidt how Google came up with the slogan, "don't be evil." 

"Well, it was invented by Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin]," said Schmidt. "And the idea was that we don't quite know what evil is, but if we have a rule that says don't be evil, then employees can say, I think that's evil. Now, when I showed up, I thought this was the stupidest rule ever, because there's no book about evil except maybe, you know, the Bible or something.

"So what happens is, I'm sitting in this meeting, and we're having this debate about an advertising product. And one of the engineers pounds his fists on the table and says, that's evil. And then the whole conversation stops, everyone goes into conniptions, and eventually we stopped the project. So it did work."

Sagal then humorously accused Schmidt of being the "businessman" type out of the group (among Page and Brin) who felt that an American business couldn't be evil. 

"You're coming in, like, you're a businessman who's been successful in all kinds of Silicon Valley business," said Sagal. "And you come in, and you're like this thing about not being evil, that'll never work in American business. What, are you crazy, kids?"

Sagal and Schmidt discussed a few other topics as well, such as Google Glass. Sagal asked Schmidt what the glasses are used for exactly. 

"Well, we don't quite know yet," said Schmidt. "We have maybe 2,000 of these. We've shipped them out to developers, and we're seeing what they develop. There's obviously issues, shall we say, of appropriateness of how people are going to use these things. There's a right time to have Google Glass on, and there's a right time to have it off, if you take my drift. 

"So kind of watch and see what people do with it and then decide what to do."

Source: NPR

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RE: Google Glass is the future
By NA1NSXR on 5/14/2013 9:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
This kind of errant thinking was throughly debunked by Adam Smith 200 years ago. It is the masses of have-nots throughout history who have complained of the greed and lies of those of those who have, yet never improved their condition over the course of over a thousand years. It is the profit motive that was the real liberating and quantum leap in human thinking which lead to an unprecedented improvement in the standard of living for all, even for the poorest among us, in a scant two centuries.

People pursuing their own interests for selfish economic purposes, cooperating voluntarily with those they wish to, is the only system in recorded history that has improved the human condition. It is proven to maximize the freedom of the individual and the benefit of the masses to the greatest extent.

History doesn't bear out your story. At all.

By inperfectdarkness on 5/16/2013 4:12:04 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. But most people's views on Ayn Rand only extend to playing Bioshock.

Selfish pursuit of happiness is what has pushed progress; yet it is disparaged as barbaric & evil.

RE: Google Glass is the future
By karimtemple on 5/16/2013 8:57:41 AM , Rating: 3
By oversimplifying the situation, you've missed almost every point. You think the "profit motive" was something invented centuries ago? The world truthfully hasn't changed all that much -- the only 'quantum leaps' we've had have been due to the decrease of the legitimacy of violence, the increase in cooperative thinking, and science .

Selfishness is not a virtue and it's not a tool; it's just there. It's just one reality of the way consciousness works. What guides it to being either useful or detrimental is principle (or the lack thereof). Ayn Rand was an idiot.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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