Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd May 2012 16:13 UTC
Google Google CEO Larry Page was interviewed on Charlie Rose recently, and there was certainly some interesting stuff in there. Sadly, the interview suffers from the curse of modern journalism in that it was all a bit timid and civil (no truly harsh and confronting questions), but despite that, it's still a good watch. Two quotes from Page really stood out to me.
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RE[3]: are you kidding?
by galvanash on Thu 24th May 2012 06:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: are you kidding?"
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

Particularly if those guys were deeply imbued with a shared culture that all information should be free and open to Google


Why throw those two words on the end? Are you implying that they believed that information should not be free and open to others back in their college days?

If you take those two words off the end, and remove the overly emphatic word "all" - you get this:

Particularly if those guys were deeply imbued with a shared culture that information should be free and open


If the tech industry had a bit more of that shared culture (and it could manage to survive an IPO fully intact) the world would be a much better place. But alas that is not the way it works...

that copying anything was OK, that casually cloning, undermining and killing other companies products was OK as long as it was for free and was 'open'.


Your making a morality case here - and your using it relative to a discussion about US tech companies... I know that for the purposes of campaign contributions businesses in the U.S. are the equivalent of citizens - but companies do not and never have made decisions based on "its the right thing to do" unless that was qualified with the suffix "to make more money".

Google is not Larry and Sergey - it hasn't been for at least a decade. Apple is not/was not the two Steves - that shipped sailed eons ago. These are no longer people we are talking about - decisions are ultimately made by the investors, for the investors. Publicly traded companies are simply machines for making more money - they don't care how as long as they can get away with it and not have the government step in and stop them.

What Larry and Sergey did or did not believe 15 years ago has almost no bearing whatsoever on the Google of today. "Do No Evil" is now "Do No Evil... if you can possibly avoid it without pissing off the board too much". I'm not complaining - that wishy-washy mission statement is loads better than most companies... Regardless, Larry and Sergey worry about what is good for their company, not about hurting Steve Job's feelings.

If releasing a free product will help them make more money, so what if the free product kills off businesses in the process? Yes - Google cannibalizes markets. You don't think Apple is cannibalizing the music industry right now??? The difference (as you pointed out) is that Google does do these things in the name of making free and open products (for whatever that is worth) - Apple does it because they really really like to make a metric f*ck-ton of money - they don't pretend otherwise.

Just to be clear - there is nothing at all wrong with that, but I'm not the one sounding like a spurned lover when describing Google. Google is Apple's competitor - not their ex-girlfriend.

Edited 2012-05-24 06:44 UTC

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