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 JAlexoid on Thu 24th May 2012 00:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: are you kidding?"
JAlexoid
Member since:
2009-05-19

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

I'm sorry, do you know them personally to make such conclusions?

There is zero evidence that Apple "have been looking to shutdown the Android competition, which hasn't really been working out swell for them"

Asserting patent claims that go beyond the UI and anything visual is, in fact, such evidence. I can understand that "slide-to-unlock" is more of a visual element, but real time API patent?

At that point Android had to retool and reorient and it had to adopt the same design paradigm as the iPhone and be at least good enough so that the Android OEMs could sell against the iPhone.

Ask Diane Hackborn about it, or read her comments.

No one makes much money from mobile advertising.

Google made 7% of their total revenue, that is not a small amount.


I remain unconvinced that Android is the correct answer to Google's long term problems with mobile and I think they remain between a rock and hard place. I wonder if an ever deeper alliance with Apple might have been a better bet, but I understand that maybe Google thought it too risky because a rampant and dominant Apple might have screwed them eventually. Tough call.

Deeper alliance with Apple wouldn't have made a difference in the situation, while still leaving Google "out cold" if Apple ever decided to ditch Google. Android is the moat around their castle, that works perfectly well.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: are you kidding?
by Tony Swash on Thu 24th May 2012 13:59 in reply to "RE[3]: are you kidding?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22


I'm sorry, do you know them personally to make such conclusions?


I don't know them personally but I have read extensively on Google and it's founders including several books, many article and interviews. I have also observed Google's actions over many years. The the evidence I feel is pretty strong that it is correct saying that the culture of Google is "that all information should be free and open to Google, that copying anything was OK". I do not know of any evidence that the two founders of Google hold different views than that expressed by Google's collective culture or have battled to change that culture, and in many interviews they seem to endorse it. I am surprised that anybody finds this controversial. Google wants to open up all the world's data for inspection. Is that not what Google says it wants? If one believes such a thing as a central organising pillar of one's corporate culture (irrespective of whether it is a good or bad thing) then certain patterns of behaviour will result.


There is zero evidence that Apple "have been looking to shutdown the Android competition, which hasn't really been working out swell for them"

Asserting patent claims that go beyond the UI and anything visual is, in fact, such evidence. I can understand that "slide-to-unlock" is more of a visual element, but real time API patent?



But how is that evidence of Apple's strategic goals? That is just one tactical legal battle in a legal war, the issue at point is what is the aim of that war. It is often, lazily, claimed it is to 'shut down the competition'. I am arguing that not only is that not the aim of Apple's legal war but that such an aim is patently absurd and would only be pursued by foolish people. I don't think Apple's management look like such fools. It's perfectly possible to still object to Apple's legal actions whilst making statement that are accurate about what they are doing and why. Spouting inaccurate hyperbole is never good for one's cause in my experience.


No one makes much money from mobile advertising.

Google made 7% of their total revenue, that is not a small amount.


First off one has to bear in mind that Google make more money from iOS than from Android. That has been confirmed by Google in public statements and is not disputed.

Horace Dediu at Asymco calculates that overall, Android could amount to about 3.5% of total Google revenues and about 5% of operating earnings.

http://www.asymco.com/2012/05/16/androids-contribution-to-google/

Horace in another article calculates that Google receives a contribution of $2.75 per device per year from Android

http://www.asymco.com/2012/05/14/the-android-income-statement/

Lets assume that Android reaches an installed base of 1 billion devices in the next couple of years and that all of those devices include Google services and thus generate income for Google at the rate that such devices appear to do. That means 1 billion Android devices earns Google around $2.75 billion per year (which tallies nicely with your $7% figure). So with a billion devices Google's Android business is nice but not spectacular and will not break even for several years (until the costs of the wholly Android based Motorola acquisition are recouped for example).

The crucial strategic issue for Google and for any assessment of it's Android strategy is whether those mobile revenues are additional to Google's existing business. If one believes, as I do, that the rise of mobile internet connected computing devices will lead to a long term and secular decline in desktop computing then Google may be faced with declining revenues. This is because of the key point I made and which you did not address which is that all evidence indicates strongly that each mobile user generate much less advertising income than each desktop user and almost all of Google's income is from advertising.

Finally as a comparison of the merits of relative business strategies one can compare Google's mobile business strategy (Android) to Apple's (selling integrated devices attached to content stacks).

Google makes about $2.75 per handset.

Apple makes a profit of $357 per iPhone and continues to make revenue in relation to content transactions.

Do the math. If both iOS and Android reach a billion devices each (which is quite possible and in fact likely) which business strategy is better?

If the internet based on desktop browsers actually declines how can Google make up the shortfall in revenues from mobile?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: are you kidding?
by JAlexoid on Thu 24th May 2012 16:35 in reply to "RE[4]: are you kidding?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

But how is that evidence of Apple's strategic goals?

Actually using it as an offensive weapon? It's more of an evidence than "I've read about them a lot".

Spouting inaccurate hyperbole is never good for one's cause in my experience.

Yep. I will turn this sentence in your second paragraph against your first paragraph.


First off one has to bear in mind that Google make more money from iOS than from Android

So? You did use the word "mobile", didn't you? (Not android, not smartphones, not iOS.)

Finally as a comparison of the merits of relative business strategies one can compare Google's mobile business strategy (Android) to Apple's (selling integrated devices attached to content stacks).


Google's mobile strategy is obviously not Android only. In fact, considering the options, Android was the best business decision Google made in mobile.
But hey, if you can compare a product company's overall business strategy and a service company's overall business strategy and say one of them is better, you might want to claim that oranges are better than apples.(or maybe you're implying that oranges should become apples?)

Edited 2012-05-24 16:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4