Google co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Larry Page has revealed all in an interview at his company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, with Financial Times Magazine. Page stated that looking forward a century from now “we could probably solve a lot of the issues we have as humans.” He refuses to back down from Google’s original altruistic principles and the over sized ambitions he and co-founder Sergey Brin had when the company was first created. In fact, Page has even broadened Google’s original and famously far-reaching mission statement to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. The aim is to use funds from Google advertisements to partner in industries that are bound to grow in the future, including biotech and robotics. Of course, this leads to the question of whether Google needs a new mission statement. Page states “I think we do, probably”. However, when asked what the new statement should be he responded with “we’re still trying to work that out.”
Despite the expectation of a self-assured and conceited corporate figurehead, Page is said to display a characteristically tentative personal style during the interview. With responsibility for over 55,000 employees and running one of the world’s largest and most powerful technological companies Page has not changed his ambition and the flexibility and vastness of his ideas. Google finds itself exceeding $62 billion, with the CEO’s goals being bigger than those of other companies. Modestly, Page stated: “We’re trying to figure it out. How do we use all these resources… and have a much more positive impact on the world?” It’s all about long-term investment and future planning. While Google investors may be wary about the company’s bets on long-term future, Page says it all comes down to ambition, which is not seen in enough people or companies throughout the world.
Page believes that an internet company can be made with 10 people and have billions of users. While “it doesn’t take much capital… it makes a lot of money – a really, really lot of money – so it’s natural for everyone to focus on those kinds of things (sic)”. When asked why lots of company don’t succeed over time, Page states that they fundamentally miss the future. Page’s recent visit to a start-up company working on nuclear fusion caught his attention with the idea of low-cost energy. Yet another start-up has enthused him with the ability to “read” the mind of a human being shown visual imagery.
While Google is prepared to invest in all manner of technologies, including self-driving cars, diseases that afflict older people and a new biotech arm called Calico, the swift technological change has stirred up fear in some. However, Page states “I think people see the disruption but they don’t really see the positive. They don’t see it as a life-changing kind of thing… I think the problem has been people don’t feel they are participating in it.” Despite these comments, Page believes that in the future, mindsets will change and rapid improvements to artificial intelligence will allow computers and robots able to complete most jobs humans currently do.
Page also predicts a massive deflation as a result of technological impacting the prices of everyday goods and services. While he believes there may be a disruption on people’s jobs, Page states that it’s also likely to be paired with a decrease in the cost of items people need – well we hope so anyway! To support his idea, Page says that new technologies will make businesses 10 times more efficient, which leads to a down flow of lower prices and life could become much, much more comfortable.
“You can’t wish away these things from happening, they are going to happen”, Page, who believes in the capabilities of an ever changing economy. It’s all about positive significant impact for Page, who feels that robotics and artificially-intelligent machines may change every aspects of our day to day lives, including medicine.
Believing that having billions of dollars’ worth of resources and not using them to make people’s lives better is a crime, and having such ambition, Page is set to continue growing Google in ways we are yet to even imagine.