Larry Page sat down with Fortune and Miguel Helft recently to discuss some of the finer points about Google (when Google is involved it's usually always a 'finer point') and the future of the company. Fortune claims he's "press-shy", but he certainly seemed quite the opposite in regards to his answers. I think the right words to describe Page are humble and modest.
I was certainly expecting something a little more CEO-ish in perspective, from one the world's largest tech companies ever. Evidently, that couldn't be farther from the truth.
One of the most prominent issues that Page tackled in the interview is in response to the question of why Google has not released a Nexus device from their new Motorola Mobility investment yet. To which Page simply responded, "we haven't owned the company long enough."
Well played Page, well played.
"The right way to think about it is how do we get amazing products into users' hands in the most cost-effective, highest quality way possible and to the most people. That's what we do as a business, and that's what we've done with Android."Advertisement
"Part of the reason why we've done Nexus devices in the past is that we want to build an amazing device that kind of showcases what's possible on Android, gives a way for the programmers to get early builds, does a whole bunch of things that are important. Exactly what we do, which devices we do, what the timing is, how we release the software with them, all those things have been changing."
Many of us have known for a while that the Nexus line was specifically designed with developers in mind, but to hear it straight from Page's mouth is certainly new. It's also remarkable just how popular the Nexus line is with consumers as well, not only because of the incredible cost to feature ratio, but also because of what the label has to offer. Most people just can't get enough of the Android ecosystem these days, and the Nexus line offers a fully unspoilt and natural environment. It's only natural that the brand would take off.
Even with Android's tremendous success, Page outlined that the platform is in the relatively early stages of monetization. This is partly due to the fact that Google is just now discovering some of the best ways to generate revenue from the platform.
"We made our bets really early on on Android. We thought that the mobile experiences really needed a rethink, right? That was correct. It's been very successful. And I think because of that experience and the knowledge that we put into developing Android and our understanding that, we understand that space really well. I think we're in the early stages of monetization. The fact that a phone has a location is really helpful for monetization."
Speaking of bets, Page also agrees that Google Plus was a "big bet," at least when it was first launched. He says that Google Plus is all about sharing, and making things much more straightforward.
"We had 18 different ways of sharing stuff before we did Plus. Now we have one way that works well, and we're improving."
As for Page's unique take on how Google Plus is faring in the competitive social networking market, he says that he's happy with the current rate of success.
"I think it's gone pretty well. I'm very happy if users of Plus are happy and the numbers are growing because that means that we're on to something. We've got a huge team actually in this building. If you walk around, you see everyone's excited and running around and working hard on it. I think that they're doing great stuff. They're making it better and better every day. That's how I'm measuring it."Advertisement
This is excellent news indeed, especially considering the active user base of Google Plus is growing at a considerable rate. In fact, the social network is one of the company's fastest growing products ever, besides the divine Android platform, of course.
This is an opportune time to plug Larry Page's Google+ profile, just in case you want to – you know – add him to your circles.
Larry Page as CEO of Google
Page described his role, of vying for the top space in the market, much differently than what we usually hear from a CEO.
"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. Our job is to think of the thing you haven't thought of yet that you really need."
He says that the current state of the market is a "shame," and I wholeheartedly agree with him.
"All the big technology companies are big because they did something great. I'd like to see more cooperation on the user side. The Internet was made in universities and it was designed to interoperate. And as we've commercialized it, we've added more of an island-like approach to it, which I think is a somewhat a shame for users."
No doubt the "island-like" way that he speaks of refers to the blatant need to generate more revenue. It's no secret that a lot of the big names in the business care less about the "user side," and more about the financial gains. It's definitely refreshing to hear that such a humble and decent figure is seated atop the glorious throne of Google.
Of course, this may produce a minor coating or glaze over our eyes, but it's not hard to see that Google is also focused primarily on financial gain. You don't get to be that dominant without worrying about your gains at least a little bit.
Page says that he doesn't know how long he'll remain CEO of the company, but that he's "motivated to make Google into something even more amazing and have a really tremendous positive impact on the world ultimately."
"What I'm trying to do is to get a technology company that continues to scale its impact and aspirations in its everyday. We're at a certain scale now, but I don't see any particular reason why we shouldn't be much bigger, more impactful than we are now. So that's what I'm trying to figure out. And I think I have a lot of ideas about how to do that, and gradually, every day we increase our scale a little bit. It's probably incremental in that way. And that's my job, right, is to create shareholder value and create value for the end users."
To read more of the Fortune exclusive interview between Miguel Helft and Google's CEO Larry Page (hopefully you know who he is by now), please visit the source link below.