Larry Page, one of the two legendary co-founders of Google, was named the company’s Chief Executive Officer in April last year. During his first year of tenure at the top of the Mountain View-based giant , he has overseen, among others, the roll out of Google Plus and the takeover of Motorola Mobility. Here are some key points from a recent Bloomberg Businessweek interview with Larry Page.
Page said that, over the years, Google has placed some big bets on things like Android, Chrome, or YouTube. While history shows that these are now some of the high points of Google, it could’ve easily gone the other way. Nevertheless, the company keeps pushing to bring new products to the market, such as Google Plus. As a long-term bet, the growth of Google’s own social network has exceeded Larry’s expectations and he is convinced that Google Plus will continue to grow faster than other similar services.
On Competing with Facebook
Larry lamented the fact that other companies are moving toward a “well-guarded state” and don’t reciprocate enough. According to him, Facebook is allowed to import many Gmail addresses, but it has yet to export any addresses. “One day you can import all of your Gmail contacts into Facebook and the next day try to export those out and they would not let you do that,” he said.
Tackling the question if he still sees Google as a search company, Larry explained that, basically, the soul of the company remains the same. At the end of the day, the company wants to improve people’s lives by making it easy for people to get information.
When pressed about what plans Google has for Motorola, Larry sidestepped the question and said that Google is excited about the opportunity. Many believe that the Motorola’s huge patents trove was one of the reasons why Google decided to buy Motorola, but Page maintained that Google has enough patents of its own and has been “successful without suing other people over intellectual property.”
The cuts went even deeper when he said that, “companies usually get into that (patent infringement lawsuit) when they’re toward the end of their life cycle or they don’t have confidence in their abilities to compete naturally.”
While he believes that Android tablets already offer users a great experience, things can only improve in the future. However, Larry refused to comment on the rumors about Google coming out with its own tablet and selling them directly online. He did mention that he currently uses a Samsung tablet – after owning a Motorola Xoom before.
Although the late Steve Jobs made his disdain over Android platform pretty clear on numerous occasions, Larry thinks that they were more of a show, one that will serve Apple’s interest. “For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that,” he explained. He said that he maintained a good relationship with the late pioneer, and Jobs even invited him for a discussion when Larry became Google CEO.