Google CEO Larry Page invokes Steve Jobs in interview, defends ambitious Google X projects

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2014
In a wide-ranging interview published Friday, Google CEO Larry Page briefly touched on late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs to highlight the differences between the two companies, one being hyper-focused on a small set of products and another with fingers in seemingly everything.

Larry Page


Page's mention of Jobs came in response to a question from the Financial Times regarding the limitations naturally imposed on a single technology company attempting to remain relevant in a quickly changing landscape.

"He would always tell me, 'You're doing too much stuff.' I'd be like, 'You're not doing enough stuff,'" Page said of Jobs. The Google exec explained to Jobs, "It's unsatisfying to have all these people, and we have all these billions we should be investing to make people's lives better. If we just do the same things we did before and don't do something new, it seems like a crime to me."

Aside from its ad business, search engine and Android operations, Google has expanded to a number of other bleeding edge industries in hopes of tapping in to future tech before it becomes the "next big thing."

So far, it seems the company is intent on creating tech hegemonies in areas like smart home products, health and robotics. The latter is most apparent with Google's high-profile driverless car initiative and major investments like last year's acquisition of military contractor Boston Dynamics.

Unlike Google, Apple focuses on a few key consumer product lines, including the iPhone, iPad and Mac, only recently expanding into the world of mobile payments with Apple Pay. The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant does sink millions of dollars into research and development, always keeping secret projects tightly sealed behind closed doors. There has been little evidence that Apple is working on ambitious "moon shots," however.

While optimistic on Google's chances to make it in next-generation tech, Page acknowledges the difficulty of being a successful leader across .

"What Steve said is right - 'you, Larry, can only manage so many things,'" Page said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    Given the fact that Google still continues to launch multiple competing products in the same markets (ChromeCast & AndroidTV, ChromeOS and Android, Gmail and Inbox, etc) it's obvious he hasn't learned anything.
  • Reply 2 of 83
    And what was the first thing Steve Jobs did after he ousted Amelio?

    Get rid of all the research projects that had nothing to do with the core business.
  • Reply 3 of 83
    Google is the company that has hundreds of products in perpetual beta; then cancels them. He has the balls to say to Steve Jobs that Apple is not doing enough stuff? F--K OFF Larry.
  • Reply 4 of 83

    Google: Jack of all trades, master of one.

  • Reply 5 of 83
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member

    F this guy.

  • Reply 6 of 83

    "It's unsatisfying to have all these people, and we have all these billions we should be investing to make people's lives better. If we just do the same things we did before and don't do something new, it seems like a crime to me."

     

    What a douche. Painting Steve with a brush that he was not focusing on improving peoples lives.

  • Reply 7 of 83
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    . . . "He would always tell me, 'You're doing too much stuff.' I'd be like, 'You're not doing enough stuff,'" Page said of Jobs. The Google exec explained to Jobs, "It's unsatisfying to have all these people, and we have all these billions we should be investing to make people's lives better. If we just do the same things we did before and don't do something new, it seems like a crime to me."



    Aside from its ad business, search engine and Android operations, Google has expanded to a number of other bleeding edge industries in hopes of tapping in to future tech before it becomes the "next big thing."

     

    I like how Page slyly implies Apple isn't doing enough with its "billions," as if pushing more Viagra ads out onto the Internet isn't a "crime."  Of course, in the search for the "next big thing," Google's products are (as Steve said) "shit."  Maybe Google will get the watch right now that Apple has shown them how its done.  <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" /> 

  • Reply 8 of 83

    All fluff and no meat - reads like a PR piece - No talk of monopoly power, state department influence, NSA, evil eric's future, google + fail, sales of glass... 

  • Reply 9 of 83

    And they didn't ask him why Andy "Android" left?

  • Reply 10 of 83
    mazecookie wrote: »
    "It's unsatisfying to have all these people, and we have all these billions we should be investing to make people's lives better. If we just do the same things we did before and don't do something new, it seems like a crime to me."

    What a douche. Painting Steve with a brush that he was not focusing on improving peoples lives.

    Pretty much. Jobs did more to improve people's lives and change the planet than Google will ever do.
  • Reply 11 of 83
    I bet SJ eventually realised he wasted his time on this douche, he's just too stupid.
  • Reply 12 of 83
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    Pretty much. Jobs did more to improve people's lives and change the planet than Google will ever do.



    Agreed.

     

    With the rate Apple accelerated industries, like with the PC, it makes me question whether Google would even be around if Steve had not made Apple.

     

    Would Google be something that came 5-10 years later, and by that time Page had left university and worked for HP or something. Who knows.

  • Reply 13 of 83
    The best part is Larry and Co don't mention that projects like Inbox that is in beta and several others are developed and architected by former NeXT/Apple engineers who after about a year leave Google and have absolutely no interest in returning.

    The principle designer for Inbox is a fellow NeXT Alum who wrote DBKit [and of course didn't leave on good terms by fucking us on a project called Soups which was true collaborative editing just now seeing some promise around the industry].
  • Reply 14 of 83
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    There's not a single thing in that interview as to why Google totally collapsed in ten years time...
  • Reply 15 of 83
    The best part is Larry and Co don't mention that projects like Inbox that is in beta and several others are developed and architected by former NeXT/Apple engineers who after about a year leave Google and have absolutely no interest in returning.

    The principle designer for Inbox is a fellow NeXT Alum who wrote DBKit [and of course didn't leave on good terms by fucking us on a project called Soups which was true collaborative editing just now seeing some promise around the industry].

    Not related to soups on the Newton, is it?
  • Reply 16 of 83
    Google, like Nvidia, tells everyone what it plans to do, exciting the fan base with futuristic ideas. Everyone knows that Google is working on driverless cars. Fewer people realize that every car maker and lots of other companies have been working on the same things, and are likely in a better position to monetize their work.

    Just look at phones, tablets, TV boxes, and everything else Google has tried to duplicate, with resounding failure. It's trying lots of things but has very little to show for all this. It still makes the majority of its money from desktop advertising, the same thing it was doing in 2005.

    Apple's few new things have each turned into massive new businesses. The iPhone is a $100B business, but iPad is now a $30 billion business just 4 years after it was introduced, iTunes and the App Store are an $18 billion business, Apple TV and accessories are a $6 billion business, and Apple is launching Apple Pay and Watch as entirely new business segments.

    Google sells $55 billion of ads and invests in a lot of things that haven't really taken off or have completely flopped. It's all beta concepts that never take flight.
  • Reply 17 of 83
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    "It's unsatisfying to have all these people, and we have all these billions we should be investing to make people's lives better. If we just do the same things we did before and don't do something new, it seems like a crime to me."

    So lets just copy Apple's products. Now that's something "new" and makes people's lives better!!
  • Reply 18 of 83
    tomhqtomhq Posts: 22member
    I for one am glad we have both types of companies out there.
  • Reply 19 of 83

    I'm surprised that Larry Page invokes Jobs so often. He seems to have so little insight into what made Apple successful. And of course the different approaches to product development are quite revealing. Apple going over each new product again and again for years until it is ready for Prime Time. Google going off in a thousand directions, some useful, some half-assed, and wasting far too much of their creative resources.

     

    Google Glass is a perfect example. Hey kids, let's introduce glasses as wearable tech -- without having figured out the privacy issue first. And now a technology with potential is a joke because they didn't plan for situations in which the glasses could intrude on the personal space of others. You can't just come up with good ideas. You need to build in the product's inherent greatness from the start.

  • Reply 20 of 83
    Given the fact that Google still continues to launch multiple competing products in the same markets (ChromeCast & AndroidTV, ChromeOS and Android, Gmail and Inbox, etc) it's obvious he hasn't learned anything.

    I've heard it called the "two of everything strategy." It's not that Apple doesn't use that internally--for example, setting Scott Forstall's and Tony Fadell's teams to come up with competing OS strategies for the iPhone, but Apple chooses ONE solution before selling it to the public.
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