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Wired’s Interview of Google CEO

Eric Schmidt was interviewed recently by Wired. Some of the hightlights from the discussion include:


Now, with the Internet protocols you can pretty much plug in your own interpretation of how email should work and your own interpretation of how voice over IP should work.

And so was spawned a swarm of Web 2.0 companies all attempting to re-invent the wheel, now in a web browser. The interesting piece for me is the potential of sync. Newsgator is my favourite for this (multiple clients all sync’d to a central server allowing online and offline).

Google docs and spreadsheets don’t work if you’re on an airplane. But it’s a technical problem that is going to get solved. Eventually you will be able to work on a plane as if you are connected and, then when you get reconnected to the Internet, your computer will just synchronize with the cloud.

Could I have this? Please? Like yesterday?


The other interesting thing about pageviews is that we make our money by improving the quality, not the quantity, of ads showed on a page. This is very confusing to people. In a normal media business, you make money by showing more ads.

Organizational Structure

Google’s biggest scaling problem may actually be their culture. It is obviously something on their CEO’s mind.

It’s a constant problem. We analyze this every day, and our conclusion is that the best model remains small teams running as fast as they can and tolerating a certain lack of cohesion. The attempt to provide order drives out the creativity. And so it’s a balance.


Virtually all of the innovation at the company is still coming out of 20 percent time.

Innovation doesn’t happen by accident, it happens due to a good environment that encourages it. Part of this is allocating time to let it happen. The other part is providing incentives. At Google, a good 20 percent time project has the potential to turn into a fully branded Google product. One heck of a carrot for a developer.


We also know Google News, for example, which we don’t monetize, has had a tremendous impact on searches and on query quality. We know those people search more. Because we’ve measured it.


There is a lot of useful information in the interview and it is well worth a read.

Update: Wired has posted an earlier interview with Eric Schmidt. (link via daring fireball’s linked list)