Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Google CEO vows one right answer for every search and universal reach "we'll get them all, even the ones in the trees"

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 4, 2005

By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

It might be unfair of me to pull that quote from Eric Schmidt's Charlie Rose interview Friday, but it was there so what could I do?

It was an interesting interview even though Mr Rose did not understand much of the answers, or, many of the questions.

The questions were predictable and interesting answers were left unexplored, or even cut off in mid sentence as Mr Rose flailed and ultimately failed, to engage Mr Schmidt in a debate on any decent hot topic issue.

Still, there were some very good nuggets:

Google is the greatest calling--working for world peace through search

Everybody searching Google should only have to get one answer and that answer should always be right. It is very important that Google succeed in only giving one right answer. There is no better calling in life, said Mr Schmidt.

Search is a force for peace and a better world. Google will reveal how everybody lives and thinks and speaks and looks and that is beneficial to world peace. Societies get along better when they know/see/hear more about each other, Mr Schmidt said.

The Google recruitment pitch

Mr Schmidt says Google recruits by appealing to people who want to make big changes in the world and convince them that they should do it with Google. Why? Because Google has the scale in computing and organization.

And because of its size, Google represents the largest opportunity they will ever have in their lifetimes.

(Whew, ...that is one tough pitch to argue against.)

Google the innovation machine?

Mr Schmidt repeatedly spoke about innovation, and in a real way not like Microsoft, which peppers (and salts) the term innovation into near every public sentence uttered.

The competitive game is about who can innovate the fastest, who can build innovative teams the fastest. Money will do you no good. You have to know what is the most efficient sized team and process.

Google focuses 70 per cent on its core business, 20 per cent in adjacent businesses and 10 per cent on new ideas. Sergey's math skills "proved" this split to be most effective business strategy, Mr Schmidt explained.

We already knew its engineers spend about 20 per cent of their time working on new ideas, any ideas. Those that survive a review process are able to work on their new idea project full time, then they can start to recruit friends, (thus building self-organising teams--a key element of what we call the newrules enterprise).

Mobile phone becoming more important than PC

Vast areas of the world have no internet because there is no electricity. That's why mobile phones will be critical in extending Google's reach beyond the electric grid, such as in the Amazon, Mr Schmidt said. And that's the context of the headline quote, "We'll get them all, even the ones in the trees."

If a shipment of lava lamps arrives at your company

lavalamp.gifYou have just been acquired. Welcome to the Googleplex, your mission is to make the world a better place by publishing all of the world's information (or as much as you can beg, borrow or . . . persuade?).

Mr Schmidt said the lava lamps help introduce people to the Google way.

I just saved you an hour. You are welcome.

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