Iinnovate has an excellent interview with Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt. He discusses many topics around the theme of entrepreneurship and management but also touches on other topics during the 20-minute interview.
One point Danny and I found interesting from the interview was how he replied to the question on “what the characteristics of an entrepreneur?” They specifically noted YouTube, as an example to an entrepreneurial type of company when they asked Mr. Schmidt. Schmidt replied:
I think the most important characteristic of an entrepeneur is that they’re going to do it whether you give them permission or not.
Danny and I were talking about how this quote may come back to haunt Mr. Schmidt, in that this can be taken to mean that Google knew that YouTube was violating copyright law. Danny and I both feel that Eric Schmidt did not mean to imply this, but we both feel that it can be seen that way.
Outside of that quote here are some more highlights from the interview that I found interesting:
- Schmidt teaches at Stanford because he learns from his students.
- Google has a competitive advantage in that they can build out their infrastructure quicker and cheaper than the rest.
- Virtually all their capital goes towards data centers and what is running them.
- Google tries to be an entrepreneurial company.
- Not all divisions in Google are run in small teams to encourage entrepreneurship, divisions like finance and legal are much more conservative.
- Main thing with competitors is that they experienced things that Google has not yet experienced, such as top-management changes.
- Google doesn’t know what the next killer app will be, but they know they will likely invent it.
- Schmidt said if you graduate today, he would recommend looking into “targeted advertising business.”
- If Schmidt couldn’t work for Google he would enter public policy and environmental issues.
- Schmidt is happy with their decision on China, looking back.
- Do you think Google can do everything? Eric said “certainly not.”
- Some people are leaving Google because of their stock options are vesting but its not that many.
Again, you can listen to the interview at iinnovate.
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