Larry Page wants to do what Nikola Tesla could not
Image: Wikimedia Commons
For about 45 minutes yesterday, Google CEO Larry Page spoke and answered questions at Google’s Zeitgeist conference. Google recorded the talk and we’ve embedded it below.
It’s a long video, but if you want better insight into the guy who’s controlling one of tech’s richest and most powerful companies, it’s a good watch.
Page starts by talking about a hero of his: Nikola Tesla. He says Tesla was an amazing inventor, who eventually failed to build all the things he imagined because he didn’t find a way to fund his work through commerce. Page says we could have had wireless power across continents already if Tesla hadn’t failed.
Google, Page says, is a response to that failure. Its model is: invent wild thing that will help humanity, get them adopted by users, profit, and then use the corporate structure to keep inventing new things.
For shareholders and other Google stakeholders, this is a clear message: While Page is in charge, you can expect Google to stray from its core competencies into all sorts of businesses. We’ve already seen this in action when Google bought its way in the hardware business last month, acquiring Motoral Mobility.
The Google CEO gave Android, Chrome, and YouTube as examples of this pattern in successful action. Chrome has 160 million users now. Android is ubiquitous. YouTube has 3 billion playbacks a day and its revenue has grown 3X for the past three years.
Page also says that the other advantage to pursuing wildly ambitious goals is that it actually makes business easier because it attracts the world’s best talent.