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Hello, Larry! Google's Page on negativity, laws, and competitors

TechHive Staff | May 17, 2013
Google CEO Larry Page held court at the end of the Google I/O keynote and even answered questions. Here's a complete transcript.

Yaniv Talmor from Vancouver: Question about Google's physical endeavors like Google Fiber and the self-driving cars and renewable energy. What further projects are you planning there?

My compatriot Sergei Brin, last year arranged the skydiving, but this year did not. He's focused, Google X is focused, on real atoms and not bits. Part of why is they feel there's a lot of opportunity there. And Sergei's having a great time doing that. That's, I think, a really fascinating and amazing job.

I think that possibilities for some of those things are incredibly great. If you look at technology applied to transportation, it hasn't really started yet. We haven't really done that. Automated cars are just one thing you could do. You could do many other things. So I think we're very excited about that area.

We also think it's a way that the company can scale. I think that to the extent that all our products are interrelated, we actually need to do a fair amount of management of those projects to make sure you get a seamless experience, both as a user and a developer, that all makes sense. When we do some of these other kinds of things, like automated cars, they have a longer time-frame and less interaction, so I actually encourage maybe more companies to try to do things that are a little outside their comfort zone, because I think it gets them more scalability in what they can get done.

We've been surprised, also, even when we do things that are kind of crazy, like these automated cars, it turns out--you just saw the mapping stuff that we finished with--the technology for doing mapping and automated cars turns out to be the same. And so we have a bunch of great engineers that just moved over from those efforts, and they did it naturally, and scalably. And they're excited about it. So I'm really, really excited about that too.

Every time we've done something crazy-Gmail when we launched it, I think we had 100 people when we launched Gmail. And people said you're nuts, you're a search company, why are you doing Gmail? 'Cause we understood some things about data centers and serving and storage that we applied to email. And that was a great thing that we did that. And so I think almost every time we try to do something crazy we've made progress. Not all the times, but almost every time. So we've become a bit emboldened by that.

And the good news is, too, no matter how much money we try to spend on automated cars or Gmail in the early stages, they end up being small checks. So they don't really cause a business issue, either. So I'm really excited about that. And I tried to talk about that in my remarks. That's why I say we're at one percent of what's possible.


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