The LA Times has a nice interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Eric is such a thoughtful guy, and it shows. The interviewer keeps pushing him to put the company into familiar boxes (for example, Google the next Microsoft), and Eric keeps on message about how Google has to keep reinventing itself, that it’s not just following a path tread by other companies before it. He emphasizes the importance of partnering in media businesses, and points out that even though Google is a technology company, its revenue is based on media business models. Here’s a nice clip:
Q: When I talk to start-ups and venture capitalists and others in Silicon Valley, I hear the same trepidation in their voice when they talk about Google that they used when they would talk about Microsoft in the past. Microsoft didn’t set out to have that foreboding image, but it developed because it was so good at doing what it did at the time. How do you avoid becoming Microsoft south?
A: The fact of the matter is we’re in a different business. It’s not a zero-sum game. Our customers are one click away from moving to a different search engine. That is not true in operating systems and it’s not true in PC applications. It never was true.