Larry Page doesn’t accept 10 per cent better, nor does he accept 50 per cent, 100 per cent or 500 per cent better. In an era of modest revision, the Google co-founder expects his company’s products to outperform the status quo by no less than 10 times. Because how else are you going to change the world?
You know, we always have these debates: We have all this money, we have all these people, why aren’t we doing more stuff? You may say that Apple only does a very, very small number of things, and that’s working pretty well for them. But I find that unsatisfying. I feel like there are all these opportunities in the world to use technology to make people’s lives better. At Google we’re attacking maybe 0.1 per cent of that space. And all the tech companies combined are only at like 1 per cent. That means there’s 99 per cent virgin territory. Investors always worry, “Oh, you guys are going to spend too much money on these crazy things.” But those are now the things they’re most excited about-YouTube, Chrome, Android. If you’re not doing some things that are crazy, then you’re doing the wrong things.
And it’s not just Page and Brin attempting to achieve better living through technology — adventurous CEOs like Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are all leveraging their corporate might for blue sky programs. We may in fact be witnessing the dawn of a new era of corporate governance wherein innovation and societal advancement take precedence over profits and the bottom line. Fingers crossed. [Wired]