18 Comments

Summary:

Google CEO Larry Page, who has been suffering from vocal cord issues, showed up at the end of the Google I/O keynote and spent some time talking about his vision of technology and took questions from the audience. And that’s when the fun started.

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Following Larry Page’s impromptu speech and Q&A session at Google I/O, long time Apple observer/writer John Gruber wrote a post entitled Google Versus, wherein he questioned Page’s feel-good commentary. Dave Winer also pointed out this double talk. Here are three comments by Page that got Dave and John riled up:

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Let’s be positive

Every story I read about Google is us versus some other company or some stupid thing. Being negative is not how we make progress. The most important things are not zero sum.

Except Microsoft is not playing ball

The Web is not advancing as fast as it should be. Certainly, we struggle with companies like Microsoft. We would like to see more open standards and more people involved in those ecosystems. I wouldn’t grade the industry well with where we have gotten to.

And that other Larry is just greedy

We’ve had a difficult relationship with Oracle, including having to appear in court. Money is obviously more important to them than any collaboration.”

Google has been fighting with Microsoft for a while and well, Oracle is a tough adversary, especially when it comes to Java.

While I am complete agreement with Page’s general sentiment about opportunities and the importance of being positive, I think Larry (and all other technology industry leaders) should actually practice what they preach if they want others to follow.

  1. Terry Bedford Thursday, May 16, 2013

    That’s it? No context?

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    1. Terry

      Read the post from top- sometimes you don’t need a lot of words to illustrate a point. Headline is the point.

      Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Excellent post. Larry page is the best boss i have ever seen. He guide his all the team of Google really well.
    He knows how to handle a big team of experts. :)
    Thanks and nice post.

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  3. Great Post Mr. Malik

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  4. This whole post is funny!

    Point no. 1 – Gruber didn’t point out any double talk by Larry Page. He just tried to prove that most of Google’s business is about us versus them. He is wrong, and I will get to that point in a minute.

    Point no. 2 – Dave Winer did not point out any double talk. He just tweeted a link to Gruber’s article and said he agreed. That’s not the same.

    Third and most important – here’s why Gruber’s article is just b.s. I will give a couple of examples:

    Example 1: Google building a search engine to compete with existing search engine: If Google went into the search engine building project with an “us versus them” mentality, they would only be thinking of building a search engine that retrieved information from the web. But no, that is not the attitude with which Google went into the business. Their attitude was: Organize ALL of the world’s information.

    Example 2: Android phones. Google did not go into the smart phone business with the intention to build another iPhone from which they would generate lot of revenue through hardware and software sales. They went into it with the attitude of freeing up the smart phone industry from restrictive experiences and taking the whole smart phone platform several generations forward so that all the services and content from the Internet could be accessed through smartphones without interference from manufacturers or carriers.

    It’s idiotic to believe that Google just wanted to build an iPhone competitor or another search engine. If Google went into either business with an us versus them mentality, they would never have won the way they are winning now. They don’t win over competitors with just some marginal increment. They move past their competitors in orders of magnitude. Seriously, could anyone imagine in the late 1990s that the search company would become a technology giant of the world, pervasive in almost everyone’s lives on a daily, hours, minute-by-minute basis? No, because most people think in the ‘Google vs competitor’ mentality. And this is the limited mentality that Larry Page was advocating against and he is damn right about it.

    It’s a grand irony, and no small joke, that people with limited minds, still interpret his statement in an ‘us versus them’ mentality.

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    1. That Guy Over There Thursday, May 16, 2013

      I find it curious that you feel that google isn’t living with the same metaphor as Google vs Competitor. For example, all those great products that they put out (and I enjoy some of them myself), are all to funnel people into clicking (or whatever the eventual comparison will be with the google glass product).

      Funny I don’t see many options to include other search engines results with any of their products.

      And of course, blaming Microsoft, Oracle, or Apple for not being more forthcoming with letting google applications take over their marketshare, that’s clearly not an us vs them mentality at all, eh?

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      1. danjimaru berufodo Sunday, May 19, 2013

        “Funny I don’t see many options to include other search engines results with any of their products.”

        Stock android browser
        since Android 3.0 possibly earlier
        4th tab advanced> set search engine:
        option 1 google
        option 2 yahoo
        option 3 bing

        works also with voice search once it’s setup.

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  5. Timothy Weaver Thursday, May 16, 2013

    No one begrudges Google for being a for-profit enterprise. It’s just when they play the “we do things for altruistic reasons” card that people start to call bullshit. Unless you really believe that Google is the Mother Theresa of the tech world, don’t really see why it’s something to get defensive about.

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    1. Exactly. They think that the publishers of the world should just give their content away for free, but not Google. They prattle on and on about open source. Let’s see them give away the automatic car driving source code away for free.

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  6. Reblogged this on Today In Tech and commented:
    This company somehow convinced a few people they were the Patron Saint of Harmony or something. Google is not Mother Theresa, and at this moment comparing them to another company is pointless…it’s best to stay on topic. If you preach harmony and working together yet you send a cease and desist letter to a competitor for building an application that’s based on some “open” framework because it cuts out your bread and butter, going forward everything you say is BS.

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  7. Ray Cromwell Thursday, May 16, 2013

    Google doesn’t say they do things for altruism reasons, they do things because *they are interesting problems*. They want to make money from moonshots, people at Google want to work on hard stuff, it’s in the basic culture.

    And it’s somewhat ludicrous to draw a false equivalence between Google calling on others to be more open as “going negative” compared to stuff like copyright or patent nuisance shakedowns, or stuff like “Redmond, Start your Copiers!” or “Scroogled”. It’s the same bullshit false equivalence that tries to say CNN is just the flip side of Fox News.

    When has Google ever run a nasty negative ad against Apple or Microsoft?

    I have a long post here criticism Gruber’s rants: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110412141990454266397/posts/LS1P3G9jUCz

    Bottom line, he admits Google executed Search, Mail, Maps, et al radically better than competitors, but tries to pass this off as nothing new, “nothing that hasn’t been done before”, just refinements.

    By the same token, the iPhone was just a really well executed version of a smartphone, which followed the LG Prada, Nokia Smartphones, and Microsoft, Blackberry, Danger, and Palm, and all of those “smartphones” that came before.

    When does radically executing a product better than all competitors count as never having been done before? Datacenters existed before Google, but Google practically reinvented the modern datacenter. Google Maps and GMail were Web 2.0 AJAX apps that were radically better than competitors at the time, people were blown away by smooth, fast, live scrolling in Google Maps compared to MapQuest et al.

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    1. @Ray Cromwell – Well said!

      I find it really funny that people are displaying how small-minded they are by their very criticism of Larry Page’s call to NOT be small-minded. They are so small-minded, they don’t even understand what exactly he meant. Consequently, they are displaying the EXACT same behavior that he just said shouldn’t be displayed.

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      1. John Gibson Friday, May 17, 2013

        But that behavior is EXACTLY what Google is exhibiting in many areas. As the headline says… Do as I say, not as I do.

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    2. Ashwin Datye Friday, May 17, 2013

      well said.

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  8. I work in search marketing, and I tend to take everything Google reps say with a grain of salt. There’s always an agenda unfortunately. Matt Cutts has really helped clean up spam in organic search, and everyone should be thankful for his efforts. But he thrives on misdirection.

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  9. John Gibson Friday, May 17, 2013

    If Page practiced what he preached the APIs for building a YouTube app on WP would be available. EAS would not have been shutdown.It’s clear that Google is taking an us versus approach. Which is fine for a company to do but for Page to be leading a company that is doing those things while preaching what he was preaching is the height of hypocrisy.

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  10. All of the companies in Silicon Valley want the same thing: world domination. Google is just another pickle in the pickle barrel. They put some frosting on the outside and say “Hey, we’re different!” Why is it surprising that they’re not?

    Jobs was clear in his mind about what mattered, as is Ellison. Page is not clear yet, but is trying. As Kermit the Frog said, “It’s not easy being green.”

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