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Wisdom from the Googleplex April 10, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.

These are the two best bits from the Wired interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. (But read the rest of the interview, anyway — lots of stuff on video ads for YouTube.)

    Wired: How should we think about Google today?
    Schmidt: Think of it first as an advertising system. Then as an end-user system — Google Apps. A third way to think of Google is as a giant supercomputer. And a fourth way is to think of it as a social phenomenon involving the company, the people, the brand, the mission, the values — all that kind of stuff.

Hmmmm. Whatever happened to “organizing the world’s information”? And notice the lack of the term “search.” But before you get too excited about office suites, remember, Schmidt has obsessed over Microsoft — and failed to beat ’em — twice already. But, heh heh, third time sure looks like the charm. (Nothing to do with spreadsheets. Everything to do with platforms, UIs, and APIs. You know my rant.)

    Wired: Meanwhile, News Corp. and NBC Universal recently announced they’re joining forces to create their own video-distribution channels online. Does that represent serious competition?
    Schmidt: No. They are creating an exclusive agent to license that content to anybody. In fact, News Corp. COO Peter Chernin and I had a long conversation about this. Before the announcement, Peter explicitly told me that this was not a competitor to YouTube. To me, it’s another effort to get the content out.

That sounds correct to me.

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