Mar 23, 2013, 05.57 PM | Source: CNBC-TV18
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman, Google forecasts that the next revolution will be caused by cheap and high power smartphones and laptops.
“ My guess is that with the great success of Indian IT, the Indian government and the leadership rested on their own laurels without an inkling about the rapid change in technology ”
- Eric Schmidt (Chairman)
Schmidt spoke to CNBC-TV18 at an event in New Delhi where Indian and international experts came together to brainstorm about what the Internet has meant for India and the significant opportunities it offers.
Below is an edited transcript of the show on CNBC-TV18
Q: Over the last decade, you built Google from a start-up to one of the most admired companies of all time. What is your verdict on your last 10 years at Google?
A: I could not be happier with what Google has achieved. It is a source of pride for me personally and for people at Google in general. The power of information is so dramatic and you really do touch people’s lives when you give them the answers to the things they care about. I cannot think of a better way to spend a decade.
Q: What would you say your biggest failures have been?
A: We made money but we also had to make some trade-offs. Probably the biggest mistake that I made was not in seeing the social media revolution early on. I think we have realised it now but I would take responsibility for that mistake.
Q: Will that in the future affect search as well which is your biggest source of revenue? Will companies like Facebook and Amazon be able to map users better to offer enhanced services while you remain a passive search engine?
A: I would disagree that we are going to remain a passive search engine. We have a product called Google Plus which is doing extraordinarily well.
Q: But as compared to Facebook?
A: Facebook has been around longer than Google Plus. The Google Plus link graph which tracks the sort of people that you interact with is an important future signal on our search ranking. So I think we will be fine. I am not worried about it. I think it is just important that Google be a participant in all of the important Internet technologies.
Q: What and from where is the threat to the Gang of Four- Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple- going to come from?
A: The Gang of Four is in reference to the presence of four network-scalable platforms in the industry that are driving huge shareholder value and impact on partners and the competition. The threats to each of them are many. In Apple’s case, the threat is from the Android.
Amazon faces the threat of increased forays into the e-commerce space. Facebook has a a competitor in Google Plus and Google faces competition from Microsoft. So it is key for each of these companies to maintain or increase the rate at which they can continue to innovate to solve problems that really matter to the end-user.
The industry that was largely driven by the Microsoft monopoly structure and PC hardware manufacturers has been completely broken down now by the emergence of tablets and smartphones offering many different choices.
Q: Who do you see as the Google of today? Where Google was when search started? Which companies do you give the best chance of coming in and knocking you off?
A: I certainly hope it is Google. A new competitor to Google is unlikely to be a direct rival to our core business, but rather likely to compete from the side such as solving a problem in a new way, a way that we missed. We worry about that because that’s typically how incumbents compete and all leading companies face that competition.