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back to article Google's Larry Page: MY SECRET TO VAST WEALTH, SUCCESS

Google chief Larry Page has shared the secret to his success: the billionaire search engine nerd reckons companies must make their products TEN times better than their rivals to be successful. The grinning geek, worth about $20bn, also believes his fellow biz barons should hardly ever think about their opponents when coming up …

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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.

True dat!

With all those billions in the bank why aren't they changing the world? They could probably cripple Hollywood if they wanted, help strengthen the internet infrastructure, feed starving kids... but what are they doing? having a pissy rant because other mobile phones look a little bit like theirs - well of course they do, they created a nice new mobile paradigm, they should feel honoured to have people copying their ideas, refining, improving.

All that copying hasn't stopped their economic phenomenal rise, becoming richer than entire countries.

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Anonymous Coward

Things are so well advanced now in terms of mobiles, tablets and computers that there really isn't a lot of other markets for "improvement".

The two last big areas IMHO are smart homes and TV or living room entertainment.

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WTF?

Mobiles and tablets haven't even BEGUN their advance. The hardware is a done deal and simply down for evolutionary refinement, for sure, but the software? It sucks.

Think about how your typical day - how much of it could be automated or made easier by a computer, and how much of what you already do on a computer could you, assuming the software existed, do on your phone or tablet?

If you look at any app store today the top sellers are games. Followed by apps to edit photos, track sport scores, read newspapers or see what public transport is doing. Some of us even get driving nav.

That can't be it. Surely not. The dual-core 1.5GHz processor in my pocket is capable of less than the 50MHz single core I had on my desktop in 1990.

I don't think we've even seen the end of the beginning of mobile yet.

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You both sound like the guy who resigned from the patent office as "everything that could possibly be invented had already been invented"

Or you would if that wasn't a myth

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Facepalm

Here's what they're doing...

Apple's doing the exact same thing as Google's doing with their money, apparently: investing in junk bonds.

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ever so 'umble

hmm...

the last 2 utterly dead areas are smart homes and tv

there fixed it for you

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That can't be it. Surely not. The dual-core 1.5GHz processor in my pocket is capable of less than the 50MHz single core I had on my desktop in 1990.

but the screen is too small, and the keyboard it too small and too crap. I think working on a mobe (and to a lesser extent fondleslab) is presently a tech challenge - like titchy tellies were in the 80's. and just like titc h tellies in the 80's they'll solve the tech issues and then find out that no one wants to work that way.

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Re: ever so 'umble

the last 2 utterly dead areas are smart homes and tv

Sadly, I have to agree, at least about smart homes. There's been a couple of decades opportunity to make that fly, and to this day on the rare installation I see, I mention to the new owners what could be done with a few more sensors and a firmware change - but that's never going to happen - the vendor can't or won't do it.

I don't think TV is dead by a long shot, terrestrial or otherwise, although we're getting a slowly increasing whine about payTV here in Australia, and the plethora of ads they force on you even though you're paying for it. In addition, there is an increase in whining about our cable vendor Foxtel who is great for sports, but utterly pointless for mostly anything else.

Justified or not, the whining IS increasing.

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Holmes

People said that about mobile phones. Remember the Nokia N95?

Big screen for its time, great camera, multiband 2g &3g, huge storage.

Then along came touchscreen phones and Nokia were left behind.

I would say the innovation is in services now more than hardware.

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Re: ever so 'umble

the last 2 utterly dead areas are smart homes and tv

I disagree, actually.

The "smarts" behind smart homes are gaining quite a bit of traction in offices and public buildings - think Heathrow T5, The Shard, the O2 etc.

Right now, the limiting factor is the cost - so only large installs can justify it. As the cost of components - and installation - comes down, it'll get more traction in the home.

Certainly I can see it turning up in "posh" apartment blocks within the next five years.

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Holmes

His real secret

1) Get in early while everyone has shitty 33.6k modems ,or 56k if they are lucky, or 128k ADSL if they work somewhere cool.

2) Create a search engine which isn't Yahoo and loads absolutely nothing but company name and a search box , rather than the page Yahoo has which will sap 2 days of your bandwidth to load.

3)?????????

4)PROFIT!!!!!!!!

Obviously point 3 was actually sell advertising, but you all knew that anyway. This isn't a criticism, I'm fine with what Google do and applaud the fact they give most of their services away for free*, but the fact is they got rich by nailing search at the right time. Everything else they have done is a consequence of that. The end result is to retain that initial revenue stream they created, not because they love you.

*In exchange for your data, so they can sell more ads. (You knew that too though, right?)

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Vic
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Re: His real secret

> they got rich by nailing search at the right time

I disagree slightly; IMO, they got rich by providing lots of $what_we_wanted without having to deal with too much of $what_they_wanted; they turned down the greed control. Contrast that with the likes of HotBot and AltaVista, who were all about maximising their own interests.

The *upshot* of that balance was that they ended up nailing search at the right time...

Vic.

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Think about how your typical day - how much of it could be automated or made easier by a computer,

I'm thinking, and I haven't come up with a single thing. There's nothing left in my typical day that I want to delegate to a machine. All my daily tasks are pleasurable, or improving (eg by giving me a chance to exercise), or provide an opportunity for social contact, or validate my worth.

and how much of what you already do on a computer could you, assuming the software existed, do on your phone or tablet?

That's easy: none of it, until those devices have input mechanisms with at least the same bandwidth and signal/noise ratio as a full-size keyboard and are suitable for writing code and long prose passages.

The handful of things that I might want in a pocket-size device, I already have in my phone.

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I can think of quite a few things I'd be happy to delegate to a machine were it possible and practical. Do you really enjoy doing laundry? I'd be happy just dropping dirty garments in an automated laundry basket and waking up to them clean tomorrow. Cooking dinner - yes, I do sometimes enjoy whipping up something tasty, but other times I just feel hungry: a Star Trek replicator would be great then (and indeed that's pretty much what home delivered takeaways offer now, and seem to make plenty of money at it).

If you're rich enough to have staff to take care of your laundry, cleaning, routine cooking (and cleaning up afterwards, which I'd very happily automate away!), your commute (again, I'd love a taxi/chauffeur user-experience with my car: get in, state your destination, get on with some reading/sleep/eat etc), yes, you have little to gain - but the rest of us will certainly benefit.

Tablets ... earlier today, I was going through email and making some schema changes on a remote database server. The email side, I find I DO often use a tablet already; the schema changes, a tablet would have been fine for since I was using a web interface (legacy app, the one SQL Server instance I still babysit; the rest's MySQL).

Everything I've done on this laptop today could quite easily have been done on a tablet right now, if I wanted; I spent a while SSHed into some colocated servers, moving data around, which would be slightly less convenient without multiple side-by-side windows, but nothing major - and nothing that couldn't be fixed quite easily in time. There are already developers with similar setups to mine making increasing use of tablets quite happily.

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Stop

Modest

Larry is just so damned modest, makes me want to weep?

I agree that Googles "market strategy" is excellent but it would be difficult to say that all of thier products were excellent.

Search Engine, Google Earth, Android : Top of the class.

Youtube, Maps : Good.

Google +, Docs : meeehhh

Google Wave : What happended to that anyway.

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Coat

Re: Modest

Google buys things. They invent really few things. Here is a Wikipedia list (errors might happen) of what Google has been buying up for the past 12 years or so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Google

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Re: Modest

Agree 110% about Google Docs.

In what other word processor would it be acceptable for the *pagination* in the print out (downloaded PDF) to differ significantly from what was displayed when you were editing? I don't care whether the fonts look that similar, but for the pages to be different is totally unforgivable.

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STOP PRESS :

Larry Page states the bleedin' obvious.

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Thumb Up

thank you, El Reg...

It's ever so satisfying to hear Jobs referred to in passing as "Apple co-founder". :)

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Google+

Aside from the intensely annoying "give us more information" popups, Google+ is pretty easy to work with, far more so than Facebook which buries certain activities in non obvious places.

Now if only they'd stop bothering me with requests to complete my profile, or if I know person X, Y and Z, or if I want other people to know my birthday or if I want to enable chat etc. etc. etc then I might be entirely favourable to the service.

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Anonymous Coward

Bit too smug.

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jai
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smug + massively rich = not a nice combination

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true, but

it's all about the baseline.

think trump or jobs

larry sounds pretty okay now doesn't he :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: smug + massively rich = not a nice combination

I wouldn't mind trying it.

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hmm jai

"smug + massively rich = not a nice combination"

yeah not so sure...I am 50% of the way there and I can't help thinking 100% will be even better...

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Re: smug + massively rich = not a nice combination

I wouldn't mind trying it.

Same here. In fact, I've been practicing smug for years, just in case. All the best people do.

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Anonymous Coward

... and if / when someone came out with something better than Google Search how long does it take to switch - 10 SECONDS and high 90's percent of their revenue comes from search.

Android was to stop Apple getting too much control and risking Google's search business - giving Google Maps for free (when Apple were paying $500m+ a year) just proves how valuable it and the iOS business is to Google.

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So, people are going to go to that new search thing, while still using all the other Google services.

You really believe that?

Google has a much bigger moat about their business than you think.

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missing something...

oh yes!

the point!

search is hard (like maps) no one is suddenly going to appear with a better tool.

(see apple maps for proof)

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Anonymous Coward

Google is not free - they mine your data to sell ads - the ads can be expensive for the companies buying which pushes up costs and therefore prices to you the customer. So indirectly as Google make more and more profits YOU are paying for it. It's a good business model for them (making businesses big against each other) but it's also potentially fragile.

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Would love to know if he owned AAPL shares in his portfolio or just GOOG?

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Anonymous Coward

a healthy portion of luck

unless he details significant failures in business as well and what he leaned from them then his opinions are largely useless.

note building their own new shiny custom ego trip HQ - always a bad omen for any business.

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Mushroom

Google Asteroid

Just wait until they have that Google asteroid being mined...

Then, they can drop the mining refuse onto the heads of anyone they don't like! ;-)

Dave

P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the tin-foil hat in the pocket.

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Coat

Nothing good ever came from competition?

So, Infoseek should have just been handed the search monopoly and everyone else should have said, "Well, that's solved-- let's do something else"?

Mine's the cloak made from raw sheepskin...

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The secret to what?

A golden (unwritten but honoured) rule in (electronic) music: "Whatever works for me doesn't have to work for you, and vica versa".

Stuff like this is really totally meaningless IMO.

In fact; reminds me of GoDaddy when their CEO used his blog page to promote the exact same kind of stories; "The secret to his success", filled with a lot of cliches which by themselves hold more than enough truth, but... (see comment above..).

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IT Angle

Rich Rants.

If just about anyone was vested to get 10,000,000usd from investors, just about anyone could be a millionaire. However, hardly anyone is vested such things in life.

And what is "TEN" or any other rational number supposed to do for me, am I supposed to believe Google products are 10x better than anyone else's? Is that a 10i? I haven't seen any mobile that is even 2x as good as another, unless I'm missing the mobiles that give head and take out the garbage. The same goes for search engines, shopping services, etc...

popularity != quality

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10 times better

You have to admit - that's exactly what they did to search, webmail, and maps

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