Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, Google CEO & co-founder
I just had two wonderful days at Google Zeitgest Europe. As I said, this was a private event and no blogging was allowed unfortunately except David Cameron and Eric Schmidt & Lary Page sessions. The event gathered about 300 people, European partners of Google, Advertisers, CEOs of large corporations, press and Internet personalities. I was invited to speak about citizen journalism and blogging and it was a great pleasure in front of such an audience. I’ll remain quiet about what was discussed in details but it was basically focusing on the future of the Web, we talked about the information democratization, the recent evolution of commerce (lots about the long tail of course), entertainment 2.0, globalization, citizen journalism and generally how the world is changing. As always, I liked the ideas Larry shared with us, here are a few quotes.
About product launches in the new web environment: “Look at the movie industry, it’s really difficult regardless of the budget to forecast what movie will be a success. It’s the same on the web, the best way to know if a product will work or not is to actually launch it and see what happens”. “Google really succeeded by giving people what they wanted, including the ads, targeted and non intrusive”.
About innovation: “Focus on what people don’t do yet or don’t do well rather than on what everybody else is doing” said Larry about how they innovated on products where we thought everything was done (such as gmail/gtalk).
These two above quotes seem very obvious and straightforward however if you really think about how most non-web products are launched, they go usually the opposite way. They are conceived in secret without involving much customer feedback and fearing that the competition may steal the ideas when on the web today most products and services which succeed are almost built with the customers, integrating their feedback and also criticism since the very beginning. Brands that use blogs and accept open comments know exactly what I am talking about.
Anyway, I had lots of fun and met tons of incredible people (and friends such as Martin who spoke too), thanks Google friends for having invited me and the honor to speak just before Peter Gabriel
update, thanks, Pond, for your comments about my speech