Why was Google willing to pay what several reports claim to be $1 billion or more for Waze? According to Waze CEO Noam Bardin, the answer is simple: As important is Google’s search product is to the Internet is as important as Waze is for searching the real world. “General navigation and maps, are really the ‘search’ for mobile,” Bardin told Forbes in a previously unpublished interview from January. While his comments didn’t pertain specifically to the Google deal, of course, they relate to the value Waze has to users and, ultimately, to Google. According to Bardin’s vision, people will “use a Google search bar to scour the web today, and Waze to search the real world tomorrow.” The CEO had plenty more to say in the interview, which is linked below, and Forbes’ unnamed sources claim that the Waze deal cost Google more than $1 billion.