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Larry Page explains why it would be ‘stupid’ to run Google like Apple

Published Jul 7th, 2014 5:07PM EDT
Google vs Apple Products Strategy

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Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin sat down for a lengthy interview with former Sun CEO and current venture capitalist Vinod Khosla Fortune reportsApple was, unsurprisingly, one of the topics that came up during the discussion and Page discussed the major differences between how Google and Apple run their businesses.

“I’ve been thinking about this change quite a bit over the years. I think it sounds stupid if you have this big company, and you can only do five things,” Page said, subtly taking a hit at Apple. “I think it’s also not very good for the employees. Because then, you have 30,000 employees and they’re all doing the same thing, which isn’t very exciting for them.”

While Google is not afraid to try several new things at once, Apple has always bragged about the fact that while it has a lot to a lot of interesting ideas and projects, it chooses to only focus only on the best ones. In doing this, Apple is still following Jobs’s lead, who killed many Apple initiatives after he was brought back to the company and chose to focus resources only on a few product lines thereafter.

“I would always have this debate actually, with Steve Jobs. He’d be like, ‘You guys are doing too much stuff.’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah that’s true.’ And he was right, in some sense. But I think the answer to that — which I only came to recently, as we were talking about this stuff — is that if you’re doing things that are highly interrelated, then there is some complexity limits,” Google’s CEO added.

“It’s all going to escalate to the CEO, because you have things that are interrelated. At some point, they have to get integrated. A lot of our Internet stuff is like that. The user experience needs to make sense. It needs to feel like you’re using Google, not that you’re using something else,” Page said.

Page further revealed he’s in charge of the Google day-to-day business, while Google cofounder Brin is left to run Google’s moonshots, or the Google X division, that uses only some of Google’s resources without actually interfering too much with Google’s regular business.

The full interview follows below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.


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