Google of course just announced to the SEC their intention to go public. How will public life and investment scrutiny effect the world’s most popular information search company? Business Week interviews Google’s CEO Eric Schimidt and that’s just one of the questions asked of this interesting leader.
Q: Are you working hard to find a way to create more lock-in with your users?
A: You’re asking a perfectly reasonable question of a normal company. That’s not how Google works. The way Google works is about innovation. We are awaiting the discovery of what will achieve your objective. Do you see the distinction? Innovation comes from invention, which you cannot schedule. That’s the secret. When I look at Google News or (Google’s social networking site) Orkut, I never could have anticipated their success.
Q: So you guys at the top level don’t sit and say, “Gosh, we would be much better served with greater customer interaction, how can we accomplish this?”
A: I say that. But what we really talk about is how can we attract and develop this creative culture. This is important. The Google answer is an innovative one, it’s a surprising one, which is why this is such a fun place to be. It’s genuinely unanticipated.