Larry Page lives by the gospel of 10x

As an encouragement for all the work you’ve been putting in to your own X10 THINKING, check out this February 2013 WIRED interview with Google CEO, Larry Page …

Google’s Larry Page on Why Moon Shots Matter

Steven Levy   01.17.13

Larry Page lives by the gospel of 10x. Most companies would be happy to improve a product by 10 percent. Not the CEO and cofounder of Google. The way Page sees it, a 10 percent improvement means that you’re basically doing the same thing as everybody else. You probably won’t fail spectacularly, but you are guaranteed not to succeed wildly.

That’s why Page expects his employees to create products and services that are 10 times better than the competition. That means he isn’t satisfied with discovering a couple of hidden efficiencies or tweaking code to achieve modest gains. Thousand-percent improvement requires rethinking problems entirely, exploring the edges of what’s technically possible, and having a lot more fun in the process.

This regimen of cheeky aspiration has made Google an extraordinary success story, changing the lives of its users while fattening the wallets of its investors. But it has also accomplished something far beyond Google itself: In an industry rife with bandwagon-hopping and strategic positioning, Page’s approach is a beacon for those who want more from their CEOs than a bloated earnings statement. While Google has made some missteps in recent years, and while its power has deservedly drawn the scrutiny of regulators and critics, it remains a flagship for optimists who believe that innovation will provide us with not just delightful gadgetry but solutions to our problems and inspiration for our dreams. For those people–and maybe for the human enterprise itself–a car that drives itself (to name one of the company’s recent tech triumphs) is a much more valuable dividend than one calculated in cents per share. There’s no question which is more important to Larry Page.

Of course, it can be challenging working for a boss whose dominant trait is dissatisfaction with the pace of progress. Astro Teller, who oversees Google X, the company’s blue-sky skunkworks division, illustrates Page’s proclivities with a parable. Teller imagines wheeling a Dr. Who time machine into Page’s office. He plugs it in and–it works! But instead of being bowled over, Page asks why it needs a plug. Wouldn’t it be better if it didn’t use power at all? “It’s not because he’s not excited about time machines or he’s ungrateful that we built it,” Teller says. “It’s just core to who he is. There’s always more to do, and his focus is on where the next 10X will come from.”

Page thought big even when he was little–he has said he always wanted to be an inventor, not just to produce gadgetry but to change the world. As an undergrad at the University of Michigan, he found inspiration in a student leadership-training program called LeaderShape, which preached “a healthy disregard for the impossible.” By the time he got to grad school at Stanford, it was a natural step for him to 10X his potential thesis idea–a tool to annotate web pages–into a search engine that transformed the web and the world. And once Google’s riotously successful ad business provided a plump financial cushion, Page was free to push for innovations that bore only a passing relationship to his core business. Google would build an email service–with 100 times the storage of competitors. Google would provide translations–for the entire web, from any language to any other. Google would give readers instant access to a global library–by scanning nearly every book ever published and putting the contents in its indexes. More recently, Google launched its own version of an ISP service–laying its own fiber and providing broadband service to Kansas City customers at 100 times industry-standard speeds.

That moon-shot mentality is the basis of Google X, which the company established in early 2010 to identify and implement once-impossible sci-fi fantasies: Hail Mary projects like the self-driving car. Or Google Glass, a wearable computing system. Or an artificial brain, in which a cluster of computers running advanced algorithms learn from the world around them, much like humans do. (In one experiment, it took only three days for a digital colony of 1,000 machines, with a billion connections, to surpass previous benchmarks in identifying photos of faces and cats.)

Page was closely involved in establishing Google X, but since he has ascended to lead the company, he can’t spend as much time there. Some Googlers wonder if Page, clearly at his happiest working on moon shots, is essentially taking one for the team by assuming the sometimes prosaic tasks of a CEO. (Talking to bureaucrats about antitrust issues, for example, is probably not his idea of a good time.)

The evidence shows, however, that Page has attacked his role with full-hearted fervor, applying the same 10X mentality to the process of running the company.

He reorganized the management team around an “L-Team” of top aides, and he relentlessly rallied employees around a sweeping effort to integrate all of Google’s offerings into a seamlessly social whole. And in the boldest move in his tenure, he engineered the $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, one of the world’s biggest handset companies.

In one of the rare interviews he has granted as CEO, Page recently discussed thinking big and other Googley issues with Wired at the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters. Later that same day, Page, who turns 40 in March, announced a new philanthropic venture. After observing epidemiological behavior via Google Search’s flu-tracking service, he decided to pay for free flu shots for kids in the entire Bay Area. How 10X of him.

— Click for the original article

Daniel Dennett makes the point that because you have the privilege of living after Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Planck, Watson, Crick and their colleagues that you could give Aristotle a tutorial and you could thrill him to the core of his being.

So, have a think and if you could go back in time and give the great Aristotle a tutorial from your current perspective of 2013, what is the one thing that you would reveal to old Ari that would be a real knockout for him?

One in ten medical diagnoses may be wrong … “because of the cognitive failings that surround human decision-making. We are not perfect decision-makers. We solve a lot of problems intuitively. It’s how experts solve problems. But, using your intuition is error-prone and can lead to diagnostic error”Dr Mark Graber.

cvs2bvs is the Universal Brain Software which frees the brainuser to hop across parallel universes with tenpower.

cvs2bvs also allows the brainuser to switch from one parallel universe to another.

Leaping

A parallel universe is a possible future. At any particular moment you are heading to one possible future. But, you could escape from that possible future and head for a different possible future. We do this every day and every time we take a decision. For example, right now I am writing this sentence about a very embarrassing incident that once happened to me in New York when I …

However, I have just decided to escape from that sentence and instead of finishing it I have decided to write this sentence instead. A quite different but possible future.

alternatives

There are, of course, a virtually unlimited number of possible futures facing us at any moment in time but so many futures may be too daunting to think about. So, let’s just limit the options to ten.

Future XIO is the brain app which says that at any time you are faced with a decision there are always ten possible futures from which to choose.

Usually there is the most likely future which will turn out to be the decision you are most likely to take. In this brain app we call the most likely decision choice: Future #10. We do this to draw attention to the fact that there are at least 9 other options or possible futures that we could consider if only we made the metacognitive effort to do so.

Just to spell this out we’ll call these options or possibilities or choices:

Future #10

Future #09

Future #08

Future #07

Future #06

Future #05

Future #04

Future #03

Future #02

Future #01

The Future XIO Brain App

The excellence and power of the Future XIO brain app is that at any NOW moment of the day you have an opportunity for cvs2bvs and to select any one of ten possible futures.

For example:
» You might get writer’s block while preparing a scientific paper — cvs2bvs.
» You might find yourself being a space glutton in a family meeting — cvs2bvs.
» You might be trying to help your child solve a problem — cvs2bvs.
» You might be googling the www looking for an opportunity — cvs2bvs.
» You might be worried and depressed about money — cvs2bvs.
» You might be about to decide what to have for lunch — cvs2bvs.
» You might be boring a client or customer — cvs2bvs.
» You might be being bullied by a friend or family member — cvs2bvs.
» You might be playing Angry Birds — cvs2bvs.

Practise and repetition ensures that the cvs2bvs switch will pop up at a time when you need to use it. And when it does pop up, what then?

Repetition

To Look Is To See

If you decide to look for a BVS, you will see it. Yes, you really will see it.

INSTRUCTION: What time is it?
(Check your watch and record the time here ________.)

Isn’t it amazing! The time is always there, BUT you only see it when you actually look for it. Think about that for a moment! Through training and practice, your brain learned (developed the cognitive pattern) to tell the time, long ago. One just needs to use the trigger question: What time is it? and Hey! Presto! … We get to see the time! The same applies to a BVS.

It’s your attention that controls your behavior. You need a trigger to manipulate your attention from merely focusing on your CVS and to get it to switch to a BVS. This is also called lateral thinking or creative thinking or X10 thinking. You’ve done it many times before but you need to do it better and much more often — on command! The key to creativity is remembering to be creative at any particular moment, remembering to use the switch cvs2bvs. Remember: What time is it?

Seek and You Shall Find

cvs2bvs will dramatically increase your odds of finding ideas, because you will be actively looking for them, habitually, as a matter of personal policy. You can get a good idea today, a better idea tomorrow and you get the best idea … never! There’s always a BVS! This means that you can have a perfectly valid CVS, but there must always be a better one because you always have ten options from which to choose. And, for repetition sake, here they are again:

Future #10

Future #09

Future #08

Future #07

Future #06

Future #05

Future #04

Future #03

Future #02

Future #01

There’s Always a BVS!

The difference between the way you use your necktop now, and the way it could operate, is up to the software you use. Each time you do your 100 repetitions of cvs2bvs, it guarantees that you are keeping yourself, your family, your school or company, on the road to a much better future, the road to a BVS. Here are 100 repetitions of cvs2bvs:

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