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

100% online

Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime Speed.

Because we are 100% online School of Thinking lessons are not only fast and scientific but also can be sent to anyone, anywhere and anytime.

0% offline

No Meetings. No Powerpoints. No Costs.

Because we are 0% offline there are no meetings, no powerpoint presentations and zero time offline with none of the costs of time, travel and accommodation incurred with all offline meetings.

 

•

SOT-logo-NEW

••• FREE BOOK: Click here to request your own copy of the ebook “WOMBAT Selling: How to sell by Word of Mouth”

Nothing has changed the business environment more than the WWW, in the last 20 years. Now, with the Apple platform and its glittering array of devices supporting Facebook, Twitter and Google the customer is not only right … the customer rules!

Customers today, in their own right, are global publishers, broadcasters, niche marketers, content-providers and network producers and they are well aware of the fact.

The problem is that sales and businesspeople have been very slow in adapting to this new environment. Just ask Gerry Harvey!

To help salespeople and businesspeople solve this problem I’ve written WOMBAT Selling: How to sell by Word of Mouth.

• A WOMBAT is a satisfied customer who replicates another satisfied customer.

• W.O.M.B.A.T. = Word Of Mouth Buy And Tell.

• A WOMBAT is a customer who is so satisfied about your offer or your business communication that she/he passes it on to those in his/her business or social network. Pass it on. Pass it on. Pass it on.

••• FREE BOOK: Click here to request your own copy of the ebook “WOMBAT Selling: How to sell by Word of Mouth”

Posted

For thirty years I have been spreading the x10 meme through books, blogs and x10 thinking enterprise solutions. Occasionally I am asked about the origin of x10 Thinking.

As you no doubt know, Powers of 10 is long established in mathematics. I have always been fascinated by the phenomenon of tenpower and have included it as a key topic in most of my books.

Thirty years ago I first wrote about cvs2bvs in my book NewSell (p 137, Boardroom Books, 1984 New York) that: “The BVS is always ten times better than the CVS”. Or, “BVS = CVS x10”.

Later, I wrote about the googol (10100) and the googolplex as exotic examples of tenpower in my best-seller Software For the Brain (1989). And again in 2012 in English Thinking: The Three Methods.

I was first to apply powers of ten in neuroscience as a simple but powerful way of escaping from the established patterns of inside the square thinking to outside the square thinking and coined the term ‘x10 Thinking’.

In 2000, I wrote it all up in what has been called the ‘gospel of x10’: The x10 Memeplex: Multiply Your Business By Ten! (Prentice Hall).

However, I was originally inspired by the Charles and Ray Eames movie – Powers of Ten – which I bought to screen at SOT instructor classes in New York.

I was first shown the movie while doing speaking engagements in Monte Carlo for IBM Europe in the mid-80s. This brilliant Eames thought experiment is now online and you can watch it here. It’s a classic!

“Larry Page lives by the gospel of 10x”

WIRED Magazine, Cover Story February 2013 by Steven Levy:

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. That’s why Page expects his employees to create products and services that are 10 times better than the competition.

•••

Multiply Your Business by 10!

In this exciting book, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson introduces a new way to think about business. He describes the x10 meme – the innovative idea of multiplying your business by 10.

Currently the business growth meme in most people’s brain is 10% per annum. Here the author stresses that the market is changing rapidly and businesses cannot stay the same. The 10% per annum meme is outdated and needs to be upgraded.

X10 is the focus for future thinking and for customer-driven businesses bent on profit share. Using three easy-to-follow tutorials, Hewitt-Gleeson guides you through The x10 Memeplex. Finally, a case study plan helps people to transfer these ideas into their own business practices.

This book will change the way everyone thinks about business. Go ahead. Read the x10 gospel. Infect your mind with the x10 meme. Be like Larry Page and multiply your business by ten!

DOWNLOAD THE x10 BOOK HERE & PASS IT ON:

Who is the one person you know who would most benefit from a copy of this x10 book? Pass it on. (NOTE: This file has already been scanned for viruses).