Friday, May 13, 2005

Keynote: Dr. Eric Schmidt, Google

A bit of a disappointment. Was expecting someone more charismatic. On the whole would have been very disappointed if it was not for one of the VPs from Sun Microsystems who was sitting next to me. He firstly proudly pointed out that of the key notes quite a few people were from companies he was associated with Sun (Eric and Vinod Khosla) and Apple (Bruce from Adobe). What he said was that Dr. Eric Schmidt was really an executor. He was a visionary but many people could be visionaries. What differentiated Eric was that he truly believed that people made a good company and went out of his way to encourage people to innovate and deliver.

While the talk was quite generic an interesting point that was made was that google follows the 70-20-10 rule where 70% of the time of any engineer should be spent on core activities, 20% on adjacent activities and 10% on pretty much anything the engineer decided. While this is a figure that has already been quite widely reported in the media I was impressed by the next statement made by Eric. He said that they actually had difficulty getting people into the 10% area as opposed to keeping them in the 70% area as i would imagine in most companies. The reason being google is so focussed that really the entire teams wants to work on what will make the most impact which is their core business. Impressive!!!

Some other interesting takeaways : Definitely local search is going to be a priority for google. He clearly said that google expects that most of the searches we perform on a daily basis would be around our own neighbourhoods.

Secondly what was going to be a priority would be searches that would be able to learn more about the context based on prior searches and interests of the individuals

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