Talking Schmidt: Know your competition, but don’t copy it

talking schmidt how google works

“Know your competition, but don’t copy it.” Those words of wisdom come from the image above accompanying a message put on the entirely original – not a copy of Facebook – Google+ by Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt. Schmidt is promoting his new book with Jonathan Rosenberg called How Google Works due out next month where the billionaire lays out the principles that made Google what it is today.

Included with the lemonade stand image and ‘don’t copy’ caption is another Schmidt line on originality and competition. “Playing catch-up with the competition will never help you get ahead by creating something new,” Schmidt says. Google would be the “hard” boozy lemonade to the competitions’ fresh lemonade. In the case of Google Plus, the booze could be the hangouts or perhaps the photo editing features or integration with other Google products.

Now picture this tidbit from Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs:

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

It’s hard to deny that Android started looking a lot more like iOS after the iPhone’s introduction, and iOS has clearly borrowed its fair share of features from Google’s mobile operating system, but there’s no denying that Schmidt’s message could be challenged. File this one with the rest under Talking Schmidt.

Talking Schmidt: If you want to have fun, then go to college!

Inside The South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival

Photo via Bloomberg

Finally some wisdom from Schmidt that I can’t dispute: “If all you care about is having fun, you should go to college.”

You know, the Google chairman has a point. He did include a number of other reasons for attending college as well, but that was really just sugar coating:

If all you care about is money, you should go to college. If all you care about is culture and creativity, you should go to college. If all you care about is having fun, you should go to college. Go to college. I can’t be any clearer.

His comments were made during a session at last week’s SXSW (South by Southwest) Festival (via TechCrunch) in Austin, Texas, in yet another appearance to promote his book The New Digital Age. Read more

Talking Schmidt: Robots will become omnipresent in our lives

Our mentor and life coach (and Google chairman) Eric Schmidt is back to enlightening us as only he can. While both exciting the geek in us and deeply concerning the sci-fi movie watcher among us, Schmidt spoke yesterday about Google’s work on automation and experimenting with technology to replace common, repetitive behaviors. You know, like in The Jetsons. Per Bloomberg‘s report of his discussion at the Oasis: The Montgomery Summit, Schmidt shared his vision for the future: “Robots will become omnipresent in our lives in a good way.”

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Talking Schmidt: Mobile devices serve as a check and balance on terrible things

Eric Schmidt B&W

In a recent video interview with The World Post, Google’s Eric Schmidt sounded off on how he thinks smartphones and mobile devices are impacting global politics.

Schmidt describes the positives and negatives of smartphone prevalence across the world (naturally thinking of many more benefits, of course). He addresses government’s ability to use our mobile devices against us, likely referring to recent controversies around NSA practices.

But Schmidt focuses heavily on smartphones enabling young people to have access to more information and grow their voice in the political process, something he says he is working on.

Smartphones make it more difficult for politicians to lie to young people, Schmidt says, because it’s easier to fact check information. Schmidt also describes smartphones as a ‘check and balance’ against evil people and terrible things as cameras and GPS equip young people with tools to spread information. Check out the full video below:

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Talking Schmidt: Armies should have drones, not citizens

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Eric Schmidt has seen the future and he doesn’t like it. Private citizens remotely piloting drones to spy on one another? Not in his backyard!

That’s the message he offered to The Guardian when discussing the future of certain technologies:

“You’re having a dispute with your neighbour,” he hypothesised. “How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?”

Such a timely point in history to mention privacy, right? And from the executive chairman of Google of all places? The elephant in the room here, of course, is Google Glass, you know, the video camera-equipped heads-up display you wear on your face? Like a drone? Read more

Talking Schmidt: Drop smartphones, not bombs

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

Eric Schmidt revealed today that he has figured out how to end war and conflict across the globe. His solution? Drop millions of smartphones into other countries instead of going to war. Nope, really, that’s his plan.

According to the executive, raining down smartphones on Iraq or Afghanistan could have dramatically altered the course of history and prevented war in both countries. He suggests that the United States “could have airdropped a million into Afghanistan or Iraq as a thought experiment.”

We can only thank Eric Schmidt for selflessly suggesting a deep, thoughtful solution to global conflict, which could in no way financially benefit his company (which holds a smartphone OS marketshare majority). Yeah… we’re not really expecting the Department of Defense to offer Schmidt a job anytime soon.

Talking Schmidt: “We can end government censorship in a decade”

In our perpetually continuing series fondly known as Talking Schmidt, we catch up with the Google Chairman and mouthpiece in mid-speech in Washington courtesy of Bloomberg:

Schmidt described the coming of a “network age” in which Internet users communicate and organize socially through private channels shielded by encryption, which scrambles data with a mathematical formula that can be decoded only with a special digital key.

“We can end government censorship in a decade,” Schmidt said during a speech in Washington. “The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.”

ENCRYPT. EVERYTHING. REALLY?!

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Talking Schmidt: Tired of Thinking? Google Says We Won’t Have To

Tip o the hat on the title to the WSJ. The interview doesn’t really give us much new info except he’s obviously hinting at a Google Watch.

Talking Schmidt: Google Chairman says Android is more secure than the iPhone

During a Q&A session at the Gartner Symposium, Eric Schmidt was asked for his response to people who say that Android’s security is lacking compared to competitors such as Apple’s iPhone. Schmidt’s answer was straightforward:

“Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone.”

This response understandably elicited laughter from the audience.

Sure, Google has created software to ensure that Android is more secure than it used to be, but that hasn’t stopped malware creators from exploiting holes in the operating system’s Play Store or creating fake apps for the purpose of phishing user information. Yes, Apple has had their share of security issues as well, but Schmidt’s assertion that Android is more secure than the iPhone seems just a bit on the ridiculous side.

Talking Schmidt: I’m rather perplexed by tax avoidance debate

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In the latest in our Talking Schmidt series, Google exec chairman Eric Schmidt has told the BBC that he is “perplexed” as to why anyone should debate why a company that “tries to do the right thing” would route all its UK adword sales via Ireland to halve its tax bill.

What we are doing is legal. I’m rather perplexed by this debate, which has been going in the UK for some time, because I view taxes as not optional. I view that you should pay the taxes that are legally required. It’s not a debate. You pay the taxes … Read more