Google under Larry Page is going to be filled with “more moon shots,” says Steven Levy, author of a forthcoming book on Google called, “In The Plex.”Levy wrote a profile of Page for Wired magazine as a run to Page taking over as CEO at the start of April.
The bottom line: “Google has had a wild ride over its first 12 years. It’s about to get even wilder.”
Here are some of the key takeaways and anecdotes on the man who will be leading Google:
- “If history is any guide, Page’s idealistic impulses could result in a vaster, more sprawling company,” says Levy. Later in his story he adds, “With Page in charge, Google will undoubtedly take on more moon shots.”
- For an illustration on Page’s tendency to think big, Levy provides this anecdote: In a 2003 meeting Page was asked how big he wanted Google to grow. Page asked, “How many engineers does Microsoft have?” Someone told him it had around 25,000. He said, Google “should have a million.” And he was being serious.
- Larry Page says he was inspired by Nikola Tesla: “I didn’t want to just invent things, I also wanted to make the world better.”
- Google software engineer Eric Veach says, “Larry always has far-fetched ideas that may be very difficult to do … And he wants them done now.”
- Larry Page signs off on every Google employee hire. He’s vetted over 30,000 employees. He gets a packet of data on potential hires once a week that he sifts through.
- In the early 2000s, Google was figuring out how to take payments in local currencies around the world. Page suggested the company accept goats for payment in Uzbekistan. (Apparently that’s the local payment system.)
- As for Google’s self driving cars, Page likes them because A. They collect data on the world, which is something Google loves and B. it’s an impossible task, another thing Page likes to tackle.