Google CEO Eric Schmidt confessed at a press conference in New York today that he didn’t know his company acquired Keyhole — now known as Google Earth — until after the fact. The same goes for Android.
The detail came up after a reporter asked Eric about Google’s plans to buy a startup a month.
Reporter: Please talk about M&A plans and goal of one acquisition per month.
Schmidt: That’s been our historic pattern. I think we will be buying small companies – 5, 10 people. That’s where some of our best stuff has been. One day Larry and Sergey bought Android, and I didn’t even notice. Think about the strategic opportunities that has created. Sergey found Google Earth one day while he was surfing on the Web. And then he walked into my office and told me he bought them. “And I said, “for how much,” Sergey?” And it turned out to be a few million.
Media Memo’s Peter Kafka highlighted these other tidbits from the press conference:
- “Brin expressed contrition over recent Gmail outages, and said the company was working both to prevent future failures, and to react more quickly if and when they do happen. But he reiterated the argument, common among cloud computing fans, that conventional email systems fail much more frequently.”
- “Schmidt repeatedly defended the proposed settlement Google had reached with authors and publishers regarding its book archive. Recurring theme: It’s not a perfect settlement, but it’s workable.”
- “Schmidt stressed the importance of porting Google’s Chrome browser to Apple’s Mac platform, and said that would happen within months.”
- “Schmidt said Google was working on ways to help publishers sell their work on the Web (via one-offs or subscription). But he said he had no interest in promoting one publisher’s results over another, as AP officials had recently suggested: “”We have to be very very careful not to favour one media organisation over another, with regard to speed or latency.””