There’s a running joke in Silicon Valley that involves a time machine and Larry Page, the cofounder of Google.
It generally goes like this: A braniac invents a time machine and brings it to Page’s office, excited for his approval. The engineer goes to plug it in, but Page has already dismissively asked why it would even need a plug to begin with.
It’s supposed to be an example of how relentless and ambitious Page is as a leader.
But in a rare public appearance on Monday, Page said that wouldn’t be his answer.
“I guarantee you if you invented that that’s not what I would ask,” Page told the crowd at the Fortune Global Forum.
He acknowledges that he’s known for pushing as a leader, but he views it as his unusual style that he likes to go really deep.
“I don’t push for the sake of pushing. I’m not like ‘Wow, why can’t you do it in half the time?’ — although maybe I do ask that question,” Page said.
“I do try to understand enough with what’s really going on with the physics, the technology and the software to really understand why maybe we could push harder or maybe we couldn’t push harder.”
So if a time machine was rolled into his office and plugged into an outlet, what would he have to say?
“Let’s turn it on!” Page replied.
Power cord be damned.
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