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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 1, 2011 1:30pm-3:00pm EDT

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the two are mutually exclusive. my life is about not having to be either/or. to reconcile both. >> let's take one more question back there. whoever is closest to the microphone. you already have the microphone. that is even better. >> thank you so much for your talk. i find the idea of moral courage very heartening. my question is about your critique of liberal muslims who do not it acknowledge islamic roots -- very aware that garden religious action and language has done so much wrong in this world and religion is a source of hope and has done much good
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but i don't understand why you would want to say that such and such violent act is islamic rather than a muslim has done such a thing. >> that is a failure in my communication. i don't say it is islamic. a 5 felt it was i couldn't remain a muslim with integrity. i do not believe that these crimes are islamic in nature. i have to acknowledge if i am going to be honest that they are often committed in the name of islam. that is very important to recognize. therefore there is some religious inspiration. let me give you a very quick example. there's a verse in the koran. chapter 5 others 32.
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most moderates when they even recognize that it exists say all it tells us is if you killing human being is like killing all of mankind. it is not islamic at all. is leva -- what they don't tell you because they don't know and sometimes they do but don't want to own up to it is it is longer. it states if you kill a human being, unless you are killing that human being as punishment for murder or other felony in the land, you think that is big? unless you're killing as punishment for murder or other felony in the land, only then would it be like killing all of man, and. this clause beginning with the word except for a less is an
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escape hatch. it is a loophole that extremists use and why wouldn't they? of course they can use that. if we say this has nothing to do with islam you are lying. we are lying to others and lying to ourselves. what i say is even as we acknowledge that this verse exists and is being used by violent extremists we should be putting forth competing reinterpretations of the verses being used in violent ways. if we take this verse if we kill a human being it is like killing human kind unless it is for punishment for murder. why don't we ask muslims to
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define felony in the land as what muslims are doing? why is it always u.s.. print on saudi soil or israeli occupation of the palestinians? why is it we never acknowledge what we do to one another is a felony in the land? if we acknowledge that and be find that in terms of this verse we got to realize the counternarrative is we have to eliminate the appeal of the extremist ideology in our faith. we can only do that when moderates step up to the plate and become reformists. why aren't they liberal right now? they are speaking to conserve one strand of a multifaceted identity. when moderates engage with non muslims or moderates like myself
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if you ask anything that makes them uncomfortable emotionally they take it as their humanity is being assaulted. your humanity is not being challenged. i respect and engage with humanity. that is why i have this conversation. it is your identity that may be challenged and who decides what that identity means? how did you come to decide there is only a particular quality that the finds what you are as a muslim. did you come up with it yourself? that is why i say there's a difference between identity which is a social contract that others apply to u to put you in your place and let you know who you are and what you believe that you will be none other than this. there's a difference between identity other people give you and you decide if you will
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accepted and integrity you give people. nobody can take that away. [applause] >> the book is "allah, liberty and love". irshad manji, thank you for your courage. [applause] >> for more on irshad manji and her work visit irshad visit to watch any of the programs you see on line. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click surge and share anything you see on booktv by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting the format. booktv streams live online 48
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hours with top nonfiction books and authors. >> next on booktv steven levy, senior writer for wired magazine talks about how google operates and the impact it has had. mr. levy was given full access to the company for two years and interviewed hundreds of current and former employees for the book. this is about an hour and a half. >> i will start with 15 years ago a couple grad students at stanford set up shop in a dorm room. one of they was named larry page and the other one was sergei
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and their story is the stuff of legend and a appended the portal of business and showed that surge was important and they dreamed of making information accessible and they are continuing on that path and the pass you laid out in the well-documented book has at times been a tough one and gets tougher as their dreams hit against the reality of the world. >> the company, not the book. >> i am so interested it is hard for me to tell if everyone will be but if you are at all interested it is a fascinating read and are learned some things about the company. you have been covering technology for a while.
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why did you pick google as the focus of your latest book? >> i first came across that early in its history and starting to get noticed around the world as a more effective way to find things on the internet. they thought surge in was as good as it would get. then google came along and it was so good that it was different and it was transformative. not only could you find what you wanted but it opened new frontiers so people could start things knowing they could be found. how to meet these people? i was excited about it and new things start out, i always want to know is this a nice development for something where i really have to know the people behind this company?
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they will make a difference in our lives? a i went to the googleplex which was the first building -- i knew the public relations person from apple computer. it was october of 1999. it was google's celebration of halloween. larry was biking in a big fur vests and surge guy --sergei was dressed as a cow. they took me into a room -- something about them was compelling. it grew into an important
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company and turned out to be an incredibly successful business. i thought this could be worth a book. there were several books going. i let go and went to something else. there was something about this company which was not only difference in what it gave us but different on its own terms. it really hit home for me in the summer of 2007 when i was invited to go with some google managers, future leaders of google. people who were not only skilled in engineering but entrepreneur real things as well. every summer one of the key executives takes these product managers to visit google offices
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around the world. literally went around world to tokyo, beijing and tel aviv. it was not mediated which is a rare experience. inside the company realized it was more interesting than i thought. it was not just all those things i said before but there was a cultural movement going on. these people were steeped in the future in a way that their predecessors in the business hadn't been. i got a sense what their values were and they were channeled from larry page -- wouldn't it be amazing to tell the story of google from the inside to get that experience with this group of 18 engineers and the company of 20,000 people as it was then. if i could write that book it
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could be something. >> you did get inside. i wondered a couple things and we will get to what you saw but first, how long did it take to do this and how much access were you given to google in the process? >> i started the book in june of 2008. it was almost three years. i asked for a lot of access. the most important thing was to talk to anyone wanted to talk to. i wanted to sit in on a number of meetings. mainly a wanted to talk to the people at google, people you never heard of who were the key to google. there were a number of people inside google who were important
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in developing the product. they were influential in the company. these were the people wanted to spend time with not just once but multiple times. my time at wired i started serious work on this book and began full time at wired magazine. i left newsweek and shifted to wired. it was a terrific experience. i was able to spin off articles. everything i did what was for the book. >> didn't sergei wiry releasing a book? why not chapters that a time? >> we will talk about google
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book search later on. they take books seriously as sources of information but the two founders are not really book people in terms of their own record. when he said that to me, remember thinking it is not the same seriousness. working on a wired article he would spend more time. never as much time at newsweek in the early days. we come to new york and have lunch and he was more accessible and google came out with a new product that he would tell you about it when you call on an issue. in later years they were tougher guests. >> they are busier i am sure. >> i run into them all the time
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that the googleplex. >> is funny that he said that to you. a couple years you were there a lot and they gave you access to all kinds of people. you didn't feel they were guarding access. the things you talk about they feel like you are really talking about things in a very factual way. >> hi had access to a number of projects that were not public. during a trip one thing they did was went to every office and would explain to the engineers here's what we're up to whether it was ben galore or tokyo, here is what we are doing here. one of the things the engineers
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talked about was a product called chrome that they were working on. that was a year away. they knew they could trust me to keep my mouth shut and not announce products. but knowing about a lot of things that were going on opened up a level of trust. people could talk about something, they came to feel they could unburden other things. and a lot of times i begin the interview and there would be a communications person in the room more often than not and would look over at the person -- could we say this? she said be frank. go-ahead. and they did. after a certain amount of time i was talking to eric who was asking how is it going before we went into our interview. i said it is funny.
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learning to play the guitar. at surge in points you stop looking where your fingers are and just play the music. that is the way i felt that a certain point at google. i felt very much at home and people picked up on that when i interviewed them and with a few minutes we were talking not so much the distance of journalist and a source but as if we were collaborators or colleagues. >> my experience is there a relatively open as companies go compared to apple but that is a different story. one of the things -- let's go to the early parts of the book and one of the things you make quite a point of saying is both these guys -- understanding that is
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key to understanding this company in terms of how they think. you had interesting thoughts -- >> i read montessori's work to understand them. it talked about the balance of freedom and discipline. it seemed to map out the perceive philosophy in what employees should be able to do. it is liberating not to answer to authority. maybe the famous 20% projects -- >> you get 20% of your time to work on something you are excited about. >> sometimes people call it 120% and they do 20% of things they
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do by themselves. that is in keeping with the montessori philosophy. they pursued this in the structure of google and it is important for them to be free radicals inside the google system. they don't want to be pinned down too much to the point where at one time they dismiss their assistants. they had a group of young women who were their assistance. people would talk as if they were an entity and larry explained he didn't like the idea that someone could say yes to a meeting for them. they ended that and that was it. from there on they were free to roam and go wherever you wanted and it had some interesting facts on how google employees wanted to talk to them would have to find them.
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>> the stock's bested by the time they let go. >> they went to other places. >> the other thing that struck me was the development of the core idea behind google. their ability to think out of the box which is a cliche term at this point and ask why it should be that way. in advertising, development of assets. something at their core is saying why should it be that way? >> add words was the first and it is the signal product of the internet age in terms of making money. there is no product that has done as well as google edwards. it is a product people want to
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see. how do we know they want to see it? google tests everyone and find out. they do this regularly. sometimes you might go to the google search engine and see no ads because no one got the key words but you -- every time you use google you are part of a test which blew my mind. but people surge more when there are ads. the reason it is successful is even though it is an auction system the highest bidder doesn't win. if it is modulated by how useful, how much people want to see if they build quality into the system to make it useful to the advertiser. it was a great triumph. >> at one point you talk about
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google as the troika where it is not just the advertiser and google but the person who is seeing the ad which is different from the way people thought about advertising before. didn't upset people in the traditional advertising community? >> very much so. it is measurable. you have to measure written now how good and useful the ads are. as a result science in the ad system is as sophisticated as in the search system. that is why they have statisticians and the economists and mathematicians on the outside as well as they have engineers and computer scientists and artificial
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intelligence specialists working on research lab. >> the death of mad men. a depth of mystery in advertising. they figured it out mathematically. you can really know if an ad is useful. >> i have a lot of fun talking to some of the people. usually when you read an article about google you don't see anything about salespeople but what was fascinating was how the sales people google, larry said why do we have these people? they change their role from negotiating something and convincing a client to take an ad to being your guide how you buy these keywords. that changed when they move from
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paying for ads to how many people clicked on it. it was all taken care of and measurable. it changed the world dramatically and some people thought where are we going here? when we are no longer saying we are definitely going to get this money. we have a good thing going. google is making nice money before they switch to that system but google took a deep breath and implemented the system and was weigh more successful than any thing we have seen before. >> was a general motors to through their ad people out? what is wrong with you guys? >> even before that just the idea -- people thought this is ridiculous. this is real advertising. this isn't the way things work. google had a difficult time that
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buying key words and these blocks of test where appropriate advertising vehicles for a big corporation. when they started to point out some huge number, 90% of people who buy a part go online to research their purchase even general motors figured out this is something we should get involved in. >> these guys are very and conventional. this was -- favorite talking about how to do transactions in countries that didn't have credit cards and larry page said we could take goats in the uzbekistan and. the people who funded google said we want to grow up to come in. this is when eric schmidt comes into the company and for many years he was the grown-up in the
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company. how did they pick eric? >> the venture capitalists put $25 million into google in 1999 with the expectation that these young men with no experience managing a giant company would get adult supervision and would hire an experienced manager to be the ceo. >> just because you dress like a cow. >> there are some interesting april fool's videos of erik. a few months after they got the money they called john boruk and said we changed our mind. we could do this ourselves. his first instinct was to say i am out of here but he held back and said wait a minute.
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why don't you just go and talk to a number of ceos that you respect. they went on the magical mystery tour. steve jobs and all the greats. they came back and said you are right. we like having a ceo and we know just the person to be are ceo. steve jobs. >> otherwise engaged. >> he was busy and i don't know if he was going to do that but john got them to look at eric. there are a number of reasons they respected him. he had been -- written a program they liked. eric was smart enough to know he could go in and say i am the adult and i will run the thing, step aside and let me make the
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decisions. instead he adopted a very conscious stand and i heard this a lot, talking about how brilliant larry and sergei where and how much he learned from them. eric would use the things that made it and effective corp. but he yielded his autonomy. there was this troika system where on important matters they voted and in certain respects larry and sergei were a block in the voting sector. eric slowed down some things they wanted to do right away like the browser. they wanted to do that earlier.
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eric was concerned about microsoft noticing how well google was doing. he didn't want to ruin the giant as he said. eric's history, microsoft was a big scary company. he lived in the browser wars that had an ended too well in the skate which was trading. ..
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>> well, it seems she was able to navigate that and perhaps to microsoft that may have been a wise decision. i wanted to ask about something in the book that i did not know, which is google is one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world. this was fascinating to me. i had no idea. and when you explain why, i was like a horse. and i am thinking that may surprise people here as well. explain why it is google is one of the largest computer makers in the world. >> one of the things i've really wanted to do in the book is talk about the data centers and that's really one of the biggest secrets they are. i was lucky in a couple ways in learning about it. one was they were getting a little more open than they used to be. not open enough to save, stephen, come to a data center and explore it. as it turned out, doing it early
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story from "newsweek" icon to data centers when the releasing space in the co-location center not far from here. but there were some ex-employees who are little more verbose about the data centers. and i resent scientific publications that google had, which were available that you could learn. so you could piece something together there. people look at how many computers google has, how many servers they have and they build it themselves. and no one really knows the numbers. a certain point they stopped telling you and then they've made it 100,000. i say okay you can say that. it was probably much more. then the numbers sort of stopped at a million, but google is much bigger. no one knows how big it is, but a million is the baseline mayor. there's many, many. >> i guess the question is why are they building their own? why did they build their own
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rather than buy them friends say dell? what was the advantage? >> it's cheap is the reason. frugality is part of google's success. when you talk about millions of computers, cost is a big problem. and they do an interesting things with those computers they are. other companies might think we are going to not be penny wise. we're going to buy the good equipment that doesn't break down. google takes the opposite approach. if they were going to buy the as equipment and sometimes tweet it so it gets a little better. but we are going to operate a system so it's built to failure. it's easy to deal with it when one of the servers go down we can swap it out really quickly. and they found out in the long run that stand out much better. anyway, google is the most accessible failure system that's
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ever invented. they build in redundancy. their software system is extremely innovative, is really built to handle failure very, very successfully. you could argue in the way they roll out products, some of that goes out, too. their systems built to handle failure and products. they figure you're not feeling a certain my products come your not trying hard. >> gmail was in beta for five years. so it was only the data that was never released. >> i think google single-handedly destroyed the term beta. >> i think it was like spiderman in new york city that they keep doing that. >> talk about failure. >> exactly. you know, artificial intelligence is also -- and i think has become to make a bigger along, they started to realize increasingly more and
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more they had to be involved in artificial intelligence. in the book he mentioned something about how larry said he just liked to install little search engines in everyone's brain. they have a quite do not. >> it was kind of funny. every year google has this elaborate april fools thing and i notice how closely the cdc over-the-top subjects of their april fools jokes are things that larry and sergei were really things they want to make happen. they talk about artificial intelligence and will do this for you do that for you and may be a self driving car would've been inappropriate april fools joke, but only google's history and now they are building them. you see an increasing reliance of artificial intelligence. it was always there. i went back to some of my very early interviews with larry and sergei and thereupon i met ninth very, very early in their history. as it turns out, as the search
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engine of fault, artificial intelligence, learning became more and more of that. everyone knows about page ratings. not everyone, the people who associate google said what outcome of the search engine is fantastic because its allies in this democracy of the web. but people think is important is what google identifies as important for research. and that was a huge rate through the google rise above the crowd there. but as google search engine evolved, it withdrew its power from learning. it learns from the data that people give it when they react to the search engine. so while the clicks you do any good or search engine achieves the result or maybe say this doesn't work i'm going to put in another term. this is information google uses to find out if you're happy. google learns about the world from that. if you swap in one word for another word in your search query in google thinks maybe
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those words are kind of similar. let me look at behavior of other people. so google learns synonyms that way. by the same process, google runs languages by having a corpus of documents they used a translated text from one to another. you can learn by the same algorithms how language works and not have google trends at work. so more and more, you can see how artificial intelligence really is integral to a global does. i think there's a number of things you can say google the next company, why company, technology company, and artificial intelligence company as well. >> in using it, i see it more and more how much it continues to get the rings. but this is also where perhaps closer to increasingly get in trouble as to how much information they have about people and how they're using it. unassertive conflict it seems like a train but they are trying to do, which is really guess
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what you want before you know what you want. they are really, really trying hard. >> is a term called zero-curie search at google. [laughter] >> that's a little frightening actually. you know, the culture of google ad for a long time is very experimental sense and still have it. so in the years you have been covering it, my question is, as it's groaners 24,000 people now. you still feel that? when you go there, do you still feel some sense of an experimental place, where you can see a guy dressed as a cow? >> well, they take for granted a lot of these things. i think maybe april fools is gone as far as you can take it now. there's an april fools infrastructure at google. people work for months on these things there.
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you can say it's clever, part of the culture, but it's not so spontaneous anymore. i think there's a lot of things that these things become institutionalized and people get used to them. but it's still a rather remarkable if you don't see it adopted outside of silicon valley a lot do things they do at google. inside silicon valley vc startups can even twitter, when you visit twitter in its early days, they had listed a lot to the amenities that google has been even a small started. so i think it unsent as people think it's a good idea to feature employees. they don't leave the campus during the day and there have been happier employees are less likely to be resentful employees. >> a lot of companies don't think that way, that google always has. i want to switch to okay, culture of innovation, they bought youtube because they cannot themselves -- they knew video would be important to the
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web. they clearly saw that coming. but when they started with google videos, they couldn't quite get on the formula and it was outside the come to me. they bought youtube. so i guess a couple things. one is to you think that was a good acquisition? two, and you think that it was a sign that the company was perhaps less innovative than it had been? >> i think it is definitely a sign that google as a bigger company can operate as nimbly and freely as they could when it was small. actually the youtube thing is a great example of that because as it turns out, there is an amazing method by which you can compare the way google video, google's product was developed in the way youtube was developed because there was a big lawsuit that came with viacom filed against google and youtube for
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all they came out. you can see from the google site they were all these materials. basically what managers of google video spent time doing was preparing presentations to their bosses and talking to lawyers to make sure they were going to do some thing to get them in trouble. there'd be so much content. on the other side can't hear these very few people at youtube and an aerial e-mail sidhu cares, let's put this stuff out. luscious go for it there. and youtube became much more successful than much better supported in certainly more resource heavy google product they are. google realize this to its credit and overpaid. they overpaid for youtube, but at this point i actually think it looks at a pretty darn good
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purchase. youtube is i think the premiere video franchise of the web. google doesn't say whether it's profitable, but clearly they have said that it's making sizable revenues. i think it's poised to make more. i think they have very ambitious plans for it. it can have a much bigger impact on our lives then even the considerable impact it has already. >> i guess the question is, when will it make a profit? there's more and more competition from things like who video, so many areas google is facing there's a lot more competition. >> is incredible advantages. google was able to operate a video franchise at a much lower cost than its competitors. building as data centers like that, google gets a huge savings advantage. they the they redesigned the way data centers for.
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they owned fiber in the ground. they're probably the biggest owner of fiber optic cable in the world. so it costs less for google to do these things and other companies. a few years ago when some analysts were saying they must spend $800 million a year just on bandwidth, that was wrong. google didn't tell me how much they did pay, but it was clear to me that the events were way over the top. >> so i want to get it to a few things about where google is now. and i want to talk about china, which you bring up in the book. china is an interesting, you know, we haven't yet said, don't be evil, which is of course google's unofficial corporate motto that they came up with earlier inserted a little session they need to come up with a motto. >> in early google engineer was sitting in this meeting and getting kind of dilbert -esque.
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it was almost human relations is writing the thing on a whiteboard. people were saying the kind and help customers and things like that. and he said bye to what to say don't be evil and get it over with? even though the person running the meeting tried to say, that seems kind of negative, maybe we could spend it more positively, but another engineer almost like kilroy was here, waiting on the way for the google and it caught on. it turned out to be sorted and useful way to establish a sense of what is the right, not only for customers, but for us here at google and for the world at large. and larry and sergei always said they wanted to be good for the world at large. we will sacrifice profit to be the right thing for humanity. what a right thing to say when you ask people to invest in your company to make money on their
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investments. >> one of the early pr people was always like to you really want to say that? it's a difficult value to uphold for any profit-making enterprise. ultimately you are going to run up against those conflicts. >> well, a communications person at google and you hear this statement, don't be evil and you watch in horror as it moves sort of a secret handshake inside the company to something that gets out, you can just see it's going to be used as a bludgeon against the company later on. but i was surprised a lot of people at google, even though it is the knee-jerk way to get at google, yes, don't be evil. they do this, do that. they say people use it against. >> that kind of thing. >> at the people at google i talk to, even though they may not say a lot, dave missed it's been a useful phrase a standard
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way for thinking for them. they don't regret it. >> around china it created faster than the company and willing trachea, where i think sergei was not so sure, sergei came from the soviet union saw what that kind of regime was like as a child was very uncomfortable going into china. and they had to waive the senate sounds like, you know, from what you gather, this was a difficult, everything they did there from the get-go was a difficult position. >> i spent a lot of time on the china issue and what to turn a couple times. i was fascinated to see i was covering that it is they attended the famous hearing in congress, where tom lantos, the only holocaust survivor ever to serve the congress made elliot schrag representing google and other companies asked them, are
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you ashamed because you're going in there and censoring? but they actually did a very careful analysis. and it's tough to say how much they were aware of the implications. i mean, it was sort of like a moral spreadsheet. and in the spreadsheet, there's healthy cells, all these numbers there. some of them were numbers that were in the red. but then they were numbers in the black. there was more information in china. we are going to open china. and the long run, this compromise we make will be overweighted, overwhelmed by the good that we bring and on balance we need to crank up the spreadsheet and were in the black. we are doing more good than harm. it wasn't that easy. >> i will say, i was in china interviewing somebody who ended up -- a citizen who ended up in prison and he said to me personally he was happy the
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american companies were there. so it definitely is that issue of whether to be in china are not as complex. i don't think it's a straightforward issue, but they pretty much pulled back. i gather there was a big breach. what was said about the security breach that had occurred that made them finally say, forget it. which is going to be in hong kong. for not playing the chinese game anymore. >> to understand what happened with the security brief come you have to look at two other things that happened before. as it turned out, the experience of google and china have been sufficiently troubled fund that a lot of people who signed onto the spreadsheet idea come into the idea that google would do more good than harm had come to the pollution that it isn't working and we should think about changing their minds on this. there were significant number of people in the executive suites of google. i guess the executive suites, but executive cubicles or whatever you want to call them,
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who worked in a low-key way sort of arguing that we should rethink this. and it wasn't just sergei. it was another really key people and things were working. there were a number of tensions from the china side. a lot of people very unhappy with the support they were getting from mountain view. the biggest issue in china, i was surprised that i spent a week interviewing people in beijing that the biggest problem among the chinese engineers had nothing to do with censorship. it was that they would not allow access to google's code base in order to work on the products and improve them, just like the engineers in the united states and every other international office, where they couldn't get access to those. and they felt that google didn't trust them. i talked to one executive and he said that's the case. because we don't want to put
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them in a position where their families might be at risk for there could be someone in the communist party. we don't know. and that is the way we are going to play it. and ironically it turned out that a security violation was what many google lawyers described to me as the straw that broke the camel's back. >> yeah, it was pretty bad. they got access to code. what was it about that though that tipped them over the edge. i'm sure there were still people who are saying, you know come this day. you doing more good paper in technology here and some of the people who worked with them felt that way. they felt abandoned. he was in china itself the public with say you were doing that well anyway. icq had 20%, 25% of the search market is huge. >> and they did that overcoming a lot of obstacles. but i think what happen was for
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sergei's point of view much worse than the very, very serious best of some of google's best intellectual property. i don't know what that is. google is never said exactly what it is. but we don't is pretty important. was the idea whoever broke in there and you have to think it was chinese government or some unsupported, whoever broke and there was targeting the e-mails into gmail accounts dissidents, cheney defendant, who were using gmail, which was offshore, to talk and organize protests or post on them or just doing their personal business there. and that by all accounts infuriated staircase. he took it very personally. he said that. and that was a terrible thing for him and for google really.
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there was one person whose account was compromised was actually at stanford. google wanted to get her laptop right away to see the evidence of how this thing worked there. they had their security over stanford to pick up the laptop, but the break-in was so sophisticated that it evaporated like a mission impossible, self-destruct. it was gone by the time they got her laptop. >> there is a lot of cynicism about google's pullout within china and what it was about and among some in the press. and they actually had discussions with many people who feel it was an economic decision announced by google pulled out and they were looking for an excuse. >> i think that at all. google is making encouragements economically. there were people at google who came to believe there was the feeling in how stressful they could be. 30% of that market is pretty good. the real-life economically from
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google is that while the entry for this done is doing well, make inroads in china, the value to google is much slower because google gives that to stem away, but the system works very well with google products in the google search engine. so if you are using an android phone in china, yours search engine is dido or being. >> certainly not -- the other thing i noticed i'm going to be slightly cynical even though i'm inclined to believe sergei headstrong ailing about it, but i noticed an article about facebook doing exploration, talking to the chinese. shortly thereafter i intuitively had a feeling that it's going to happen. someone from google said we didn't say we were out of china. >> they are very emphatic as they are not out of china. some of their products like max
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are still doing okay there. but to me, the search is part of google. and when that's gone, they have huge obstacles. >> well, i guess it -- well, moving forward to the question as we move forward, the company is facing increasing competition from facebook and this is where the beauty of google has been this extraordinary engineering and intelligence. and facebook comes along, which is about engineering and intelligence, but it's much more social and much more geared towards things that i wonder our sergei and where he going to be good at this? they had the opportunity early on to really get into the social space. they didn't take it. is that something going forward about a real trouble area for the company moving forward?
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is where we are really a grown-up? can he move them through this. and compete with facebook? >> it's interesting. people talk about this thing is that the people and facebook are touchy-feely kind of people. they are engineers, too. >> it's sort of like -- >> it may be a generational thing because certainly you think about it, markets october is a full generation longer. they amended their late 30s now getting towards 40. they are not there yet. they are certainly a ceo h. zero there he is. i think the question is really coming in now, whether google can successfully integrate those into its core there.
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i think now they understand how important it is geared and their previous early after, they didn't treat that with the same priority, certainly a year treating it now. but you saw, as facebook became more and more successful, facebook i guess was google. and now google has its attention focused very keenly on this area there. and google has some assets to bring to bear. they know a lot about the people who use it if they know about about your contacts. we decide it comical plus one and a but it's going to try to figure out who you know when you search for something, you'll see one of the folks in your social circle, like one of the results that came up in your search page. so there's thing to bear. i think google is committed and there he is committed to this project here.
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>> i think the other company that assemblies can be a threat to them is apple, which is probably of any company of the smartest how users use things. i went to a party once. i was trying an iphone for any joyed and someone looked at me and said it's kind of like when someone from google when someone apple to a party. the iphone is better at parties. is this much more user-friendly device. so android is doing incredibly well. i wonder, will that change now that you can get a verizon iphone? how well do you think they are equipped to kind of move forward in the a little bit more savvy about how they deal with the public? they've never been good at, for example, when they rolled out the next and nobody could call up and say, my phone isn't working. larry was like let them eat
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cake. >> well, their view of customer support has always been people can figure it out on their own. at one point, i tell a story where someone was figuring out how many people in customer support they should ask larry ford. he said i would need at all and figured out they would start these google forums where people can help each other. it's almost saying, figure out how to make their own house there. the 9-year-old is somewhere in the main land, rate? but in consumer products, that doesn't work so well. the social stuff is the internet. google knows the internet. we'll have to see. facebook does so well and they are so entrenched that they are not going away. they're not going to give up and do a myspace and ignore what google does the way myspace really was oblivious to how will facebook was doing. so i think that's, i think google will succeed at the
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facebook status, what google is doing is so important we have to sit down with them and share some information there. what really drives google crazy about facebook is that you've got hundreds of millions of people. sooner or later it's going to be a billion people creating information important to them that google can't put and give its customers when they say, find the one thing. this is important. find it for me. >> facebook is bringing back display advertising because they have so much information that they can actually target it is way i'd. >> that's what facebook doesn't have. facebook doesn't have the magical confirmation in their advertising. i think people would be happier if there were no advertising on facebook. mark zuckerberg, i went to the famous session where he talked about to advertisers we are going to give you a chance to
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put yourself in the conversation between our users. between friends. when i talk to my friends, i do what casey: the conversation. >> no, i think you're right. it's going to be interesting to see how all of those plays out. there was one inning before i get to the questions from the audience that does strike me about larry as he takes the helm, that he can be a little arrogant perhaps. we put someone in the book from your that this is over the whole google steal. larry says i'm trying to do good. i'm trying to digitize the world's books. this is good and yet, i wonder if that's going to get him into trouble, too. this mission to do good without also realizing that you're going to hit up again industries that are -- it's not necessarily -- people write books.
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the books are valuable. and that you said, sergei -- they don't get it. people have worked hard on books come to your book for example. did you sense that about him? it came through in the book that was what he was thinking about him. >> when you read about people like larry page or steve jobs, people are tempted to say -- there is writing about steve jobs the good steve and the bad steve. there is only one stephen you can't tease those things out. some of the aspects of the personality, which may not be the greatest are probably some of the reasons why he's the greatest ceo. and i think the same with larry. i would say less air against ben flanders to the effects of what he does bear. so you take some pain -- he knows that the value to the world to how this information that anyone can search. and that's important. so he is so focused on not, that
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may be in an intellectual sense he can get the concerns about theirs you do when he sees them going up there and complaining and he says that's the way he sees it, he doesn't have much patience for it. when he talks about people who talk about privacy. google is concerned about privacy, but a lot of people don't think much like privacy advocates. they think that those people are playing for nine-hole or something like that. in a way, that enables google to charge forward and get things done, but it's not going to help them too much when they are fighting antitrust charges or justifying what they do and a regulatory or legal sense. >> as we move forward, there's going to be more of that as they get bigger and bigger. so let's take some questions. the first one is a good question here. how will google change after eric schmidt this?
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basically this week. >> i think larry started ceo on april 4, which is the formal date, the chamber 20th was the day it was announced. immediately after that i think where we started -- jumped in and started rethinking the way google is managed. in stepped things up in certain areas and started rethinking how google can reclaim its nimbleness. i think periodically everyone loves that. in another sense, i think that will change so much in that larry's values were always the values that drove google. people channeled his love of speed and scale and ambition and artificial intelligence. so in that sense, i think maybe google would be more what it is, almost doubling down on google
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mess. >> i did read this memo he sent out. he talked about when people were in meetings, and they shouldn't be typing at their computers or any them. it reminded me early on at the famous story about gary dillard coming to see larry page and the entire time larry was on his black area like this. >> i thought that was interesting because at one point that was one of the glories of google meetings committee idea that people could do their work and come to a meeting and focus in on just the right time and then thrown out and answer the women this e-mail that every google has to deal with. >> comments on eric schmidt's position on the apple board in conflict with android development. a lot to comment on that. >> it was interesting. i was interviewing him right around that. there. at a time when google was developing android, eric would have should leave the room at an
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apple board meeting would not have been there. i explored the google apple relationship because something went terribly wrong at steve jobs apparently keen to feel that he had been betrayed, they entered this not what he thought it was going to be. and what he had envisioned this as a great pair, the broad range of humpty bogarde launching off to rule the digital world is there come knees were entirely complimentary wasn't to be. even said to his employees, we are not doing a search engine, why are they doing a phone? and eric would always tell me, we have it all figured out. i leave the room and in some
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ways frenemies is a big deal in silicon valley. it happens all the time. but clearly there was more going on beneath the surface they are, to the point but that relationship a fractured. >> yakima steve jobs is actually kind of mentoring that when they were younger and they won a tennis eeo. >> he would walk with sergei. steve jobs is respected superhigh oleic google. marissa mayer takes her younger managers and project managers to steve jobs keynotes to see how it done. so despite all this, you know, you won't find anyone at google who doesn't it mire steve jobs. a lot of people wish that some of that could find its way to google. >> what shocked you the most about google?
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if anything? did anything shock you? >> well, when and if we talked about the free management style they are. i not shocked, but surprised at a number of internal systems they have, whereby people have to report their goals on a quarterly basis and there's a big peer review product. so for a company which cherishes a bottom-up style, there is a flood of paperwork that they have to do. and it's done in a google style, but i find that kind of venture seen. the biggest one at google is called ok are, something that john dur introduced that was originally thought of by andy grove at intel. he takes it way beyond what was anywhere else. everyone has these goals they have for the next quarter, the next year and sometimes
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divisions of holes. the company will have an okay are you going to internal website to see everyone else's though carers. and they give you a number and later he'll report how well you're doing. if you are, what percentage they are. out of 10, if you do tan, that is not too great always because it shows you weren't ambitious enough. so like six or seven is a good okay are for film and at google. it's also one of those terms when you use it, the series of accidents and googled an ocular. that's way people talk are freely if they mastered that vernacular. you say you're okr and gps and they say okay. >> are like speaking this whole other --
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>> he's one of us. >> so every company has flaws. what is google's? and can it be fixed? >> well, we touched on a couple of them. i think the myopia in terms of your a fat on the world fair is definitely some pain that doesn't serve google well. i think just its size. google likes to think of itself is dated, but there's a lot of goliaths. >> i think the rumor is that there might be a justice department investigation into it too which i should add that you mention this in the book, that steve holmer, the ceo of microsoft hates google and has done everything in his power to sort of put out there that it is a monopoly. >> i find that so i'm dominic. [laughter]
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[applause] >> you know, i covered microsoft and bill gates. i had some amazing congress nation with bill gates. and i would say then at that point it would've set, if this is something that locate but not wish on his first enemy. i take that back. [laughter] >> so i think it is steve balmer who was the one you have a couple reported scenes in there. >> we can't repeat what happened. >> yeah, on tv. i do know when i was at microsoft several years ago when i saw steve balmer and this was before google had gotten really big and he says google is a nice little company. he goes, we used to be a nice little company and then suddenly we were a monopoly. this is what he said to me. so clearly i remember that because i watched them move forward. how do you see google's recent multimillion dollar has to retain employees affect the
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morale? >> that's a great question. there have been reports that to keep some of its key talent, google is giving remarkably huge sums of money. certainly there is a huge competition now for the most talented people. google has very talented people and they turned out to be good employees of other companies. and i think it could be a big problem there. you know, people come into cocoa, especially the past few years and they don't get it for financial gain at the early buglers had. when you are google in the earlier days, especially couple years before that, you're at a different financial level then you come in who got a very nice package coming in a couple years ago.
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and google is doing its best to try to retain people. the big difficulty is and how much money you can give to someone there. it really is a challenge. google selects people who are likely to get fed up with the bureaucracies. soviet-backed and the people they look for are the kinds of people who when a company gets to the word great opportunity to start a new company comes to come it says i'm a fear. and i can't tell you how many people who leave google say it's a great company. it's been a great experience. i love the calm me. see you later. >> in the book you talk about a few key people who left, went on and founded foursquare because they couldn't get this done within the bureaucracy of google. does it affect how people are feeling their? the people's will say hey, i'm that google? >> i think the employees, most
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of them really like being a mayor. a lot of people i talked to come to some people came in a couple years ago, a young engineer will come in and find himself warhurst of working with them at product may not be the most innovative thing they are doing. google has to do this. i talk to one of the top executives in engineering and he said this is a very difficult for us. we have to have people maiming these portals. these people have to do these things to keep the core of google going and i have to sometimes tell people, you are doing this when you would rather be programming for self driving cars. >> yes, the self driving car. as i said earlier, i wished i was on a road of self driving cars tonight because the traffic was so terrible at getting here. but as they move forward, that its interests are really do self
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driving car. and probably a place where, you know, and the innovation does continue with projects like that. >> i found it very encouraging that projects like that are still going. a lot of people say self driving car? what does that have to do with search? they think it's an example of crazy google. i actually think that the autonomous car is well in keeping with what google is. it is an information processing device. it gathers information about the world around it. it draws information from google's index. paccar knows what's around the corner because google maps all of these things, right? and its artificial intelligence indicates very much in keeping with a lot of google there. so i think more and more google interprets its mission very, very broadly, but those core elements are very much in keeping with the rest of the company. >> what is google's biggest
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threat? >> well, in the short-term, i would say it is the social meaning and facebook. in the long-term really, it is how much a success, discrete six s. in this area of search and add stops it from dominating the next thing. it the innovator's dilemma. you can say they have a mini leap to overcome that in the mobile world. that could've been a huge, huge problem for google. at a certain point in the not terribly distant future, there'll be more searches made on mobile devices than they will be on laptops or desktops. if google was the place very well in the mobile world, that would've been a giant problem for them. so they managed to leap over that subtle shift they are. it's a pretty big shift, but not as big as those yet to come.
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it's very difficult for a company that is very successful and invested in one area to dominate in the next revolution. in a sense, that is what's happening with facebook i think down the road there will be bigger revolution that google will be even more challenge to succeed him. >> as we watch what is happening with microsoft, they've had a harder time is the world to change. in fact, in the bookies at one point that they didn't seize the value of search in a lot of cause. you really missed it. >> i tell a story at one point not long after gmail came out, bill gates visited by "newsweek" office. >> it's a great story. >> his subject, the thing he wanted to talk about in 2004 was how spam would be gone in a year. he's not exactly nostradamus. [laughter] but we finished our conversation. we were sitting in my editor's
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office and talking about the products they use and where he was going to his next interview and we sake a gmail on there. and he was asking me about gmail. i mentioned that i'm about two thirds filled my quota of gmail, the gigabyte. and he was stumped. he said how can that happen? they must be doing something wrong in how they calculated. what is your e-mail? movies? he was very upset at this in the way google is doing and things like that. i think maybe he was just focusing on the technical issue of how females were stored, but in the larger sense the way he thought e-mail was basically there's a limited amount of storage. i'm sure bill gates intellectually understand how the prices of storage is going down, but he hadn't internalized it in a way where he totally understood down to is dollars that storage is free now and you could do something like gmail at a not great cost your company.
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>> there could be that moment in the future for google, where they just -- they don't see it. has anyone objectively compare the quality of google search results today versus a few years ago? >> google. [laughter] and they tell me it's better. [laughter] >> they must know what they're talking about. this is actually a great question. please comment on the role of speed latency and google success. larry page is obsessed with speed. >> asked me to read something at the end of that is where i was going to choose to do. i think i'll save that one for later. let me say, it's very, very important for google. steve is a teacher and a very important one. >> this is a curious question because i figured it was all a secret. to what extent is google turned
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up for success silly secret? >> well, when you say its formula for success, they are not sharing the algorithms. >> harder to get than the coke recipe. >> formula -- well you can read this book -- [laughter] but it's discoverable what it is. google is to some degree okay to the outside. internally everyone shares everything, but there is a hard shell. in many respects they are really open. in last couple of years they've been more open. things that used to be called like boxes made effort to be more communicative about and they make little videos and talk about how the ad works and if you coded the papers you can understand things about how the search engine works and there's even some papers and things about the data centers. so i think if you're reverse
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engineering google, you can learn a lot like i did about how they've achieved success. duplicating is another matter. >> well, this person gave me tripleheader because the next is what is it about their formula that other companies just can't emulate quite >> some of the things they can and some they can't. you can't build an infrastructure data center that takes billions of dollars and there's a lot of innovations that they're not sharing with us. they have a five in these other things. there's an infrastructure you can't lose a match if you want to be at google. >> a third question i really like and you're going to like this one, too. who would you pick to pay larry and sergei and a social network found about google? [laughter] >> i'm going to have to rely on my non-encyclopedia stuart of young at yours. jake guillemot comes to mind.
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>> yeah, i'm trying to think like who else. jake would be good is larry. sergei, i don't know. >> michael sera. last night's >> what the purpose of hiring to surf? he hasn't done much politically. is that an internet figurehead ruler what is the internal thinking there? >> i guess when you have a chance to higher your internet company, yet it chance to tie you're the father of the internet. i think people relying on him for his winston and i think he is a powerful force. he's based in the d.c. area, to talk to policymakers and people who watch google. and not tense, people listen to
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him. so i think it was a good higher. >> actually, bringing that up we didn't talk about the whole verizon situation. and that's a moment where he suddenly didn't hear him because he'd been previously huge net neutrality advocate. that is one of these places where i think a lot of people are sort of believed in the don't be evil suddenly got turned around, which is around the issue of network neutrality, that one -- one website should be favored over another. and all of a sudden, google had this turnaround. >> he finally did win on the side of his employer. people are wondering if he going to sit this one out? this was the question that basically google and verizon together reach the idea that will have net neutrality is maybe not so quickly in the mobile sense we won't enforce it so strongly, which became what the fcc eventually adopted in
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december when they adopted rules about that neutrality call which are currently being litigated by verizon. and that traveled a lot of people. and you have to see it in some degree as a basic decision. verizon is a powerful partner for android. >> going back to this, can this company continue to grow and really not be evil? a lot of people thought that this was in fact exactly that. it was a business decision. it wasn't a decision that in the end than he can advocates tout was going to benefit the consumer. it was a good decision for google though. >> you look at his ocean that google is an by setting the standards so people criticize it by make in this business decision, rate?
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it might be good for google, but now people expect they to sacrifice profits for humanity. i don't know. >> now, i think as complex as you get bigger. if a company now that is huge. google's original mission to organize the world's information and useful and accessible ways, how strong is that mission inside account any? >> i think it's pretty strong. a lot of people invoke and they say they are explaining this product for that project is they since our mission is to organize and gather and organize the world's information and make it accessible, that's why this product makes sense. so i feel that's pretty much ingrained at google. it's a useful niche in with some focus for that. and one which i think if
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employees are you in a way. >> accessing information is a good mission. it is a useful mission, served them well. now here's a question you've gone from writing about one kind of rock star to another kind of rock star. how did writing for "rolling stone" a sector work on this? we were just talking about how he interviewed bruce springsteen as one of his -- how did he go from brewster larry? >> well, one of the greatest interviews ira did come in the greatest quote ever got was when jerry garcia told me technology with the new drugs. last night and i think the excitement -- when i was a teenager, the music i listen to was this great music of the late 60s and it was, you know,
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inspiring and lots of ways. and i think technology now to me and this is why i feel so lucky to be writing about it, to have been writing about it during these past couple decades, you know, has the same kind of excitement. it's transformative and can do a lot of good. it's got its dark side as the music did, but it's an amazingly rich field to look at. and the people are more articulate than rock stars. >> some of them. sometimes they're not so good. >> i love talking to the engineers. a lot of times i'm about to go into a meeting with an engineer and someone will say, he's pretty much an engineer, you know? but i like talking to those people. and i think i've had some success in learning from them. >> well, what to let you take a moment to read a little section of your book.
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this have to do with the question about speed and how important that is. >> rate. okay, so it's about larry and steve. speed had always been in session at google, especially for larry page. osama's instinctual for him. he's always measuring everything. -underscore he hears about latency. more accuracy -- more accurately he despises latency as i was trying to remove it likely be met at watching kill from her hands. walking down the street with them in morocco when he went into an internet café. immediately he began seeing how long it took webpages to load into a browser there. whether pathological impatience for dead on conviction, speed is on her master it as a factor in social products. page has been insisting on delivery for every google from the beginning. the minimalism of google's homepage is allowing for lightning quick learning was a classic example.
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early google also innovated by storing cached verses and webpages on its own servers for redundancy and speed. engineers working for a page learned inapposite priority quote come when people do demos and they are slow, i know they cannot sometimes. 11,000, to 1000, that tends to get people's attention. last night actually, if your product is measured in seconds, you party failed. he remembers one time when he was doing it early gmail dannemeyer thought this. paige made a face and told them this to slow. he reiterated his complaint saying that the reload took at least 600 milliseconds. he thought you can't know that. when he got back a sun office, he checked the server logs. 600 milliseconds. he nailed this is buckeye. so i started testing myself and without too much effort i can estimate to 100 milliseconds per second. i could tell it was 300, 700 or whatever that happens throughout the company.
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>> well, steven levy, there's probably a million more questions from the audience and that i have, but i guess people at those questions will have to read the book, which was a great read. thank you very much. >> thank you. it was great. [applause] >> for more on steven levy and his work, visit steven >> you should always start with the assumption that when a politician or a ceo is saying i'm thinking that they are not telling you the truth. now come a day may be telling you the truth, but the burden should be on them to prove it.


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