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What Eric Schmidt Really Said; Five Google Statements Translated



Google CEO Eric Schmidt discussed so many topics at an event sponsored by Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications yesterday, I’m pulling quotes together from four different articles!

So, as usual, Marketing Pilgrim does the hard work, so you don’t have to. :-)

Please let us forget "don’t be evil"

Schmidt said "Don’t be evil" is meant to provoke internal debate over what constitutes ethical corporate behavior, rather than representing an absolute moral position.

"We don’t have an ‘Evilmeter’ we can sort of apply — you know — what is good and what is evil," Schmidt said

Marissa Mayer said much the same back in April, and it appears that Google would rather we let it off the "evil" hook. It seems like "don’t be evil" was great for Google, while it was a young start-up, looking for publicity, but now it’s all grown-up, it’s clear the motto restricts Google too much. My question to Schmidt is this; why is Google so keen to step away from "don’t be evil?"

Stop calling us a "one trick pony"

Schmidt reaffirmed that the company’s primary goal is not to make money selling ads, whether it is banner ads or ads on Web searches, online video, TV and mobile phones.

"The goal of the company is not to monetize everything, the goal is to change the world … We don’t start from monetization. We start from the perspective of what problems do we have," he said

OK, I’m scratching my head on this one. I mean, seriously. Does Google really expect us to believe that the company’s primary goal is not making money? If that’s the case, why isn’t Google.org the main focus? Why not give away all of its profits to countries that need more than just personalized search? Things like water and food are a little more useful than a search engine that remembers you like Italian food.

We prefer an independent weak Yahoo

“We think an independent Yahoo is better for competition, for innovation and so forth,” Schmidt said.

…and besides, if Yahoo and Microsoft merged, the combined entity would dampen our plans to make money change the world.

I’ll spy stay on the Apple board for as long as I can

Still, Schmidt reiterated that he must occasionally be excused from Apple board meetings…"I’ve only done this once or twice, so it’s not as common as it sounds," Schmidt said.

Schmidt was asked whether the increasing competition between Apple and Google on the mobile front might ultimately prompt his resignation from Apple’s board. "It has not so far," he said.

Schmidt maintains that Google’s Android will be "quite different" from Apple’s iPhone. Still, it will be tough for Schmidt to remain on Apple’s board, once Android is nipping at iPhone’s heels.

Newspapers are great, they write the content we monetize!

…Schmidt said DoubleClick’s system for serving up online display ads could generate "significant" revenue online for newspapers. "It’s a huge moral imperative to help here," Schmidt said…

I was going to translate this one for you, but The Huffington Post nails it…

Google also has a financial incentive to bolster newspapers because the stories, pictures and other content that they distribute online creates more opportunities for the company to make money from short advertising links that appear on millions of Web pages each day.

Did I miss anything? Did you read a Schmidt statement you thought was interesting? Share it below, thanks!

  • http://www.greatpriceshere.com Nicole Price

    Andy, poor Eric does not stand a chance before you! Great post.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Nicole – yeah, I hate to pick on him–he’s a nice guy–but sometimes CEO’s just click into “spin” mode. ;-)

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  • http://widestep.com Keylogger Guy

    Yahoo is needed Google. Just to prevent everybody to shout: Hey, it’s monopoly!
    Nice translations.

  • http://www.gadgets4nowt.co.uk PS3

    “The goal of the company….is to change the world”!

    Google = God ?

  • http://Ihavealotofthem Goran

    Considering the “don’t be evil” debate. I would say you on the other hand are evil. This article is a reflection of jealousy, and hatred towards Google and mister Schmidt. You deliver this messages to your readers, as if You do not want them to have their own opinion, saying, you do the hard work, so we don’t have to. I believe this is a poor attempt at trying to shape the opinion of your valued readers.

    Best regards

  • http://edi.google.com Edi Budimilic

    I agree with Goran but anyhow, we don’t know sh** about their true goals.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Goran – you hit the nail on the head. If you want to read plain, vanilla reports, Reuters is your best bet. If you want opinionated reporting–which you can agree or disagree with–then please subscribe to Marketing Pilgrim…we won’t disappoint you! ;-)

  • Sean Maguire

    “…sometimes CEO’s just click into “spin” mode.”

    You mean like – when they wake up in the morning?

    This is a great post. AMD is to Intel as Yahoo is to Google. Intel has always kept AMD in a nice little box, almost entirely controlling the level of market share they can have to prevent monopoly and anti-trust suits. I’ve seen it first hand.

    Unlike Goran, I much prefer you do the thinking for me. I sometimes get a headache trying to decipher what CEO’s are really saying. This way I can sit back and drink my triple venti latte’ and enjoy my morning read. Plus – you’re spot on. ;)

  • http://blog.vortexdna.com Kaila Colbin

    Hi Andy,

    This was a great read, but the main reason for my comment is to let you know how much I enjoyed your reply to Goran!

    It’s nice to know you’re not trying to be anyone other than who you are…

    Cheers,
    Kaila

    Kaila Colbin’s last blog post..The holistic human system, part II

  • http://www.evawhite.com Eva White

    Amazing. Really well put. I am actually feeling sorry for Eric.

    Eva White’s last blog post..Canada’s Apology To The Indian People

  • http://moreburritos.com Mike Morabito

    Thanks Andy, the “don’t be evil” mantra of Google I actually like but it seems that when people see Google acting as a privately held capitalist company they equate that with evil. I however think that Google is a pretty darn good company considering how they could be with the amount of information they have access to.

    I got a really good understanding about the motives of Google from watching the Google Developer conference keynote from this year’s conference. The speaker (I forget his name) said that basically Google gives away so many products online for free because simply the more people that are on the web the more money Google makes because they are the biggest player on the web. I don’t have a problem with that.

    It’s win/win for the company and the users.

    However, making a public code of conduct of “Don’t be evil” or even “Do unto others…” is dangerous because people expect you to follow your own code of conduct from their perspective. I think “Don’t be evil” is (or should be) a goal for googlers to aim at while being transparent that all people make mistakes. Furthermore, I think its cool that they make that part of their internal discussions and practices (albeit imperfect). Do you agree?

    Also, is there a difference between acting in the company’s best interest and acting evil in your mind?

    Mike Morabito’s last blog post..HELP ME: SEM (Search Engine Marketing) Scholarship Competition

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