sergey brin

Maybe even the most important. Re/code is reporting that Larry Paige is handing off the day-to-day management of Google’s major products:

It’s a very big portfolio for one of Page’s senior product lieutenants and a fast-rising company executive. The highly respected Pichai will now have purview over research, search, maps, Google+, commerce and ad products and infrastructure. And he will continue to keep his existing responsibility for Android, Chrome and Google Apps. The six executives in charge of newly added product areas, all of whom previously reported directly to Page, will now report to Pichai.

What a bold, audacious move. First, acknowledgement is required for Pichai’s rocket ship rise to the top. This guy is only 8 years older than me and is now the point person for much of $370 billion company. Absolutely amazing. Getting recognition as the leader in a sprawling organization like Google couldn’t have been easy.

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If there’s a company I’d work for just because of its leadership, it would be Google.  Larry Page and Sergey Brin are just on another level when it come to thinking about technology, the world and our future.  If we think like ants, they think like giants.  I learn something new every time I hear them speak, and the latest Fireside Chat with Vinod Khosla is no exception.  If you haven’t, see the insightful 42-minute interview as soon as you can:

Khosla had remarked (at around the 13:50 mark) how scary it was that technology and machines are displacing a lot of the work that people used to do and what that meant for jobs.  Page pointed out that 90% of people used to be farmers, and Khosla then added that today the number is 2%.  Page goes on to elaborate how we should be living in abundance, and that in actuality it’s pretty easy to meet everyone’s basic needs, but we’d have a new challenge in giving people something to do.  I agree and disagree with his hypothesis.

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We wrote before how the future of driverless cars won’t be Toyota but Uber.  We hypothesized that car manufacturers won’t risk putting their brand behind such a project, and that you wouldn’t be able to walk into a car dealership in the next 7 years to buy one.  Instead, the future of driverless cars will be in services like Uber, where consumers don’t own the car but pay to ride it.

This excellent article from Reuters, chock full of insider reporting, supports all those hypotheses.

Car manufacturers won’t risk their brands:

Car companies, all too familiar with the devastating financial and brand damage of recalls, would see any hiccups with the self-driving car as a threat to their main business.

“We’re not going to put our name on a project like that because if something goes wrong, we have a lot more to lose.”  – Guy from major car manufacturer

It’ll be years before you can buy a driverless car from a dealership:

Some in the industry predict fully automated cars will be available as soon as 2020, though research firm IHS Automotive does not expect the cars to be widely available until 2035.

To start, driverless cars won’t be purchased but used on-demand:

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has described self-driving cars as an on-demand service that consumers summon when needed. That would represent a seismic shift from a longstanding model based on individual ownership.

Ahhh.  It does feel good to be right.  🙂