Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Eric Schmidt at Web 2.0

Eric Schmidt spoke with John Battelle on stage here at the Web 2.0 conference a few hours ago. There were some interesting new tidbits in their interview.

Eric broadly laid out two fundamental shifts that he sees in our near future: online video and software as a service. Online video is a shift toward watching videos on the Web with a focus on discovering related videos and sharing videos with friends.

Software as a service is a twist on the old idea of software moving off the disk and on to the network (a remote cluster of machines). The twist is a focus on reliability from using a large, shared cluster and on sharing and collaborating.

The prediction of an ascendance of online video might justify Google's YouTube acquisition. And, on that point, in response to a question, Eric made the incredible claim that YouTube is not violating copyright; whether objectively true or not, the fact that Google thinks it is true may also explain their willingness to pay an exorbitant $1.65B for YouTube.

Finally, a quick tidbit on hiring. In response to a question about attracting and retaining the best and brightest, Eric said, "People don't work for money. They work for impact." Very true. Money is not always the best motivator.

Update: Other good coverage from ValleyWag and PaidContent. [via Danny Sullivan]

Update: Video of this talk appears to be available.


Greg Gershman said...

I find it hard to believe that they consider YouTube as not violating copyright; if that were true, Google Video would have similar content as YouTube. The fact that it does not is what enabled YouTube to get as big as it did and be able to demand such a high price

Greg Linden said...

Right, it could be spin, public positioning for the court battles ahead. After all, if Google is trying to argue the DCMA safe harbor clause applies, they have to claim that they do not know about copyright violations.