David Kirkpatrick

August 19, 2010

Google’s Eric Schmidt is losing his mind

Filed under: Business, Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:28 pm

What’s the deal with CEOs of big name internet companies going off the rails? Here’s Yahoo’s Carol Bartz from back in May, and now Google’s Eric Schmidt has made an increasing series of completely ridiculous statements culminating (for now) with this doozy. I hope this was said tongue-in-cheek and didn’t translate to the printed word. For some reason I doubt it. Do no evil, indeed.

From the second link:

Google (GOOG) is often accused of behaving like Big Brother, and Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt isn’t doing much to dispel those perceptions. In fact, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Schmidt dropped an interesting — and frightening — tidbit: perhaps people should change their names upon reaching adulthood to eradicate the potentially reputation-damaging search records Google keeps.

“‘I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,’ [Schmidt] says. He predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

May 3, 2010

Yahoo’s Carol Bartz must be high

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:35 pm

That’s the only way to explain her very odd mischaracterization of Google in this BBC article unless she was massively quoted out of context. If she’s running the company and has that poor of mental grasp on the competition, I’d be very, very concerned as a shareholder for the future of the company.

From the link:

“Google is going to have a problem because Google is only known for search,” said Ms Bartz.

“It is only half our business; it’s 99.9% of their business. They’ve got to find other things to do.

“Google has to grow a company the size of Yahoo every year to be interesting.”

Find other things to do? I’m no Google cheerleader (although I absolutely love the Chrome browser), but is she serious? I think I answered that in the previous parenthetical reference. Now I know Bartz was talking about monetized business, but even facing the Facebook threat to online ad revenue I seriously doubt Google has any short- or even mid-term concerns to remaining enormously profitable.

Maybe the tone of the interview was driven by a little industry jealousy. Just for fun let’s compare the recently released Q1 earnings reports for each.

Yahoo! (released April 20, 2010)

revenue: just under $1.6M, up one percent over first quarter 2009

Google (released April 15, 2010)

revenue: $6.77B, up 23 percent over last year’s first quarter

Now that is a difference in revenue. Yahoo is below two million and Google is below seven billion. Good interview, Carol. It’s always smart to call out your competition when you’re operating from a position of strength. Oh, wait …