Sergey Brin Stories July 7, 2014

Google’s co-founders on how the company differs from Apple

In a ‘fireside chat’ with leading venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin discuss everything from the moment they nearly sold the company to why they are cautious about moving into health technology. One interesting angle for Apple fans was how the two contrasted their approach to that of Apple.

Brin, who runs Google X, said that the experimental wing of the company was about making a number of bets and hoping that some of them paid off.

From my perspective – running Google X – that’s my job, is to invest in a number of opportunities, each one of which may be a big bet. […]

If you look at the self-driving cars, for example, I hope that that could really transform transportation around the world [but] it’s got many technical and policy risks. But if you are willing to make a number of bets like that, you’ve got to hope that some of them will pay off.

Page contrasted this approach with Apple, which focuses on a very small number of products.

I would always have this debate, actually, with Steve Jobs. He’d be like, ‘You guys are doing too much stuff.’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah that’s true.’ And he was right, in some sense. But I think the answer to that – which I only came to recently, as we were talking about this stuff – is that if you’re doing things that are highly interrelated […] at some point, they have to get integrated.

Another difference between the two companies, say Page and Brin, is in their view of technology in the health sector. Apple’s long-awaited iWatch is of course believed to be equipped with multiple health and fitness sensors, and the Health app is a key feature of iOS 8. Google says that while it does have some health-related ambitions – such as glucose-reading contact lenses – it views the field with considerable caution.

Generally, health is just so heavily regulated. It’s just a painful business to be in. It’s just not necessarily how I want to spend my time. Even though we do have some health projects, and we’ll be doing that to a certain extent. But I think the regulatory burden in the U.S. is so high that think it would dissuade a lot of entrepreneurs.

You can watch the complete interview in the video above.

Sergey Brin Stories March 23, 2014

If you’ve paid attention to the ongoing feud between Apple and Google in recent years, you might think that the conflict is the result of Google’s decision to create a competitor to the iPhone after working in tandem with Apple to create the iconic device. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that.

But according to some emails sent by Google’s Sergey Brin back in 2005 that recently surfaced during a class-action lawsuit over the do-not-hire policies of the two companies (among others), that may not be the case. This “thermonuclear war,” as Steve Jobs put it, was a long time coming. Android was just the last straw.

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Sergey Brin Stories April 18, 2012

Sergey Brin clarifies: “I have always admired Apple’s products”

recent interview with Google’s cofounder Sergey Brin received a lot of attention due to his view that Apple and Facebook are the biggest threats to the open Internet. Today, Brin took some time to clarify his thoughts about the coverage of his interview, which he feels has been “particularly distorted.” In a Google+ post, Brin noted he has “always admired Apple’s products,” and he currently uses an iMac (Imac?):

Moreover, I have much admiration for two of the companies we discussed — Apple and Facebook. I have always admired Apple’s products. In fact, I am writing this post on an Imac and using an Apple keyboard I have cherished for the past seven years.

9to5Google has the full story. 

Sergey Brin Stories April 16, 2012

In an interview with the Guardian over the weekend, Google cofounder Sergey Brin said:

[…]he was most concerned by the efforts of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to censor and restrict use of the internet, but warned that the rise of Facebook and Apple, which have their own proprietary platforms and control access to their users, risked stifling innovation and balkanizing the web.” There’s a lot to be lost,” he said. “For example, all the information in apps – that data is not crawlable by web crawlers. You can’t search it.”

It is interesting that “lost” is defined above as “not crawlable by Google’s search engine.” Framing the argument—as “what is in the best interests of users” versus what Google wants—would probably have helped his case. We are supposed to think that it is just a coincidence the two biggest corporate threats to Google are also the two biggest threats to humanity/the Internet. (via Slashdot)

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Sergey Brin Stories April 4, 2012

From 9to5Google, which scooped this story months ago (here and here):

More here.

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Sergey Brin Stories October 5, 2011

Apple co-founder and visionary CEO Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56.

Apple posted the following statement on their website:

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Below are pieces of remembrance from some of the people surrounding Steve Jobs.

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