Larry Page gave a lengthy interview for a forthcoming Fortune magazine article. It was only Page’s second wide-ranging conversation with a print publication since becoming CEO of Google in April 2011.
The 70-minute discussion covered Page’s take on the future of search, his plans to integrate Motorola and how his management style has changed since taking the helm of the company.
A big part of this is happening as we shift from the desktop to mobile. There’s a lot of concern about the prospects for advertising in mobile. How much do you think about monetization of new services?
We made our bets really early on on Android. We thought that the mobile experiences really needed a rethink, right? That was correct. It’s been very successful. And I think because of that experience and the knowledge that we put into developing Android and our understanding that, we understand that space really well. I think we’re in the early stages of monetization. The fact that a phone has a location is really helpful for monetization.
I view a whole bunch of things as additive that you can do on mobile that you couldn’t do before. And I think with those things, we’re going to make more money than we do now.
I think there’s no company you would choose that would be better positioned to transition and innovate in mobile advertising and monetization. We’ve got all the pieces we need to do that going forward.
What else would change [in a world with self-driving cars]? Would we not have streetlights? Would the cities be different? Do you have a vision for what could happen?
It’s very hard to predict entirely. I think that, you know, one of the issues we face here is parking. I’m getting quotes [for] the cost for us to build a parking lot structure [of] $40,000 per space. It’s all concrete and steel. Do you really want to use all your concrete and steel to build parking lots? It seems pretty stupid. If we have automated cars, or even if we have some fraction of automated cars, we’ll save hundreds of millions of dollars on parking, just at Google.
When you think about your experience, the car can drop you at the front door to the building you work at and then it goes and parks itself. Whenever you need it, your phone notices that you’re walking out of the building, and your car’s there immediately by the time you get downstairs.