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Thursday, January 17, 2013, 01:57 pm PT (04:57 pm ET)

Google CEO digs into rival tech companies, says industry needs more innovation

In an interview with Wired, Google CEO and cofounder Larry Page offered his take on the state of technology, saying that companies like Apple and Facebook should dedicate more resources on innovation rather than competion.

Larry Page

Google CEO Larry Page. | Source: Larry Page via Google+.


Throughout the lengthy Wired interview, which covers Page's beginnings with Google and his work with the company's Google X project, the CEO offered his thoughts on why tech companies should be focusing more on innovating the next big thing instead of working on version changes of existing products.

Page expressed concern regarding company leadership, saying there too much attention is being paid to competition. When asked about a specific case involving the late Steve Jobs' comment of "going thermonuclear war" on Google's Android mobile operating system, Page quipped, "How well is that working?"

"But it’s hard to find actual examples of really amazing things that happened solely due to competition," Page said. "How exciting is it to come to work if the best you can do is trounce some other company that does roughly the same thing?"

Speaking on the topic of Google X, the internet search giant's experimental products lab, Page said breakthroughs and non-incremental changes are key and questions why tech giants like Apple don't use their vast resources toward these goals.

"You may say that Apple only does a very, very small number of things, and that’s working pretty well for them. But I find that unsatisfying," he said, adding that the "crazy things" investors worry about spending money on are ultimately the most substantial. Page gave the examples of YouTube, Chrome, and Android, saying, "If you’re not doing some things that are crazy, then you’re doing the wrong things."

Regarding new products, Wired asked if Google's latest social networking endeavor, Google+, was a result of competition with Facebook, but Page dismissed the idea.

"It’s not the way I think about it," he said. "And, yeah, [Facebook is] a company that’s strong in that space. But they’re also doing a really bad job on their products. For us to succeed, is it necessary for some other company to fail? No. We’re actually doing something different."