Google CEO Larry Page invokes Steve Jobs in interview, defends ambitious Google X projectsIn a wide-ranging interview published Friday, Google CEO Larry Page briefly touched on late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs to highlight the differences between the two companies, one being hyper-focused on a small set of products and another with fingers in seemingly everything.
Page's mention of Jobs came in response to a question from the Financial Times regarding the limitations naturally imposed on a single technology company attempting to remain relevant in a quickly changing landscape.
"He would always tell me, 'You're doing too much stuff.' I'd be like, 'You're not doing enough stuff,'" Page said of Jobs. The Google exec explained to Jobs, "It's unsatisfying to have all these people, and we have all these billions we should be investing to make people's lives better. If we just do the same things we did before and don't do something new, it seems like a crime to me."
Aside from its ad business, search engine and Android operations, Google has expanded to a number of other bleeding edge industries in hopes of tapping in to future tech before it becomes the "next big thing."
So far, it seems the company is intent on creating tech hegemonies in areas like smart home products, health and robotics. The latter is most apparent with Google's high-profile driverless car initiative and major investments like last year's acquisition of military contractor Boston Dynamics.
Unlike Google, Apple focuses on a few key consumer product lines, including the iPhone, iPad and Mac, only recently expanding into the world of mobile payments with Apple Pay. The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant does sink millions of dollars into research and development, always keeping secret projects tightly sealed behind closed doors. There has been little evidence that Apple is working on ambitious "moon shots," however.
While optimistic on Google's chances to make it in next-generation tech, Page acknowledges the difficulty of being a successful leader across .
"What Steve said is right - 'you, Larry, can only manage so many things,'" Page said.