Google CEO pans negativity, extols crazy ideas

Innovation, negativity, crazy ideas and nothing less than the future of technology were on Google CEO Larry Page's mind when he took the stage at his company's I/O developers conference in San Francisco recently.

With no demos and no fancy images projected on the giant screens behind him, Page stood alone on stage and talked directly to his audience.

"I'm tremendously excited about all the innovation you're bringing to life," he said, but added that he's saddened by negativity in the industry that he contends has slowed the progress of innovation.

"We should be building great things that don't exist," he said. "No matter how fast the change in the industry, we're still moving slow compared to the opportunities we have."

"And part of that is the negativity that I read about Google and others," Page argued. "Being negative is not how we make progress."

What does lead to progress -- at least at Google? Crazy ideas.

"Almost every time we've done something crazy, we've made progress," he said. "I say we're at 1% of what's possible."

One of those crazy ideas was Google Glass.

"Our main goal is to get happy users using Glass," he said. "And then we can get going and work on it for the next 10 years."

Page said what excites him most, personally, about the Glass technology is using it to take pictures of his children. "I have young kids," he explained. "For me, that's enough."

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

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