John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Talking Schmidt: Google’s CEO in His Own Words

Eric Schmidt once said Google’s “policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.” But during his soon-to-end tenure as CEO he happily high-stepped across that line like the grand marshal of the Tone-Deaf Technocrat Parade, as I once joked. Below, a collection of some of his more remarkable pronouncements.

ON THE CREEPY LINE
“There is what I call the creepy line.The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”
–October 2010

ON BRAIN IMPLANTS, WHICH WOULD CROSS THE CREEPY LINE
“I would argue that implanting something in your brain is beyond the creepy line–at least for the moment, until the technology gets better. As far as I know, we do not have a medical lab working on implants … As far as I know.”
–October 2010

ON PRIVACY:
“Streetview, we drive exactly once. So you can just move, right?”
–October 2010

ON CARS:
“It’s a bug that cars were invented before computers.”
–September 2010

ON THE BORG:
“What we’re really doing is building an augmented version of humanity, building computers to help humans do the things they don’t do well better.”
–September 2010

ON EXTENDING GOOGLE’S MISSION TO YOUR BRAIN:
“With your permission, you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches. We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”
–September 2010

ON YOUR FACEBOOK PHOTOS
“Show us 14 photos of yourself and we can identify who you are. You think you don’t have 14 photos of yourself on the internet? You’ve got Facebook photos!”
–August 2010

ON FINANCE:
“One day we had a conversation where we figured we could just try to predict the stock market. And then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that.”
–March 2010

ON YOUR NEEDS:
“I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”
–August 2010

ON PRIVACY:
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
–December 2009

ON M&A AND “ADULT SUPERVISION”:
“One day Larry and Sergey bought Android, and I didn’t even notice. Think about the strategic opportunities that has created. Sergey found Google Earth one day while he was surfing on the Web. And then he walked into my office and told me he bought them. “And I said, ‘for how much, Sergey?’ And it turned out to be a few million.”
–October 2009

ON ‘DON’T BE EVIL’
“‘Don’t be evil’ is misunderstood. We don’t have an ‘Evilmeter’ we can sort of apply–you know–what is good and what is evil….The rule allows for conversation. I thought when I joined the company this was crap…it must be a joke. I was sitting in a room in [the] first six months…talking about some advertising…and someone said that it is evil. It stopped the product. It’s a cultural rule, a way of forcing the conversation especially in areas that are ambiguous.”
–June 2008

ON THE ‘EVILMETER’:
“We actually did an evil scale and decided not to serve [China] at all was worse evil.”
– Jan. 2006

ON EVIL:
“Evil is what Sergey says is evil.”
–-December 2002

ON IDIOTS:
“People are surprised to find out that an awful lot of people think that they’re idiots.”
–Date Unknown

ON RUNNING GOOGLE:
“Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!”
–-January 2011


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus