Information Week Publishes Interview With Eric Schmidt

Information Week has just published a three page Q&A interview with Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. The article focuses on Google’s involvement in enterprise search marketplace but will also be of interest to all who watch Google closely. Here’s a look at some of what was discussed including his answer to the question including his response to the question, “Is Google the Wal-Mart of the information economy?” Penenberg asked made this comparison a few weeks ago.

+ On Google’s enterprise business:
“It turns out that one of the most bizarre things about this business is it’s actually growing quite quickly and quite profitable, even after lowering the prices 40%.”

+ Schmidt says that price and simplicity are two elements of Google’s enterprise strategy. When asked why others haven’t caught onto this he says:

I think we have some unfair advantages, if you will. We have scale effects. It’s very, very difficult to build these things. There are hundreds of technical people who built this.

+ He says that specialized tools will always exist and Google should, “integrate with them in whatever way makes sense.” He later says that:

There are legal search engines that understand the law at a semantic level that’s required. There are health search engines that do the same thing. That’s not something we’re going to do. It’s too specialized. It’s too small a market.

+ On the Wal-Mart analogy.

InformationWeek: Is Wal-Mart an apt comparison? Is Google the Wal-Mart of the information economy?

Schmidt: Wal-Mart means good and bad things to people.

InformationWeek: It’s a loaded question.

Schmidt: Yes. We’re certainly the low-cost, high-volume supplier in the distribution market. That allows us to do things the other people can’t. So in that sense, I think the analogy is apt.

The interview also includes questions and answers about China, security, and also includes a comment or two from Dave Girouard, general manager for Google Enterprise.

Finally, Schmidt is asked if Google is contrary to traditional IT. He responds:

It’s not contrary but it’s different. We delight as a company in doing everything differently. …In his group, we have the wildest meetings, because it’s basically all these people who want to change IT.

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