Larry Page’s quest for creative destruction


Do we really need that? Larry Page wants to know. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Business Insider has published a profile of Google chief executive Larry Page by Nicholas Carlson. It details Page’s love of engineers — he thinks Google should employ one million of them — and his disinterest in so many other things. According to the profile, Page is totally focused on leveraging technology to solve problems that affect millions of people — and sees little use for whatever gets in the way. Here are five things Page wanted to do away with at one point or another, according to Carlson:

1. Advertising agency industry

“Page decided the company should destroy the advertising agency industry. To his thinking, it was obviously a highly inefficient system that could be erased with the help of technology.”

2. Product managers

“Some dramatic streamlining was called for, he resolved. Instead of the project managers, all of Google’s engineers would report to one person, a newly hired VP of engineering named Wayne Rosing, and Rosing would report directly to him.”

3. His assistants

“In 2007, he decided he was going to too many meetings. He tended to turn down these requests, but Google executives who wanted his input had found a workaround — sending their meeting invitations straight to his assistants, who would dutifully load up his calendar. So Page got rid of his assistants.”

4. Almost all media interviews

“In 2008, Page told Google’s communications team that they could have a total of eight hours of his time that year. Why should he have to talk to the outside world?”

5. The University of Michigan’s bus system

“He’d proposed that the school replace its bus system with something he called a PRT, or personal rapid transit system — essentially a driverless monorail with separate cars for every rider.”

I highly recommend the article. It’s an insightful look into a unique mind atop one of the world’s most fascinating companies.

Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Matt McFarland · April 24, 2014