Friday, May 23, 2008

Larry Page - 05/22/08 - Ronald Reagan Building

Even though I didn't have to go to work today (thanks to some Austrian holiday) I kicked myself out of bed at 7 a.m. The reason for that was Google's Larry Page being in town to speak about "Google Unwired, Expanding Broadband Access and Allocating Spectrum More Efficiently".

While the topic generally isn't something that gets me too excited I've been spending some time reading, thinking and talking about topics such as broadband and connectivity (obviously mostly in the larger context of OLPC). Initially Page seemed like a relatively dry speaker, often checking the notes on his BlackBerry. He did warm up a little and after about an hour and especially during the Q&A he appeared to be quite relaxed. My impression was that he is a relatively down-to-earth guy, well, as much as you can be when you own several billions and invented the best thing since sliced bread (literally!).

Google's Larry Page

He made several interesting comments, both on the topic of broadband connectivity and spectrum allocation and also other topics such as Google Android and the recent events regarding Microsoft and Yahoo. One of the key comments was when Page talked about "an open environment being good for business" which directly translated into more revenue for companies such as Google. Another interesting one was pointing out the fact that many people, especially in developing nations, already own a connected devices (a mobile phone) but still can't get online. The most outrageous idea he mentioned was an automated service that would auction off wireless spectrum similar to how Google's ads work...

Well, it was well worth getting up that early, as the session definitely provided lots of food for thought.

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