Schmidt wings it in remarks here
April 17, 2006
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
Where's Eric? That
was the question buzzing at the Economic Club event at the Chicago
Hilton and Towers where Google CEO Eric Schmidt was due to speak.
plane was delayed. He arrived 80 minutes late, missing the VIP
reception and starting his remarks 20 minutes behind schedule.
None of Chicago's corporate and tech industry movers and shakers
seemed to mind.
well worth the wait. He delivered a wide-ranging talk that delighted
the audience. In 60 minutes, Schmidt described the impact of technology,
the nature of Google, globalization, the future of advertising
and the promise of today's youth.
August 2004 IPO, Schmidt wore a T-shirt to a tech industry conference
with the words "Quiet period," on the front, "Can't
answer questions" on the back. At the Economic Club, Schmidt
wore a tie and was forthright and candid, but in a decidedly Googlesque
seeks a stock tip
Miles White jokingly asked, "If I buy the stock at $410 per
share, will it be worth 10 times that?"
with a wry smile and a CEO's savvy, "I'm not going to answer."
Google can be visionary and irreverent, but must play by the legal
Google was once like a college dorm. He was careful not to add
too many constraints. "We don't have to have a dress code,
but people do have to wear clothes," Schmidt says.
openly of working with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin
saying, "It is delightful."
Page and Brin as "absolutely brilliant" and "repeating
every single behavior pattern of any of the technologists who
set out to change the world." Schmidt lightheartedly sees
his role as throwing cold water on their visions.
a good model," he adds.
tribute to tomorrow's leaders, earning rousing applause saying:
"This generation of young people are going to do very well
in our world. Our country is in very, very good hands with this
generation coming out of graduate school."
intervention and government regulation, Schmidt was circumspect
but upbeat. "One of the most important things to remember
is that governments have prisons, guns and nuclear weapons,"
American society for its checks and balances, while describing
Google's willingness to follow Chinese regulation as requiring
considerable deliberation. "We have no choice but to follow
the rules," Schmidt says.
optimistic about technology. He sees mobile devices and information
access expanding rapidly. "We are just at the beginning of
getting everybody online with these amazing and powerful devices,"
expansion of Wi-Max in the next 24 months, and when the service
arrives in Chicago, he'll have his cell phone tell him that he's
in Chicago, it's lunchtime, the pizza he likes is on the left,
the hamburger place is on the right, and he had a hamburger yesterday.
a less hierarchal society empowered by technology. "Is it
possible to run the world using all the people and all
the information?" Schmidt muses. "You could ask people
about public policy questions."
experts are already studying the consensus of online stock market
forums, and determining they are better predictors than individual
technology-driven change as inevitable. "It is essentially
unstoppable," he says. "However overwhelmed you may
feel about all the information that floats around, imagine five
years from now when it is 10 times more."
The only question
unanswered is where is Chicago's version of Eric Schmidt? That's
a question worth Googling.
students win Titan
School students Mike Gianetto, Nik Maksimovic, Dan Parmenter and
Renjl Thobias won Junior Achievement's Chicago Titan Competition.
Titan is an
online business-building contest.
had to make marketing, product management, operational, R&D
and capital investment decisions to ensure their virtual company
was profitable," says Junior Achievement's Samantha Kim Morris.
The team was coached by Jim Borel.
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.