Charlie Rose interviewing Larry Page at TED2014
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The video just went online. I was blown away to hear Charlie Rose reference something that I first heard from Larry last year at a Google X event – that he should leave all of his money to Elon at SpaceX. I shared Larry Page philosophical pledge with Elon last year on stage, and here is his reaction.
Rose: You once said you might consider giving your money to Elon Musk because you had confidence he will change the future.
Page: He wants to go to Mars. That’s a worthy goal. We have a lot of employees at Google who’ve become pretty wealthy. You’re working because you want to change the world and make it better; if the company you work for is worthy of your time, why not your money as well? We just don’t think about that. I’d like for us to help out more than we are.
Rose: Lots of people think about the future — but then we never see implementation.
Page: Invention is not enough. Tesla invented the electric power we use, but he struggled to get it out to people. You have to combine both things: invention and innovation focus, plus the company that can commercialize things and get them to people.
Rose: What state of mind, quality of mind, has served you best? Rupert Murdoch and many others have said “curiosity,” Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have said “focus.” What has enabled you to think about the future and change the present?
Page: Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future. I try to focus on that: What is the future really going to be? And how do we create it? And how do we power our organization to really focus on that and really drive it at a high rate? When I was working on Android, I felt guilty. It wasn’t what we were working on, it was a start-up, and I felt guilty. That was stupid! It was the future.
Rose: So what is it about you and transportation systems?
Page: I became obsessed with transportation when I was in school in Michigan. Eighteen years ago I learned about automated cars, and I’m super excited about it. One half of Los Angeles is parking lots and roads!
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