Larry Page is one of greatest, and mostly unsung, CEO’s in the world …
Larry Page lives by the gospel of 10x. Most companies would be happy to improve a product by 10 percent. Not the CEO and cofounder of Google. The way Page sees it, a 10 percent improvement means that you’re basically doing the same thing as everybody else. You probably won’t fail spectacularly, but you are guaranteed not to succeed wildly.
That’s why Page expects his employees to create products and services that are 10 times better than the competition. That means he isn’t satisfied with discovering a couple of hidden efficiencies or tweaking code to achieve modest gains. Thousand-percent improvement requires rethinking problems entirely, exploring the edges of what’s technically possible, and having a lot more fun in the process.
This regimen of cheeky aspiration has made Google an extraordinary success story, changing the lives of its users whilefattening the wallets of its investors. But it has also accomplished something far beyond Google itself: In an industry rife with bandwagon-hopping and strategic positioning, Page’s approach is a beacon for those who want more from their CEOs than a bloated earnings statement. While Google has made some missteps in recent years, and while its power has deservedly drawn the scrutiny of regulators and critics, it remains a flagship for optimists who believe that innovation will provide us with not just delightful gadgetry but solutions to our problems and inspiration for our dreams. For those people—and maybe for the human enterprise itself—a car that drives itself (to name one of the company’s recent tech triumphs) is a much more valuable dividend than one calculated in cents per share. There’s no question which is more important to Larry Page.