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Larry Page

  1. Serenity Now: Startup Will Send “FireFly” Spacecraft to Prospect Mineable Asteroids

    Asteroids have been catching our attention a lot lately. Apophis was found to be larger and more dangerous than initially believed just in time for it to pass by Earth at 9.3 million miles. NASA has a potential plan to give the Moon its own moon by capturing an asteroid. The European Space Agency is sending up a pair of craft to test asteroid deflection methods. Now the startup Deep Space Industries plans to send "FireFly" spacecraft to explore near-earth asteroids to see if they can mine them for resources.

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  2. James Cameron Needs Interns to Help Mine Asteroids

    Good News Everyone!

    James Cameron wants you. To be his intern! OK, not exactly. The director made headlines last April for launching, along with a collection of superrich backers including Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Planetary Resources, a start-up aimed at mining asteroids for water and precious metals. And now Planetary Resources is looking for interns.

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  3. Google Completes Motorola Mobility Acquisition

    This morning, Google CEO Larry Page announced that the search giant had completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. According to the blog post, Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha will be stepping down to be replaced by Googler Dennis Woodside and that trading of Motorola Mobility stock will cease immediately. The deal, which was originally announced back in August, is reported to have cost google a cool $12.5 billion. That's some serious scratch to buy a failing phone-maker.

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  4. James Cameron, Google Founders, and Ross Perot Jr. Fund Mysterious Space Venture Company

    MIT's Technology Review reports that this coming, April 24, a new space venture company will be announced at Charles Simonyi Space Gallery at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. The company, sporting the kind of scary name an evil, faceless corporation in a sci-fi film would have, Planetary Resources, has some pretty famous backing, including James Cameron, Ross Perot Jr., Google co-founders Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, and Charles Simonyi, known for overseeing the creation of Microsoft Office. With the somewhat foreshadowing company name and the prestige of its backers, MIT speculates that the new company could very well be an asteroid mining company, especially due to some wordage in its press release.

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  5. Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 Billion

    After giving us a quick statistics lesson regarding Android's numbers (more than 150 million Android devices activated worldwide with over 550,000 devices activated every day) over on the Official Google Blog, Google CEO Larry Page announced that Google has agreed to acquire Motorola for a cool $12.5 billion. Motorola's "total commitment to Android in mobile devices" is one of the first reasons offered as to why Google decided pursue the acquisition, and they aim to create "amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere."

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  6. Eric Schmidt Takes the Hit on Google’s Poor Social Performance

    Eric Schmidt may not be Google's CEO anymore now that Larry Page is in the saddle, but Schmidt, currently the executive chairman of the search company, clearly still views Google through a leader's eye -- and that includes the company's screwups. Speaking at the D9 conference, Schmidt opened up about Google's poor showing in social media, which has given rise to criticism as failures like Orkut, Wave, and Buzz have piled up. When asked what his greatest regret was as CEO of the company this is what he pointed to:

    Tellingly, Schmidt said the social problem Google is grappling with today is largely his fault. He said he recently looked up memos he wrote four years ago about Google needing to address online identity. “I clearly knew that I had to do something, and I failed to do it,” he said. “A CEO should take responsibility. I screwed up.”
    Though Facebook has emerged as a bitter rival to Google in winning ad dollars, top engineers, and hearts and minds, with dirty tactics not out of the question, Schmidt praised Facebook for its role in de-anonymizing the Internet: "[Facebook is] the first generally available way of disambiguating identity. Historically, on the Internet such a fundamental service wouldn’t be owned by a single company. I think the industry would benefit from an alternative to that….Identity is incredibly useful because in the online world you need to know who you are dealing with." (AllThingsD via CNET)

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  7. Report: Each and Every Google Employee’s 2011 Bonus Tied to Success of Social Products

    Since his reinstatement as Google's CEO, Larry Page has has cut a broad swath, putting engineers, not managers, back in charge and aggressively bidding for Nortel's patents in the course of just a few days as he brings his quirky but forceful management style to bear. But if this is for real, this may be his boldest move thus far, and one that will be hard to top: The Business Insider's Nich Carlson reports that according to a leaked internal memo, as much as 25% of every single Google employee's 2011 bonus will be determined by the success of Google's social products this year. Considering the spotty track records of such Google social productions as Orkut, Wave, and Buzz, that would be a lot of potential risk to bring to bear on the bonuses of engineers, executives, and support staff whose work has nothing at all to do with the likes of +1, Google's new searchwide social button. Business Insider reports:

    "This is a joint effort so it's important that we all get behind it," we're told Page writes in the confidential memo, subject-lined "2011 Bonus Multiplier." ... [Page writes] "When we release products, try them and encourage your family and friends to do the same."
    As for how it works:
    When Google gave all of its employees a 10% raise and $1,000 bonus last fall, it was part of a move to abolish bonuses that had been based on an annual company multiplier – where employee bonuses were multiplied against some figure correlated to the overall company's performance. In 2011, the returned company multiplier will be somewhere between .75 and 1.25 – depending on how well Google does in social. That means employees' bonuses could shrink by 25% if Google doesn't perform.
    So really, the 25% figure may not fully convey how much is at stake here (again, assuming the memo is legit). An employee with a base bonus of $10,000 could get $12,500 if Google hits social out of the park this year or could see their bonus shrunken to as little as $7,500 if social catastrophically flops. Though realistically, it seems unlikely that Google would actually enact so severe a morale-killer as declaring social a total failure, all told, that's a potential swing of $5,000 -- 50% of base in our example! -- for a variable over which many employees will have little control, encouraging family and friends aside. Update: Pic of the memo below: (via TBI)

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  8. Google CEO Stepping Down

    Google has just announced that its longtime CEO Eric Schmidt will be stepping down April 4 as CEO, with company co-founder Larry Page replacing him. Google says that this an effort to "streamline decision making and create clearer lines of responsibility at the top of the company." Schmidt writes:
    For the last 10 years, we have all been equally involved in making decisions. This triumvirate approach has real benefits in terms of shared wisdom, and we will continue to discuss the big decisions among the three of us. But we have also agreed to clarify our individual roles so there’s clear responsibility and accountability at the top of the company.
    Schmidt says that he will stay with Google, acting as the company's executive chairman, and will "focus wherever I can add the greatest value: externally, on the deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership that are increasingly important given Google’s global reach; and internally as an advisor to Larry and Sergey." Owen Thomas notes that Page was the original Google CEO from 1998-2001, and writes based on their personal correspondence that "Page has long held an interest in the top role"; one interesting thing that Thomas points out is that in stepping down from the role of company president to "Co-Founder," Sergey Brin gives up some real power, though he'll continue to be a respected authority within Google. (Via PaidContent)

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  9. Larry Page, Sergey Brin Wanted Steve Jobs to Be Google’s First CEO

    According to interviewees in "Game Changers," Bloomberg TV's documentary on the founding of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the company's co-founders, wanted none other than Steve Jobs to serve as Google's inaugural CEO. Yahoo Finance:

    The story goes that, after interviewing 12 or 13 candidates they didn't like, Page and Brin happened to make something of a social visit to Apple and Jobs. After the visit, the Google cofounders met with investor John Doerr and asked him: why can't we hire that guy? Game Changers doesn't have the exact quote, but we figure he told Page and Brin something along the lines of, "are you nuts?"
    As tantalizing a what-if as that might be, Apple's probably the better fit for Jobs; in addition to being the company's co-founder, it's hard to make algorithms flashy. (Yahoo Finance via Apple Insider | "Game Changers")

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  10. The Man Who Turned Google Down for a Job — in 1998

    Amazing story via Redditor zestyping, a.k.a. Ka-Ping Yee, which easily shot up to the top of a thread about "the most expensive story you ever made at work": He turned down a job with Google in 1998, the year the search engine incorporated.

    I met both Carl Page and Larry Page at a party hosted by a Stanford friend of mine in 1998. Carl gave me his card for eGroups and said "we're hiring". Larry gave me his card for Google—a flimsy bit of paper obviously printed by bubble jet—and said "we're hiring". I said, "Nah, who needs another search engine?" and went to graduate school. I still have the card.

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