Unlike his co-founder Sergey Brin, you won't find Google CEO Larry Page in public much sporting his Google Glass, except at weddings in Croatia, but don't think that he isn't a big fan. "I love using Glass because I feel like every time I'm using Glass I'm living that future, that's really, really exciting to me," Page said during the company's second-quarter earnings call Thursday.
For Page, living in the future is core to Google. "Some people want to work on crazy things, want to change the world with 10 of their friends," Page said. Those small projects become products like Gmail, Chrome, and Android, he added. Regarding Google's ability to innovate, Page said, "I look across the portfolio and we are doing quite well, and I am excited about it."
Many of the products in Google's portfolio weren't conceived in the cradle of living the future, like Search or Glass. Google's Android followed Apple's lead in paving the way for the smartphone revolution, for example. Most of Google's portfolio is now about ensuring the company's place in the future as a profitable business with billions of customers.
But emerging products, such as Glass, Google Now, Project Loon, and driverless cars are about investing in the future. "It's always a mistake to think that technology will be static," Page said. "Our main job is to figure out how to invest more and create greater outcomes for the company."
It turns out that greater outcomes for the company often align with what benefits users, whether its moonshots, from its X research lab, or ongoing investments in products like Search and Maps. Despite liking to live the future, Page is pragmatic about the road ahead for Google. "It's pretty easy to come up with ideas, but it's pretty hard to make them real and get them to billions of people...I wish we could just snap our fingers, but it's a lot of hard work and people to make it happen."
Whether Google Glass becomes a footnote in computing history, like Apple's Newton, or a defining wearable of the decade remains to be seen.