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Admitting mistakes, Schmidt

By - July 17, 2006

“So, yes we are IDIOTS — and please WRITE THAT DOWN,” insisted CEO Eric Schmidt in an impromptu interview on Friday, referring to Google management between the IPO filing and going pubic.

From Reuters (the whole audio interview, here):

THE IDIOTS RUNNING GOOGLE

Google CEO Eric Schmidt tells reporters:

“(During the 2004 IPO process), between the time we filed and the time we went public, the press was among the most unpleasant I have ever experienced.

“We (Google management) were ‘idiots,’ we were ‘useless’… I thought ‘God.’…It is a terrible feeling of being on the other side of that (press coverage).

“So we looked at (Google’s Web site) traffic and revenue and they were exploding… We had a very, very strong quarter right after the worst possible press about ‘the idiots running the company.’

“I don’t know what that tells you.

Schmidt then paused and begged the reporters to create a new Google press frenzy:

“So, yes we are IDIOTS — and please WRITE THAT DOWN.”

WE HAVE EVERY PROBLEM YOU CAN IMAGINE… QUICKER

Google CEO Eric Schmidt: “We have every known problem that a growth company has — quicker…Write down all the obvious problems, we have every one of them. So we make a list of them (potential problems) and we anticipate them.”

Reporter: Are there any non-obvious problems?

Schmidt: “No. no.”

Reporter: Is it a list of 10-15?

Schmidt: “I would say it is about 20.”

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7 thoughts on “Admitting mistakes, Schmidt

  1. Dave McClure says:

    …and for those of us who were willing & ready to JUMP on the IPO at $105, we were even happier to jump in at $85!

    (just keep bringing me the “idiots” running tech companies IPO’ing, and i’ll keep putting my chips on the table ;)

    too bad for bill hambrecht’s OpenIPO format… seemed to have so much promise. ah well, so much for market optimization. guess you have to bake in 10-15% upside, or it just went fly with the institutional clients.

  2. Dave McClure says:

    sorry…

    went => won’t

  3. darkmoon says:

    “..between the IPO filing and going pubic.”

    going pubic? Man. Poor Google. ;)

  4. Excellent response from the CEO of Google. I mean what other intelligent response could you get? No we’re not idiots and we know everything that there is to know?

    Let people point out the problems for you so that you can focus on fixing them. These things will always arise, especially in a “fast growing” company, so why are we surprised?

  5. Did he say idiots? Perhaps idiot savants might be more appropriate. They really are brilliant, but occasionally seem to be out of touch with the realities of the market place. If only they would try to see things from the customer’s point of view more often. That isn’t rocket science.

  6. Kristen Owen says:

    What I would give for only about 20 problems total, nothing out of the ordinary.

    It seems Schmidt may be in need of a vacation, or at least a media break.

    I agree with Barry, perhaps they should see things from the customer’s point of view. But that’s probably one of the “normal” problems. Big wigs seem to go blind when putting on the customer’s shoes.

  7. Kristen Owen says:

    What I would give for only about 20 problems total, nothing out of the ordinary.

    It seems Schmidt may be in need of a vacation, or at least a media break.

    I agree with Barry, perhaps they should see things from the customer’s point of view. But that’s probably one of the “normal” problems. Big wigs seem to go blind when putting on the customer’s shoes.