(photo) As I do each year, I’ll be thinking out loud here about some of the key interviews I’ll be doing on stage at Web 2 next month. Opening the conference is Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. Given our theme of “Points of Control,” I can’t think of a better way to start – of all the major players in our industry, Google stands alone in both its ambition as well as its power. It’s also got a rather large target on its back – everyone, from Microsoft to Facebook, Apple to Hollywood, everyone competes with Google.
Google’s ambition is breathtaking, as you can see from the image at left, taken from our interactive Points of Control map. From its base in search, Google has pushed into cloud computing, operating systems, television, mobile platforms (both OS and hardware), social media, content, and advertising. That’s not to mention its rather serious dabbling in energy, transportation, gaming, commerce, and just about everything else.
So there’s a lot to talk about with Dr. Schmidt when we take the stage Nov. 15th. Some key questions include:
– Where is Android going, and will Google see direct revenue streams from it? Will the company take a more central role in driving quality app experiences a la Apple?
– Apple. Thoughts on the company, the competition, and the history (Eric was on Apple’s board).
– Why develop both Chrome OS and Android?
– What exactly is Google.me, and will Google ever make peace with Facebook and start to share data?
– Google TV will be just a few weeks in market. How is it going, and will Hollywood really play ball?
– M&A: Google has purchased two dozen or so startups in the past year. What’s the philosophy and
– I wrote Stop It, Google won’t buy Twitter. Was I wrong?
– China. Robin Li from Baidu is speaking the same day. How did Google come to the decision to retreat from the world’s largest market?
– Core search: Are we worried about Bing yet?
– Privacy and data control. We’re getting mixed signals from Google (and others) on how this issue will play out. What’s Google’s framework for data controls and how might it differ from, say, Facebook or Apple?
– Self driving cars?!
What else do you think I should ask Eric? And what’s the most important, given the limited time we have? Please leave comments or tweet your response, but make sure to put @johnbattelle in the post!