Google’s Sundar Pichai:To Work With People Who Make You Feel Insecure
Google’s Sundar Pichai Google hopes to bring its Project Loon to India, which will offer affordable Internet access to millions, soon even as the government holds the view that the project will interfere with cellular transmissions of mobile operators in the country.
Speaking at the Google for India event, the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai said: “Project Loon will launch balloons in the sky to help reach out to rural areas. Elaborating the same, Google Vice President Marian Croak said the company is “passionate” about building and deploying new Internet infrastructure around the world.
Below are the highlights of the chat session:
- Part of reason that we are interested in India is because it is amazingly young and many ways the trends of the future will come from India.
- On days in IIT Kharagpur: There was no Internet and it was pre all that. My uncle had gone to the States and I was interested in semi-conductors. I wasn’t exactly a good guy in school.
- Everything changes at a fast pace in technology. In the 80s personal computers were just getting underway. 10 years later Internet came. 10 years later smartphones came. That shows you how things changed.
- In context of smartphones, there’s a lot more info that people consume We are in early days of that mission.
- Google is an amazingly fun place. When I came there, I was like a kid in a candy store. You walk around and people are working on amazing things.
- I think we (Google) have always had a very ambitious mission. Machine learning and artificial intelligence – our journey is just getting started.
- Big part of the focus is on making sure we are innovating and making products for the future. Constantly thinking of what to do next. Things like virtual reality. Our journey is just getting started.
- Someone (Indian American) tweeted to me thank you for not being a doctor. It’s important to follow your dream and doing something you’re excited by. You will always do better. Doesn’t matter if you’re not an engineer.
- You will get many opportunities to reinvent yourself. It’s worthwhile to take a risk. If it doesn’t work first time, you can try again.
- I think in Silicon Valley, a part of reason why so many people start companies is even if you fail it is a badge of honour.
- I remember when I started working, people discussing ideas, they would build on it. It is a part of the culture.
- I am a huge fan of soccer. I follow cricket and soccer. In 1986, for the India-Australia match, I was in the stadium. I was told the match was going to be a draw. I had the time to watch it too. Followed the transition from tests to ODIs.
- There are many things we are working on. Most of what we do today is machine learn and artificial intelligence. The way the cars recognise that it is a stop sign or pedestrian sign. There are incredible things to come in the future.
- (If not at Google), I would have taken football or cricket. I would still be building software products. I love to do that. If you have an idea in your head, you can do that.
- Took me a while to realise the power of Internet.
- You have to work with people who make you feel insecure. Because you are working with people better than you.
- If you are comfortable in what you do, then you are not pushing yourself. It is an inherent part of learning.
- It was only when I came here last year that I felt that startup culture has really taken hold here.
- It’s incredible to see the scale of India. You need entrepreneurs to build things for India and globally.
- India has an unique opportunity. All the relevant things are already here. Very well positioned in that sense.I don’t see any difference between entrepreneurs here and the Silicon Valley.
- One good thing about India is you find a tea stall and there is an entrepreneur. So that streak has always been there.
- More developers, more ideas to be solved. New plan to train 2 million new Android developers. Partnership with 30 universities. For me getting many developers in the workforce are going to solve many new things.
- India has a strong educational system. To move forward, creativity is an important attribute. In the US, education is experiential, very hands on. People learn to do things, project-based experiential learning. Teach students to take risks. System shouldn’t penalise students for taking risks.
- On Indian names to Android versions: What I will do next time, when we are working the next release is do an online poll. And if its an online poll, I think we can make it happen.
- Nothing intrinsic why we cannot do from India what people have achieved externally. Structural reason but those barriers are slowly going away.
- There is a culture of start-ups and risk taking. India has historically had much more of a professional culture and entrepreneurial approach. As internet penetration becomes better…it’s a matter of time.
- At Google, we would always think of solving problems. Will it work for a billion people – we would always ask those questions. Inherent assumption of scale in everything – it helped in shaping my thinking.
- We are very excited about the public WiFi project. Largest such project in the world. 400 Railway stations. Reason why we are doing it is, in India when you bring access to the Internet, it changes people’s lives.
- (On absence of women in tech): It is global problem, particularly pronounced in India. Less than one third in usage in rural areas. Most women in rural areas don’t think the internet applies to them. The most important thing we can do is to bring them online.
- (On Project Loon) We are working very hard to bring it. Opportunity to do it first in India and then global markets. Just like YouTube offline, we did it first in India, now its is available in 77 countries worldwide.
- I bought my first phone in 1995. Right now, I guess, I have over 20 smartphones at my place.
- In next 30 years, I hope we are still able to work on problems that help people on a daily basis in a profound way.