I am thrilled to see Larry Page take over as CEO from Eric Schmidt. In a post a few months back I had expressed my worry that Google was headed the way of Yahoo under too much “professional management” and not enough visionary founder leadership (contrasting it at the time with Facebook).
Instead of a list of 6 things that he should do, I believe Larry really only needs to succeed at one: re-establish clarity of vision for the company. The vision I would love to see Google embrace is: Google as the champion of an open, standards-based web as the engine of human advancement.
Here are some important implications that would flow from that vision:
- Providing a leading and complete implementation of HTML5 for Android to give us a mobile web that is in fact the web and not some controlled and broken subset thereof (ditto for Chrome).
- Attracting and retaining employees to Google because they want to work in support of a compelling vision and not because they are being given huge stay packages.
- Supporting independent third party services instead of either trying to acquire them or competing head on with them. Figure out how to succeed by making others succeed.
- Fighting for net neutrality and against lame attempts to restrict innovation and free speech on the internet, such as COICA and patent madness.
I look forward to seeing what happens next. This is a moment of great opportunity not just for Google but for the Internet at large and all of us who believe in it.