Updated: Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been a busy man on the meet and greet circuit, first chatting up old-line media in Washington before crossing the country to appear at Google's Atmosphere cloud computing event for CIOs in Mountain View, Calif.
Schmidt addressed the American Society of News Editors April 11 in D.C., telling them:
"There is an art to what you do. And if you're ever confused as to the value of newspaper editors, look at the blog world roll. That's all you need to see. So we understand how fundamental tradition and the things you care about are."
How do journalists such as myself, who write for trade publications such as eWEEK, which happens to sponsor this blog, take that? Does that mean I'm only half abhorrent to Schmidt?
Curt Hopkins takes greater umbrage here on ReadWriteWeb. See Schmidt's comment at the 6:04 mark here (and listen to the whole media-rousing speech if you like):
Schmidt then apparently went back home to the Googleplex for Atmosphere, Google's inaugural cloud computing event.
There, Reuters said he told the attendees:
"Every government sort of has some group that's busy trying to figure out what we're up to. Because information is power. We're quite disruptive, and in the course of that disruption we tend to create enemies, which are hopefully not intended on our part."
The enemies Schmidt is talking about here include Microsoft, whose Office dominion it targets with Google Apps. Specifically, Google upgraded Google Docs to work with HTML5 ahead of Microsoft Office 2010.
Google's long tail of enemies trickles down to DNS (Domain Name System) providers such as OpenDNS and on down to the smallest niche Web services, such as ReframeIt, whose annotation service Google emulates with Sidewiki.
Why does Google play in all of these markets? It's the Google Creep, man! The unifying thread is that all of these places live on the Web. Google greedily wants to be in all of these places so it can put ads in front of our eyeballs to feed the machine.
Google Creep has triggered noncorporate "enemies" such as governments. Google is at war with China over censorship. Europe is investigating it for anticompetitive practices.
The U.S. Department of Justice is fighting Google over Google Book Search and when Google turns around, the Federal Trade Commission is fighting it over AdMob and privacy issues such as those raised by Google Buzz.
But Google is not evil. Remember what Gordon Gecko in "Wall Street" said, which we can see right here thanks to Google's greedy YouTube video property: Greed is good.
Interesting that Schmidt's comments about "enemies" came at Atmosphere, which was apparently quite friendly and bearable as Google courted bicurious enterprises mulling whether to leave their legacy Office and Exchange environments for Google Apps.
Still, Schmidt admitted Google's goal for its new Docs and the broader Google Apps cloud collaboration suite is to get 80 percent of the market. Hear that, Microsoft?
Greed is good, but not if you're at the business end of it.