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WEB 2.0: Google focusing on users, not Microsoft

Executives rise above one-upmanship, apparently

Google co-founder and president of products Larry Page starts counting after he runs a query on the company’s search engine to see how quickly the results come back.

He also evaluates how relevant the results are to his query - and he’s never satisfied.

“He doesn’t think our search engine is a good search engine today,” said Omid Kordestani, Google’s senior vice-president of global sales and business development, during an appearance at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Page’s disappointment with the firm’s core service has existed at least since Kordestani joined Google in 1999, he said. Page’s passion about driving improvements and innovation across all of the company’s services has been key to making it successful, Kordestani said, during a session in which he answered questions from conference chair John Battelle and audience members.

One thing that executives do not obsess about is Microsoft, according to Kordestani. Although Microsoft has identified the firm as one of its biggest competitors, Google keeps its focus on serving its users, not on one-upmanship with Microsoft.

Asked about Google’s famous decision not to provide financial guidance to outsiders ahead of its quarterly results, Kordestani said the policy doesn’t mean the company feels no internal pressure to meet its sales goals.

Another thing Google feels a bit of pressure about is not being perceived as a Goliath whose entry into increasing numbers of new markets may harm the ability of smaller technology companies from innovating, he said.

“We feel that sense of responsibility. We’re sensitive to that,” Kordestani said. “We don’t want to be seen as a gorilla in the [Silicon] Valley.”

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