If traffic is the metric of popularity, then our Web 2.0 Summit interview with Google CEO Eric Schimdt suggests he is still the most popular guy in the Internet economy. Our discussion with Schmidt, led by John Battelle and Tim O'Reilly, received the most traffic during the livecast and continues to be the most viewed video in the archives from the conference, which you can find at InformationWeek.com.
An interesting contrast to relative youngster and upstart Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook, who's video interview I posted previously ; "Zuckerberg Grows Up", the interview with Schmidt struck a far more sober tone, reflecting the unique position that Google now holds. I've spent time with Eric through the years and have seen him interviewed many times. He seemed a bit agitated in this interview and was uncharacteristically dismissive at times. It's clear that the recent press on talent retention and privacy issues has gotten to him. Sitting in the front row watching the interview, Shakespeare's line "Heavy hangs the head that wears the crown" came to my mind.
John and Tim did a great job getting Eric to share his thoughts on mobile and the implications it has for search, payment and advertising. They also got his take on the application marketplace as well as his thoughts on talent retention at Google. He sets the record straight on the "raise issue" and said that the retention percentage at Google has not varied in the last 7 years. He noted that Google hires 200 people a week. Speaking of astounding stats, he also mentioned that there are over 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. Astounding. When asked about Apple Schmidt referred to being a "very proud former board member".
His comments on privacy and their approach to Google Street View are fascinating and reflect the still challenging nature of Internet privacy. Take a look and feel free to post your comments on how the CEO of Google views the Internet landscape today.