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Pichai is a mistake




Silicon Valley still shrugs politely after yesterday's mild but definitely important news that Alphabet's founders, Larry Page, and Google's founder, Sergey Brin, have stepped down from their leadership positions.

In a In a company blog post, the duo said it was time to simplify the command structures of the two companies and replace them with Google's current CEO, Sundar Pichai, who now took control of both companies Has. Well, at least on paper.

This story is both exciting ̵

1; Alphabet is probably the most important company in the world – as well as boring. Did not someone see this coming?

As Dieter Bohn of the Verge said today:

In a purely technical, definitional sense, this is an epoch-changing moment because there is a new CEO for Alphabet. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of the company, are back from running and every time the founders change jobs, that means something. Arriving randomly on a Tuesday afternoon felt surprisingly large.

But it also felt a bit like a non-event, just a formalization of how things worked anyway.

The consensus among technology journalists seems to be that Sundar Pichai is the sober, business-friendly leader that cares more about Alphabet's competitiveness in a marketplace than just your last product.

Bohn says Pichai's job is to "take out Google's products from permanent beta. At the same time, he had to make sure that future technologies – especially those based on AI – became real products. From a purely product-related point of view, which of course includes the lucrative promotional items that make up the whole thing, Pichai was very successful.

It's hard to argue against Pichai's success. Few companies have the commercial power that Google exercises. But what does commercial power have to do with Google? Was I really so naive when I bought everything Brin and Page sold in the beginning?

After 9/11, I had to believe that the future would be better than the present. What Page and Brin did over the next ten years made us all believe that technology was so advanced that the brightest people in the room snapped their fingers and changed the world for the better .

The company's actions over the next decade have shown us that our new energy of relationship has blinded us to the truth about Google: it's a magic trick, an illusion. Do not get me wrong, Google saves lives and is responsible for more technological innovation than most of its peers.

However, it is mathematically certain that someone randomly throwing a trillion darts on a dartboard scores more bullseyes than anyone else who takes a few targeted shots. Google can afford a lot of darts so it never had to worry about targeting.

It does not seem that Brin and Page ever focus on what might go wrong. Changing the world is a lot easier if you use all your energy to wonder what might be going right. Unfortunately, things have not always gone according to plan:

And this is only a fraction of the recent things under Pichai's leadership. This is not intended to indicate that Pichai is the wrong person for the job. He is perfect for Brin and Page. Pichai is the person who massages the reality for Brin and Page. When the media dare, we blame Pichai, not them. For years, this paradigm has worked very well for Alphabet and Google.

But after decades of no longer recognizing and ignoring the potentially catastrophic consequences of paradigm shift technologies, it appears that corporate governance can no longer be faked ignorance. The world watched last year change their motto from "Do not be angry" to "Do the right thing". The earlier statement, she says, applies to the humanity of the company's employees. But "doing the right thing" seems to be something that you tell someone before you add "for the business".

Google has changed. It's just as idealistic as ever, but like Dr. Fei-Fei Li found out, it is an incubator of ideas that attaches infinitely more value to ideas than the consequences of those ideas. It's a company that always sticks to the first draft of a product, because it never takes the time to fully develop something to really serve humanity first. Sundar Pichai and the Googlers who work for him are not obligated to the well-being of their customers, regardless of what they actually believe. Google is not committed to the money. it only wants more.

No, they are constantly fixated on a broken ideal. Under Pichai, Googlers are members of the cult of personality, who revolve around Brin's dogmatic view that technology is the key to innovation for the benefit of technology – quick action and breaking things.

As long as Google curbs No The magnetism of the Brin and Page Churches in what follows is still stronger than the objections of researchers or the need for politicians to regulate. Google makes progress easy by avoiding some hard truths. But even geniuses like Brin and Page can not always bravely look to the future when annoying experts keep pointing out that Google's path is groundbreaking.

In this regard, Sundar Pichai is the antidote to the lingering conscience of the Google founders. His cool, measured presence enlivens the original spirit of optimistic capitalism, which makes it easy to ask questions such as "What detrimental effects could the equality of virtual assistants or the release of inherently biased AI products have on our society?" To reject as "small picture" problems. He inspires his fellow human beings to live for commonplaces instead – Google makes the world a better place, look at all the good things it has done.

Pichai is the leader who can tell you with a straight face that his dirty hands are clean and believe it. While Brin seems to be driven mad by tough issues like censorship, as soon as anyone makes a suggestion that turns his world view into a more business-friendly slot, Pichai can hug and defend such disgusting concepts calmly and calmly as if we were . the unethical because they did not understand his overall picture. That's quite a talent – one he shares with his predecessor.

And when it comes to Page, who always seems to have the answers, he can no longer lead Alphabet and Google from his high point of view as the smartest daydreamer in the room without facing the alleged descent of the company into the same mud that DuPont, Exxon, Facebook and Uber are taking. He could grow up and spin, as Bill Gates apparently did, but he will not. He has Sundar Pichai protecting him from it.

Brin and Page move Pichai out of the way, so he can do what he does best, whatever they tell him.

The startup that made us all believe in innovation and become a conservative company. Let's go back in a decade and see how it works.


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