Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Google The Internet Businesses Education

Larry Page's Vision of the Future 303

adamjh writes "Yesterday, Google co-founder Larry Page gave an amazing talk to the 2005 graduating class of the University of Michigan College of Engineering. In true geek form, I made sure to record Larry's entire speech on my mobile phone in order to share with the Slashdot community a rare glimpse into Larry's thoughts on the past, present, and future -- on topics ranging from dropping out of Stanford to start Google to "Thinking Big" and the abundance of venture capital to traveling to Mars, curing world hunger, and well, much much more."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Larry Page's Vision of the Future

Comments Filter:
  • Funny enough, you blogged a speech by Larry Page it on Blogspot. Of all the blogsites....
  • by wpiman ( 739077 ) * on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:04PM (#12402890)
    Well- seems he dropped out of Stanford. Seems all the successful CEOs drop out- Gates, Ellsion, and Page. Seems all the people he was preaching to are already doomed to be losers.
    • Re:Drop out..... (Score:4, Informative)

      by learn fast ( 824724 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:10PM (#12402936)
      Don't forget Dell, Jobs, Ballmer... also drop-outs
    • Re:Drop out..... (Score:5, Informative)

      by whh3 ( 450031 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:53PM (#12403255) Homepage
      He dropped out of GRADUATE school. There's a difference. Bill Gates never finished undergrad.

      From the google website:
      ( /execs.htm l#larry [])
      "Page became an honors graduate from the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering, with a concentration on computer engineering."

      "While in the PhD program in computer science at Stanford University, Page met Sergey Brin and together they developed and ran Google, which began operating in 1998. Page went on leave from Stanford after earning his master's degree."
    • Dropping out of his PH.D? *GASP*! What with only a pathetic Masters, how could he have made it?

      Sarcasm aside, his leaving the academic world doesn't supprise me. Given that a PH.D won't expand practical knowledge of Computer Science as a Bachelors and Masters would, I would of done the same thing. He didn't take a chance, he just came to his senses.
      • His Ph.D. involved information retrieval technology, and in particular, was what gave birth to Google. If quitting to expand his practical knowledge of CS was his intention, why has he not moved on from the Google project?
      • I'm reminded of something my brother once said about getting a degree. He said that there are two types of people with degrees. Those who can use the degree do. Those that can't, teach. He further went on to say that most of his instructors were genuinely talented at analyzing algorithms, critiquing papers, or whatever but at the same time lacked creativity. They could critique one's creation, but in general couldn't create one of their own. I believe the truth to be some what greyer, but it's still a
  • In true geek form,

    From one geek to another: Thanks!

  • by rice_burners_suck ( 243660 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:08PM (#12402919)
    You must have boatloads upon boatloads of bandwidth to be able to post something like that right on the front page of Slashdot.

    I'll wait a few hours before hitting that link, but man, I wish there were a textual transcript of the same, because that would be easier to analyze, quote, and reference.

    • I'd like a textual transcript, too. Much easier to digest, at least for me.
      • by Tibe ( 444675 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @03:24PM (#12411005)
        Rough text transcript of Larry Page's speach. '??' means I couldn't hear it.

        I typed this out, but don't blame me for stuff thats wrong, reply to it to correct it. Or Google anything you want to know from it ;-)

        I have no idea about copyrights, but it's Larrys speach, and I would bet deaf people have the right to see it.


        Well thank you, it's a pleasure and honor to be here, and I don't know I think we're in trouble with details ?? the most authoritative source.

        It's really kind of amazing to be here 10 years after I graduated, in 1995, from the electrical engineering and computer science department. [cheers] I have so much I want to say to you in a really short time, and we're going to go though it pretty quickly. Before I do that there is something I wish I was able to do at my graduation. You have tons and tons and tons of people here to supporting you. I'd like you all to get up and wave to your support, family, friends, and everybody.

        I am deeply indebted to Michigan. Let try to give you a little of my history. One thing we didn't mention is my parents actually met here cleaning a car. So I really thought we should give them some thanks for that. ?? My dad actually said to me when I was deciding what school to go to "Well Ill pay for any school you want to go to as long as its Michigan" I have to admit this had a significant impact on where I ended up going. I'm also indebted to Michigan which was amazingly advanced in computation and this had been going on for a really long time. I remember using Zaptor? Which you guys probably don't know about, but in 1993 we had instant messaging, in the computer labs. Somebody would arrive, you'd know when they left, where they were. and you could instant message them, just like you do now on the internet, but that was in 1993, not today. In fact the main ?? speaker John ?? Brown, graduated in 1970, computer and communication sciences, which wasn't the normal kind of degree to have in 1970. In fact my dad graduated with his PhD in '65 also from that department having one of the first degrees like that to be awarded. I also learned from my father his electrical engineering assignments he would bring home he's 9 years older than me, and he went here as well, and I had learned how to do them all 9 years early. Its pretty helpful, made the classes a lot easier. I got great leadership training in ?? selling doughnuts apparently, that aparently still goes on here. One relaxing summer and I built an inkjet printer out of legos witch I recommend to everyone. If you have some extra time on your hands.

        I also got a deep and relevant engineering education, just like all of you, and that's been very valuable in the time since I left Michigan. With good and lasting values, which I know a lot of you probably don't understand because your here, but its not true about everywhere people are nice and will talk to you and generally do the right things. Many of Goggles early employees came from Michigan too and I've really tried to give back to the university in anyway I can. I have been on the advisory board here and I'm sure I'll do other things in the future.

        Now, I need to know a little more about you guys before I continue, so how many of you? I'll ask the graduates and the audience here, 'How many of you work, or will work, in Michigan?'

        That's a pretty good number.

        Alright, How about, 'Work or will work for a really big company?'

        Uh huh, even more.

        How about 'Work or will work for a start-up?'

        Oh, that's a pretty good number.

        Uh, 'Will go to grad school ?? ?'

        Did I miss anybody else? Raise your hands.

        OK well I thought that would cover most people.

        How about, 'How many of you are Women?'


        Alright, alright. How about 'Work or will work for Google?'

        We got a couple in the audience too.

        Help me out a bit. 'How many of you would consider working for ?? the ?? engineering ?? ?'

        OK I think that's wha
        • (mod parent up)
        • Thanks for placing the transcript online. Its easier to follow than the audio recording.

          I remember using Zaptor?
          I believe the program Larry Page was referring to is Zephyr messing service. People could use use zlocate and ytalk to find and talk to their fellow students logged onto the unix mostly Sun and HP workstations in those days at Michigan.

          Marisa Coleman
          President of the University of Michigan is Mary Sue Coleman.

          Dean director
          This confuses many people, so its understandable. The Coll

    • Well, there is boatloads of bandwidth, but I don't think he'd like to see his bill.

      About 8GB was transferred in about 18 minutes, before it was shut down.

      • Actually, about 8GB was transferred in about 18 minutes, before's web server crashed and couldn't handle the load, and I received an email telling me that my files were being "locked".

        Quoted from an email I received from technical support:

        Because of the requests for these files, no other site hosted on the entire server was able to accept request due to the saturation to and from your server.

        And lastly, your account transferred about 8 GB of data in 18 minutes.

        So, 3 thoughts c
    • Reminds me of an old SNL Weekend Update line (Kevin Nealon, I think... paraphrased from memory): "If you would like a transcript of tonight's broadcast, get a pen and write down everything I say really fast."
  • Well... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Xarius ( 691264 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:08PM (#12402921) Homepage
    <Insert Obligatory wailing and crying and gnashing of teeth about another google-related story on the front page here>

    • Well, it was this or the story about the slashdotter who followed Sergey around until he was able to collect a stool sample for disection. Later it was placed on his Google-Shrine. An article was submitted and photos were available, but bandwidth was limited.

  • Someone's vision for the future next to the story about the time travellers' convention.
  • by Daniel294 ( 880513 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:11PM (#12402946)
    It seems that Mr. Paige has gone on a philonthropic course lately (not that that's a bad thing). At the FIRST robotics competition in Atlanta, he made a 15 minute long speech with some great messages (although I thought his delivery was sub-par). Among them, he pledged money from to FIRST. He is very inspiring. Larry, from FIRST to you, thanks. -Daniel
  • by Pavan_Gupta ( 624567 ) <`pg8p' `at' `'> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:23PM (#12403043)
    I couldn't agree with Page more ..

    larry page: "I know a lot of you are planning on going to business school, but I don't think you need to go to business schoool"

    larry page: "I just read a bookshelf of business books"

    From a man worth 7 billion dollars, it sure seems to me like his statement on how to run a business is pretty reputable.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:33PM (#12403125)
      just because a successful business man says don't bother going to b-school doesn't mean he's right. it depends very much on what he said in context. if by "don't go, i just ready books," page meant "don't go to b-school to gain business knowledge, because it's better to gain experience," then his advice is probably a good one. if the message you took home is that someone became successful without going to b-school and he said don't bother, so b-school is useless, then that's not a very smart interpretation of his message.

      i know it's not quite the same thing, but a lottery-winning millionaire simply recommending "don't bother to take jobs, just buy lottery tickets" and listening to it simply because he/she is wealthy is dumb, don't you think?

      • That's a great analogy except he didn't win any lottery. He simply knew how to perform without sitting in a class room.

        In fact Paul Graham tells us that if you look at the top Fortune 500 companies, you won't find a founder with an MBA until you reach number 22, and even after that they're relatively scarce.

        Those who can, do. Those who can't, sit in class.
    • by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:49PM (#12403231) Homepage Journal
      From a man worth 7 billion dollars, it sure seems to me like his statement on how to run a business is pretty reputable.

      I doubt that you'd base most of your other decisions based on one data point. Why do it now?

      For every successful dropout there are thousands who are very unsuccessful. Too often we point to these sui generis cases and say "see! I don't have to go to school." The drop-out, under-educated successful type happens, but it's not the norm.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        These billionaire drop-outs are successful because they already had a thriving business when they dropped out, not because they dropped out! Some run of the mill nerd is better off staying in school if the alternative is working somewhere for $10/hr. If you see an opportunity, you should take it. That's the message. On the other hand, I know a lot of kids who went back to Stanford with their tails between their legs after the dot-com bust...
    • I dunno if anyone of you guys may of read this but there was a blog entry doing the rounds the last few months how to think like a MBA grad by reading about 30-40 books. The link is here [].

      From the site:

      Seth says that you can get most of the value of an MBA education without forking over the big bucks by reading 30-40 books. I agree.

      An MBA may be valuable from a networking standpoint, as Bren points out. The classroom environment and case method can also be a plus, as Diego acknowledges. Points well

    • From a man worth 7 billion dollars, it sure seems to me like his statement on how to run a business is pretty reputable.

      Well, if you are really interested in basing your decisions on what one guy who represents, what?, like 0.0000001% (ROM) of the population has to say, then I'd recommend a certain Bill in Redmond. Honestly though, it doesn't matter much what either one of them says; it's pretty unlikely that it will make you a 7 billion dollar man.

      I personally think that the biz-school bashing is kinda
    • Not really, he's only had one successful business, what makes you think it wasn't just luck, having the right business at the right time? He's hardly been 'running' it very long, and he's got bags of cash to play with, which makes it pretty easy.

      Give him a company in a struggling industry, with spiralling costs, a shrinking market, and no money in the bank, and see how successful he is.
  • Anyone... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jgold03 ( 811521 )
    want to write a transcript of the message for us... ...please :)
  • I found it pretty underwhelming. Page is not a great speaker he's a geek. There were several ums and 4-second awkward pauses, unlike the other speeches (by students and others). He fumbled with words at times and it seemed he had barely rehearsed. And the content was nothing fantastic. "Take risks, space flight is cool [cheers from aero majors], my parents met in a coop [], how many of you would work for Google if we opened an Ann Arbor office, blah." It was nice, somewhat encouraging but to me, his manner of speaking made the whole thing fall flat. He gave not pearls of wisdom, but offhand comments on fun bits of tech.
  • DUPE! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Its not slashdots fault this time!

    Its his fault, ha gave the EXACT SAME SPEECH at the first robotics nationals in georgia
  • by DrHanser ( 845654 )

    Here []

    Please don't link to the file directly. Gracias.

  • Files back online... (Score:5, Informative)

    by adamjh ( 880515 ) <adamjh&gmail,com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:26PM (#12403519) Homepage
    mp3 and wav files moved to University webspace -- should be able to withstand the /.ing. cheers.
  • by hermank ( 101000 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:46PM (#12403677)
    I did not listen to the speech. However, I found that the EPIC 2014 has more insight on the google and the future. []

    For those who dont want to see the flash movie, here goes the text: (some content is omitted near the end, so I would recommend to see the flash movie)

    * * * *

    In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist at the CERN particle physics laboratory in Switzerland, invents the World Wide Web.

    1994 sees the founding of Its young creator dreams of a store that sells everything. Amazon's model, which would come to set the standard for Internet sales, is built on automated personalized recommendations - a store that can make suggestions.

    In 1998, two Stanford programmers create Google. Their algorithm echoes the language of Amazon, it treats links as recommendations, and from that foundation powers the world's most effective search engine.

    In 1999, TiVo transforms television by unshackling it from the constraints of time - and commercials. Almost no one who tries it ever goes back.

    That year, a dot-com start-up named Pyra Labs unveils Blogger, a personal publishing tool.

    Friendster launches in 2002 and hundreds of thousands of young people rush to populate it with an incredibly detailed map of their lives, their interests and their social networks. Also in 2002, Google launches GoogleNews, a news portal. News organizations cry foul. GoogleNews is edited entirely by computers.

    In 2003, Google buys Blogger. Google's plans are a mystery, but their interest in Blogger is not unreasonable.

    2003 is the Year of the Blog.

    2004 would be remembered as the year that everything began.

    Reason Magazine sends subscribers an issue with a satellite photo of their houses on the cover and information custom-tailored to each subscriber inside.

    Sony and Philips unveil the world's first mass-produced electronic paper.

    Google unveils GMail, with a gigabyte of free space for every user.

    Microsoft unveils Newsbot, a social news filter.

    Amazon unveils A9, a search engine built on Google's technology that also incorporates Amazon's trademark recommendations.

    And then, Google goes public.

    Awash in new capital, the company makes a major acquisition. Google buys TiVo.

    2005 - In response to Google's recent moves, Microsoft buys Friendster.

    2006 - Google combines all of its services - TiVo, Blogger, GMail, GoogleNews and all of its searches into the Google Grid, a universal platform that provides a functionally limitless amount of storage space and bandwidth to store and share media of all kinds. Always online, accessible from anywhere. Each user selects her own level of privacy. She can store her content securely on the Google Grid, or publish it for all to see. It has never been easier for anyone, everyone to create as well as consume media.

    2007 - Microsoft responds to Google's mounting challenge with Newsbotster, a social news network and participatory journalism platform. Newsbotster ranks and sorts news, based on what each user's friends and colleagues are reading and viewing and it allows everyone to comment on what they see.

    Sony's ePaper is cheaper than real paper this year. It's the medium of choice for Newsbotster.

    2008 sees the alliance that will challenge Microsoft's ambitions. Google and Amazon join forces to form Googlezon. Google supplies the Google Grid and unparalled search technology. Amazon supplies the social recommendation engine and its huge commercial infrastructure. Together, they use their detailed knowledge of every user's social network, demographics, consumption habits and interests to provide total customization of content - and advertising.

    The News Wars of 2010 are notable for the fact that no actual news organizations take part.

    Googlezon finally checkmates Microsof

  • I give Page and Brin kudos for pagerank, but frankly I don't think he knows anything about space travel and even less about solving world hunger, although if he were to start, he could sign over all his shares in GOOG to a feed-the-children charity, which I doubt he will do (talk's cheap, Larry).
    • I give Page and Brin kudos for pagerank

      Give them kudos for turning it into a popular search engine and succesfull business as well. Think of it: many of us are able to come up with some brilliant bits of coding or clever ideas for on-line services. It's just a few people that have the guts and the business sense to turn their inventions into a thriving company.

      However, I agree with you that people give far too much weight to his opinion on world problems. Well, that happens to many celebrities, in

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito