The New York Time's profile of Google CEO Larry Page, in which we learn that the head of one of the biggest powers in the tech universe is exceedingly impatient, won't come as much of a shock. What is a shock is that he apparently doesn't much care for the one thing other than their search engine that Google has managed to do better than anyone else in the world - Gmail.
"He does not much like e-mail either — even his own Gmail — saying the tedious back-and-forth takes too long to solve problems." I'm sorry, what? I am willing to bet actual money right now that future generations will remember Gmail as one of the greatest contributions to the consumer Internet experience (the crummy new version notwithstanding). Apparently, Page is on a mission to navigate what he thinks is Google's midlife crisis, and that means trimming the fat. Hence the recent death of Google Buzz, for example. And that makes sense. Google Buzz was like an inconvenient clone of Twitter, destined to fail because you couldn't just go to it without being logged into Google, and then it slowed all their other applications down. But the NYT indicates he's positioning himself as a kind of Android Steve Jobs, and that's worrisome.
Anyone who's had the dubious pleasure of working in a large corporate organization can attest that there is basically a hierarchy of impatience. Director level bosses expects 1 paragraph or shorter email. Anything you send to a Vice President-level bigwig better say everything in the first sentence. And Chief Officer levelers? God forbid they actually have to read their own email. Hell, Page fired his secretary because he hated being scheduled for meetings. Shooting the messenger isn't the same thing as demanding that iPods be more compact, you know? It's a mistake - one that currently affects America's insane economic debate - to think that the preferred lifestyle of a fabulously wealthy and busy businesspeople has any relevance to what the rest of us want. Steve Jobs at least understood that making things easy and convenient is as important as making them look good. This profile makes Page look come off like he just wants to be king of the world.