Entrepreneurs Never Leave Their Comfort Zone



One of the biggest impediments to starting a new venture is the “terror barrier,” as popularized by Bob Proctor, a 75-year-old millionaire and world renowned entrepreneur. This is the imaginary barrier that always seems to appear at the critical point where we would step out ahead of peers or competitors, but fear causes us to stop short.

Everyone has a comfort zone, or level of risk, where they feel in control. The problem is that if you stay in that comfort zone too long, you don’t learn and achieve new objectives. According to Bob, all growth takes place outside that comfort zone, and the edge of that zone is called the terror barrier.

If you want to be an entrepreneur and start a new business, you must be willing and able to break through your terror barrier. If you hope to succeed with any real “new” opportunity, you must be willing to learn new skills, set high goals, and get out of your comfort zone.

Overcoming the terror barrier requires first a passion for the new dream, willingness to take a risk, and determination to never quit. In addition, it helps to have a few specific strategies, outlined by Ingunn Aursnes a while back, to help you push through:

  1. Reconfirm how you have dealt successfully before with terror barriers. Everyone has had to deal with terror barriers, since the day you were born. Convince yourself that this one is only incrementally larger, not a huge jump. Contemplate the things that have worked before for you, and things that cause you to go off track.Some people procrastinate, make excuses, or feel real fear. We all have our “security blanket,” like sessions with a trusted friend, classroom training, or prayers to reduce the pain and keep us moving forward.
  2. Set specific goals, rather than rely on a generic dream. Make the goal increments small, so you can see yourself making each step, rather than face a step the size of a mountain. Create a picture in your mind of you achieving your end result, like you getting a Nobel prizefor curing cancer, or relaxing on a beach with no more money worries.Then write down and prioritize your goals. If they are not written down, they don’t exist and it’s easy to forget the real meaning behind them. But don’t be overwhelmed working out the details and all the steps required just now. Work on one step at a time.
  3. Take the first step toward your first goal. You never get anywhere until you start. It doesn’t have to be a big step, but it has to be in the right direction. Put a stake in the ground, and start measuring how far you have gone. Remember that everyone takes one step backward for every two steps forward, so setbacks are normal bumps.Everyone learns more from failures than from successes. Moving forward, accomplishing goals, is a process rather than a continuous motion. After the first step, the second is easier, and after the first goal gives you confidence, the second will be easier.
  4. Recognize the terror barrier and see it as a growth opportunity.Take satisfaction in widening your comfort zone, the opportunity to learn, and the progress toward your goals. Use your mentor or support organizationto get you over the hurdle, and celebrate the success.For team members, don’t forget your responsibility to help other members over their terror barriers. Helping others is the best way to forget your own fears and build the satisfaction of leadership as well as learning.
  5. Iterate the process, picking up confidence and momentum along the way. The more you persevere and keep moving in the direction of your goal, the easier it will seem and the better the results you will achieve. Even if the terror barriers get tougher, they will seem easier as momentum helps you achieve more of your goals.

People who avoid facing the terror barrier, or who back away easily, are actually falling behind, and they will quickly become less confident, less determined, and less happy. You want the spiral to go the other way, toward greater levels of success, ability to achieve greater goals, and to be a successful entrepreneur. Follow these steps and put your terror barriers behind you.

Martin Zwilling Martin Zwilling, Forbes Contributor

I provide pragmatic advice and services to entrepreneurs and startups.

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India’s ‘Look East Policy’


India put forward the “Look East Policy” in the beginning of the1990s and it was considered as an important foreign strategy of India. At that time, led by Treasury Secretary Manmohan Singh, the government of Rao began promoting economic reform, changed Indian development patterns and actively developed the economic relations with foreign countries. Due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia and eastern European countries were beset with a crisis and the cooperation between India and these countries sagged seriously.

In addition, its relations with the neighboring countries were not developing very smoothly; as a result, it was difficult for India to establish international economic cooperation in the South Asia. Under that circumstance, the Southeast Asiancountries that flourished in economic development became India’s first choice to develop its foreign economic cooperation because they have deep historical and geopolitics relations with India.

Overall, the focal point of the “Look East Policy” of

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

India at that time was put in economic cooperation. Due to various reasons, India did not positively promote the “Look East Policy” at that time and the Southeast Asian countries had paid their attention to East Asia and underestimated India. Subsequently, the “Look East Policy” did not exert obvious effects.

Since the acceleration of globalization and change of Asian pattern in the 21st century, the “Look East Policy” of India has shown new vitality and rising trend.

India began adopting specific action, transforming to all-round cooperation from exclusive economic exchanges and enlarging its foreign policies from the Southeast Asia to East Asia and Australia.

India strengthened its association with the Southeast Asian countries, joined the treaties of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, established free trade zone with the Southeast Asian countries and participated in the East Asian cooperative mechanisms and the security forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The cooperative contents also expend to the military and cultural fields from exclusive economic cooperation.

The “Look East Policy” has become an important part of India’s diplomatic strategy.

Is the “Look East Policy” related with the eastward transfer of American strategic focus?

The facts above show India is much earlier in promoting the “Look East Policy” than the eastward transfer of American strategic focus. In order to realize the strategy of eastward transfer, the United States positively encouraged India to participate in the East Asian affairs.

As the strategy of eastward transfer catered to the psychology of India’s misgivings and precautions against China, India also manifested its enthusiasm. India lately held a trilateral dialogue with the United States and Japan, and it has also close contacts with Vietnam, Burma and some other Southeast Asian countries.

However, it cannot be deemed as the collaboration of the United States and India. India has been pursuing the independent foreign policy and mainly considers its own interests. It is hard to imagine that India will completely follow the foreign policies of the United States. India has an all-round diplomatic policy and it both maintain relations with the United States and takes much count to the relations with other countries. India always keeps a close contact with Russia, Japan and the European Union countries and its relation with China is also positive.

In the state leaders meeting of the BRICS just closed in New Delhi, India proposed a series of positive proposals, hoping deepening the relations of the BRICS, strengthening cooperative mechanism of these countries and enlarging the role of the international economy and political life of these countries, which again embodies India’s all-round diplomatic policy. Therefore, it is groundless to think its “Look East Policy” and the American strategy of eastward transfer are converging.

By Pei Yuanying (Jiefang Daily)

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Rise and fall of a News Corp scion: James Murdoch


As a story, it has everything: dynastic succession, Oedipal conflict, vaulting ambition, hubris, crisis, catastrophe … read on

James Murdoch

James Murdoch’s resignation as chairman of BSkyB comes ahead of a cross-party committee report and his appearance later this month at the Leveson inquiry. Photograph: Warren Allott/AFP/Getty Images

On Tuesday, James Murdoch gave up his last claim to BSkyB, the company that most defined him. He had not wanted to leave his job as CEO of the company in 2008, when his father first got the idea that James should instead run the Asian and European operations of News Corp. At BSkyB, only 39% owned by News Corp, James was at a distance from News Corp politics, and, more importantly, from his father’s incessant interference.

What’s more, BSkyB had made James. At 36, he was running a vast, successful, and rapidly growing media company. The business world had noticed.

But his father had just bought the Wall Street Journal and was moving the long-time head of the company’s British subsidiary, News International, and family retainer, Les Hinton, to New York to run it. Rebekah Brooks, the editor of the Sun and herself a family favorite, was scheduled to take over Hinton’s job, but Murdoch was not sure she was seasoned enough. He need someone he could trust – not least of all because, at 78, he wanted to travel a lot less and concentrate his attention on his pride and joy, the WSJ.

So why not move James? He absolutely trusted his MBA-talking son (more so, in a sense, because he didn’t actually have an MBA, a degree Murdoch scorned). A father could hardly be more proud, almost in awe, of a son. And in truth, it rather rankled him that his son was getting so successful outside the company proper. Murdochs worked for News Corp. Period. Or they should.

And then, the succession: he knew had to maneuver one of his children into the second spot. The last time he had renewed COO Peter Chernin’s contract, he’d had to promise Chernin the top job if anything happened to him – a bothersome situation that needed to be corrected.

But James balked. Running the foreign divisions of News Corp, and becoming merely the chairman of BSkyB, was a significantly lesser job than masterminding the growth of the world’s most successful satellite broadcaster. So, father and son negotiated: the deal they struck was that if James agreed to come inside News Corp, the company would begin the process of bidding for the rest of the shares of BSkyB that it didn’t own – which would, ultimately, put James in charge of the whole megillah.

Initially, Rupert didn’t want to tie up all the cash the BSkyB deal would require; nor did he want to have another fight with British regulators. But James was adamant. Most persuasively, he argued that with BskyB, combined with all the other satellite, pay TV assets in Europe and Asia, James would be among the most powerful people in the world television industry – and an obvious and worthy, even inevitable, successor at News Corp.

When he moved over to Wapping, the headquarters of News Corp’s British subsidiary, News International, a major part of James’ job became planning for and shepherding the BSkyB acquisition. The other big part of his job was to fend off the executives in America, and the ill-will they always bore toward Murdoch children, at least until he got the big deal done and solidified his position. (There had already been an internal kerfluffle when Murdoch mentioned, rather by-the-bye, that it was going to be James and not, as planned, Rebekah, who would run international operations. As it happened, I was the person Murdoch told, one weekend morning when I was interviewing him in his New York apartment; and I passed the news on to his closest executives.)

It is important to understand the cold war that existed between James and the rest of the company. He may have become one of his father’s closest advisers, but he was a widely reviled by everyone else: he was the entitled, argumentative, haughty spoiler. What was clear, as soon as James came back into the company, to the top executives was that either they would survive or James would survive, but not both. (These same executives had successfully ousted James’ brother, Lachlan, a few years before.)

The tawdry phone-hacking business, of which James had only intimations of at BskyB, but with which he was suddenly confronted when he got to Wapping, seemed most troublesome as the kind of issue that parent company executives could use to second-guess him in London. And US executives were, in fact, starting to ask the obvious questions about the affair.

It was in the spring of 2008 that Peter Chernin, the company COO and still the official heir to the throne, arrived in London. James and his now ever-loyal lieutenant, Rebekah Brooks, were intent on not letting Chernin get involved with their business; they joked together about how Chernin was going to fill his time in London. Almost contemporaneously with Chernin’s visit, James made the decision to write an outsize check to settle a suit brought by Gordon Taylor, a prominent UK sports official, whose phone had been hacking by reporters at the Murdoch Sunday newspaper, the News of the World.

From this point, in addition to his focus on the BSkyB deal, James had another goal: not just blocking the interference of his adversaries within the company, but ousting them. Both overriding business goals proceeded on plan. The acquisition of BSkyB, which would give the Murdoch family a vastly greater position in British media than the already overwhelming one it held, was being skilfully navigated in spite of significant UK opposition. (Not incidentally, this included supporting David Cameron in his campaign for prime minister and encouraging Cameron to hire former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, who had been implicated in the hacking affair, as a top aide – another fateful contribution to the growing outcry.)

As for the praetorian guard (and, often, wise counsel) around his father: Chernin was gone within the year, followed by Gary Ginsberg, News Corp’s savvy communications executive, and Lon Jacobs, the long-time general counsel and an important moderating influence within the company. James was left as the second most important executive in the company, and inevitable heir. But that also left him the person most closely overseeing the company’s response to the hacking scandal – the importance of which James continued to see largely in relation to its possible effect on the BSkyB deal.

When the scandal hit hard last summer, with the revelations of the hacking of the voicemail of Milly Dowler, the kidnapped and murdered 13 year-old, the primary issue on James’ mind was the deal. That, more than anything, was the worry: while nobody yet thought the acquisition could seriously be threatened, hacking could give regulators cause to delay it – and delay meant that all of News Corp’s cash continued to be tied up. (That was another matter held against James by the powers in New York: the company was paralyzed until BSkyB was done.)

The decision to close the News of the World, over his father’s great and woeful objections, was a James-sponsored plan to meet the crisis head-on and defuse it. When that did not succeed, it was his father’s decision – over James’ great and woeful objections – to scuttle the BSkyB acquisition. (It had become an obvious lost cause to everyone but James.)

There are various accounts of when James understood that when the BSkyB deal died, his own career died with it. But surely, it was not right away. In fact, James almost immediately began to focus his attention on when they could renew the bid. Meanwhile, there was worry in the Murdoch family that News Corp’s 39% of BSkyB could become a flashpoint provoking a discussion about whether James should step down as chairman. His angry defense was that he had the support of the BSkyB directors, whom he had largely chosen. Indeed, James floated the idea that he should leave News International and return to BSkyB as its chief.

It became one of the many ongoing Murdoch family dramas: James’ wilful and stubborn refusal– even as his own executives were publicly challenging what he knew and when he knew it – to recognize the vast damage to his credibility and prospects. The balance tipped ever so slowly, between him thinking that the critical issue was how to get the BSkyB deal back on the table, to realizing that the more pressing issue was his own legal jeopardy.

The slow-motion stripping of each of his positions of responsibility has reflected James’ disbelief in his predicament, as well as his father’s abiding, if helpless, desire to protect his son. It also reflects the certainty of what everybody understands will happen: James’ undoing.

His exit from BSkyB brings the News Corp meltdown almost back to where it started, with everybody forced to ponder the sliding-door questions: what if Rupert hadn’t bought the Wall Street Journal; then he wouldn’t have brought James back into the company; then James would not have been so preoccupied with buying all of BskyB; then he would not have been so intent on cementing his own power inside the company to protect his deal that he lost sight of the family’s and the company’s real peril.

• This article will be closed to comments for legal reasons

Call centre for scams busted


KAJANG: They lived in luxury bungalows in a gated community without anyone suspecting that they were engaged in illegal activities involving billions of ringgit.

Kajang Country Heights, where they operated, seemed the perfect guise for the syndicate since the area is home to several ministers and former Cabinet members.

Bad landing: The woman who broke her leg being wheeled out of the bungalow by medical personnel in Kajang Country Heights yesterday.

As it turned out, the cover wasn’t good enough as police busted the outsource call centre yesterday for illegal betting, gambling and Internet scams believed to have been operating since last month.

Police arrested 144 people, including 54 women who were staying in four of the bungalows. They were from Taiwan and China.

The syndicate is believed to have rented six bungalows for betweeen RM15,000 and RM20,000 each.

Police, who had been staking the area for two weeks, found two of the bungalows unoccupied.

Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said that their passports showed that those detained, all in their 20s, had entered the country on March 6.

He said police raided the houses simultaneously at about 1pm and found the suspects engrossed in their laptops and telephones in a “classroom-like atmosphere” with all the tables neatly arranged in rows. CCTV cameras were installed outside the houses.

“They even had written scripts for their members to use when speaking to the victims,” DCP Tun Hisan said.

He said that a woman broke her leg while a man fractured a hand when trying to escape through a window.

Seven others, including a woman, who had sneaked out of the bungalows were arrested hours later.

Also arrested was a local man who delivered food and other essentials to the syndicate members.

The syndicate operated as football bookies. They invited punters to place bets on matches in the ongoing European championships and told them to deposit cash into an account, DCP Tun Hisan said.

He said their Internet scams included posing as authorities and demanding payment for summonses. They would then ask for the credit card details of the victims.

Police seized RM35,800 during the raid but they estimated that the syndicate had raked in almost RM4bil.

DCP Tun Hisan said police were looking for the mastermind.

By RASHITHA A. HAMID The Star/Asia News Network

The Education of Google’s Larry Page


Larry Page is surrounded. On one side, Google’s (GOOG) chief executive officer confronts Facebook, the social networking phenom that is about to go public. On his other side is Apple (AAPL), which has moved the playing field off the desktop computer—Google’s fiefdom—and onto smartphones and tablets. Thus Page, who became CEO of Google a year ago, has the task of steering the company he co-founded through territory defined by two rivals while fending off accusations that his brainchild has become yet another lumbering monopolist or, worse, a follower.

Sitting for an April 3 interview at the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif., Page bridles at any suggestion that Google isn’t the destiny-defining innovator it once was. He’s wearing geek business casual—fleece jacket, logo shirt, jeans, black Converse sneakers. “Producing the best [products] we possibly can for users is our paramount thing,” he says. “I think we have demonstrated that over a very long period of time, with a whole variety of different issues we’ve faced around the world.”

Page isn’t the first founder to reassert himself as leader of the company he helped to create. There was Howard Schultz’s return to run Starbucks (SBUX), which has worked out well, and Michael Dell’s reclaiming the reins of his eponymous PC maker, which has not. For a still-young tech entrepreneur such as Page, Steve Jobs’s triumphant homecoming at Apple in 1997 is the most obvious benchmark of success. Their situations aren’t totally analogous—unlike Jobs, Page never left the company he founded. Though the comparison is apt in one important way: In the 1990s, Apple needed a more sophisticated operating system to navigate changes in the computing landscape, and so bought Jobs’s company, NeXT. Today, Google also needs to figure out a new world, in which its users increasingly see the Web through the lens of their friends, instead of a cold, calculating algorithm. Although Google started social networks such as Orkut in the last decade, Page acknowledges that the company underestimated the power of friending. “Our mission was organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful,” he says. “I think we probably missed more of the people part of that than we should have.”

Google’s tardy embrace of social networking and its other moves, such as the strict terms it dictates to licensees of its Android operating system, have opened the company up to the kind of criticism it rarely encountered during its days as a mere colossus-in-the-making. Antitrust authorities in the U.S. and Europe are investigating whether Google gives preference to its own content in Internet search results instead of being a neutral arbiter. Privacy watchdog groups are calling Google out on changes to its privacy policies, charging that it has abused its users’ trust. Bloggers now routinely wonder if the company is doing evil, a caustic play on Google’s famous dictum in its 2004 initial public offering prospectus. A recent headline on the technology site Gizmodo hyperbolically summed up the stew of distrust: “Google’s Broken Promise: The End of ‘Don’t Be Evil.’”

Page smiles at the charge. Google, he insists, has not really changed at all. “Our soul is the same,” he says. “What we’re about is using large-scale technology advancements to help people, to make people’s lives better, to make community better. If you look at the river of things we’re doing, like automated cars and things like that, those things are fundamentally about [using technology] to help people. And I think there is still a huge amount of that to be done.”

With Sergey Brin, Page founded Google in 1998 at the age of 25. By any measure, the company is among the most remarkable in the history of Silicon Valley, growing from a research project at Stanford to a multibillion-dollar global behemoth in a little more than a decade. Yet by the time Page took command last April, Google had grown unfocused and unwieldy. A freewheeling atmosphere of invention and curiosity spawned countless unpolished, unsuccessful products. (Take Google Buzz. No, really, take it!) The previous CEO, Eric Schmidt, was spending much of his time on the road, focusing on the company’s mounting problems with antitrust and privacy regulators and dousing controversies such as the interception of home networking data by Google’s roving, camera-equipped Street View cars.

An ongoing discussion among Google’s leaders about refocusing the company around key product lines precipitated Schmidt’s decision to step aside. Now Google’s executive chairman, Schmidt is still the public face of the company at industry conferences and government hearings. Brin, Page’s co-founder, works on futuristic technology products, such as augmented-reality glasses. As CEO, Page handles the day-to-day decisions—and takes the blame when things go wrong. “He’s probably working harder than anyone at Google right now,” says Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of the group that makes the Chrome browser.

Page spent the months before his formal appointment as CEO reshaping the leadership team. “He had a very clear sense of the organization he wanted to have and handpicked people to run large areas of the company and set their objectives,” says Ram Shriram, a longtime Google board member. Newly elevated deputies included Pichai, Vic Gundotra of Google+, Salar Kamangar of YouTube, and Susan Wojcicki, who runs the ad unit.

Page also wanted to speed up decision-making at the company, whose ranks had swelled to almost 30,000 employees. He plucked one management idea from New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who requires that the city’s department heads spend time sitting together in City Hall (Bloomberg is founder of Bloomberg LP, which owns this magazine). Page fashioned an open bullpen of desks on the fourth floor of Building 1900 in the Googleplex and required top managers, called the L-Team, to spend part of each day there. “The insight I got from Mayor Bloomberg was that it’s maybe more efficient to tell people, ‘For these hours of the day we’re going to be all together, and at these hours of the day, you’re going to be with your team,’” he says. “I’m just trying to get people together for a fixed set of hours in one place.”

Page also started cutting back on products that weren’t working. Services such as Knol, the Wikipedia knockoff, and the complicated productivity tool Google Wave were sent to the Google graveyard. The company reorganized into seven divisions: search, ads, YouTube, Android, Chrome, commerce, and social networking. Page worked on defining clear short- and long-term goals for the leaders of each group. “In some ways we have run the company as to let 1,000 flowers bloom, but once they do bloom you want to put together a coherent bouquet,” Brin said at a technology conference last fall.

In June, Google unveiled the work of the seventh product group—Google+. Page demanded that every employee embrace the new focus on social networking, and linked yearend bonuses to the overall success of the effort. He says he’s pleased with the service’s progress. “We’re not even a year into that, and that’s going very well; much better than I expected in many, many ways, and I think than most people would have expected,” he says. “It doesn’t mean tomorrow it’s going to be bigger than any other social network out there. That’s not realistic. But it’s growing faster, I think, than other services have.”

Many Google watchers, and more than a few shareholders and analysts, question the extent of that success. Google+ has attracted 100 million members, who spent an average of 3.3 minutes on the service in January, according to ComScore (SCOR). Facebook’s 850 million users spend an average of 7.5 hours a month on that site. Page cites his own Google+ follower count of 2 million users as evidence that people are engaging with the service. And he promises the social network is just getting started with new features.

Page also judges Google+ success in another way, arguing that it has added a necessary dimension to Google search results. He cites the dilemma of a friend, a Google engineer named Ben Smith. It’s such a common name that a Google search returns millions of results. Now that the company knows that Page and a particular Ben Smith are connected, the results are more specific. A common name “is good if you want to have privacy, and it’s bad if you want to have other friends find you,” Page says. “For the first time, we can put Ben Smith into the search box, and it can be the Ben Smith that you know.”

Linking data from Google+ into its search engine, however, has also invited scrutiny. The integration, named “Search, Plus Your World,” was rolled out in January to a chorus of protest from bloggers, privacy groups, and competitors who charged that Google was giving special treatment to its own content. Bloomberg News has reported that the Federal Trade Commission is reviewing Google+ as part of a larger antitrust investigation into whether Google is unfairly abusing its monopoly in search. Regulators in Europe and the U.S. are also looking into accompanying changes in Google’s privacy policy that allow the company to track consumers’ use of various Google services.

Page sounds more than a little exasperated by the doubters. He says he’d be happy to include social data from Facebook and Twitter inside Google results but can’t because those companies will not agree to make it available. “We would love to have better access to data that’s out there. We find it frustrating that we don’t,” he says. As an example, he points to ongoing friction over the one-way transferability of users’ address books between Gmail and Facebook. New members of Facebook can quickly and easily find their Gmail contacts, but it doesn’t work the other way: New Gmail users cannot similarly find their Facebook friends. “Our friends at Facebook have imported many, many, many Gmail addresses and exported zero addresses out,” he says. “They claim that users don’t own that data, which is a total specious claim. It’s completely unreasonable.”

As for the parts of their sites that rivals do make available to Google’s search engine, such as individual tweets or profile pages on Facebook—Page dismisses the idea that Google should do a better job of getting those to show up in its search results. “We don’t force anyone to index,” he says. “That’s not the way we operate. … That’s always somebody else’s choice, whether their data is indexed or not.”

Last July, Google lost an important battle that was mostly invisible to the public. It bid for the patent portfolio of bankrupt Canadian telecom pioneer Nortel and was outspent by a consortium of rivals that included Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE), Research In Motion (RIMM), and Apple. Suddenly, Android, the open-source mobile operating system that powers about 50 percent of the world’s smartphones, seemed vulnerable to the wave of licensing shakedowns and patent lawsuits breaking out in the high-tech industry. The next month, Google paid an astonishing $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility (MMI), the American technology company with its own trove of mobile patents dating back to the invention of the cell phone. “Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies,” Page wrote in a blog post announcing the deal.

Page laments the tendency among technology companies to sue each other over intellectual property. “The general trend of the industry towards being a lot more litigious somehow has been a sad thing,” he says. “There is a lot of money going to lawyers and things, instead of building great products.” Google, he insists, has never aggressively enforced its own patents in search, and he blasts the aggressors engaging in warfare in the mobile arena. “I think that companies usually get into that when they’re towards the end of their life cycle or they don’t have good confidence in their abilities to really compete naturally.”

Although Google’s acquisition of Motorola was approved by regulators in the U.S. and Europe, it remains under review by Chinese antitrust officials and the deal has yet to close. Dennis Woodside, a longtime Google executive, will head the new Motorola division inside Google, Bloomberg News has reported. Page won’t elaborate on his plans for Motorola Mobility, though it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t introduce Google-branded phones and tablets to help the company compete with the runaway success of Apple’s elegant hardware. Existing Android tablets “are great experiences,” Page insists, “but they are going to get a lot better. I think we’re at the pretty early stages of this.”

At the end of the conversation, Page addresses one anecdote relayed in Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of Steve Jobs. According to a story in that book, Page called Jobs before his death, seeking advice on how to run Google. Jobs had threatened “thermonuclear war” on Google for copying elements of the iPhone, Isaacson wrote, but put aside his animosity over Android to counsel the young CEO.

Page offers a different version of those events. He says that Jobs reached out to him, not the other way around, and that when they met, in the last months of Jobs’s life, the Apple founder offered useful insights into how to run a company. Page believes that Jobs’s fury toward Google was not entirely genuine and was “actually for show.” Asked to explain, he suggests that Jobs’s apparent rage about Android was merely meant to motivate Apple employees. “For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to really feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors.”

That could be a classic Silicon Valley-style distortion of reality. The man who pioneered the practice and would know for sure is gone. It’s now Larry Page’s world, and he’ll have to work even harder than he already does to keep it that way.

By Bloomberg Business Technology

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