Traditionell schreiben die Google-Gründer Larry Page und Sergey Brin in jedem Jahr den sogenannten Founders Letter in dem sie auf das vergangene Jahr zurückblicken und einige interessante Einblicke in die zukünftigen Entwicklungen geben. Wenige Stunden vor der Verkündung der aktuellen Quartalszahlen hat Larry Page nun wieder einen solchen Brief veröffentlicht.
In jedem Jahr wurde der Founders Letter von den Google-Gründern verfasst und bezog sich natürlich auf das eigene Unternehmen. Aus diesem Grund hat man diese Ehre im vergangenen Jahr auch Sundar Pichai überlassen, auch wenn er mit der Gründung des Unternehmens nichts zu tun hatte. In diesem Jahr übernimmt nun wieder Larry Page diese Aufgabe und bezieht sich vor allem auf die Alphabet Holding.
Im aktuellen Founders Letter spricht Page nur am Rande von Google und beschäftigt sich vor allem mit dem Fortschritt der diversen Alphabet-Unternehmen die sich im vergangenen Jahr aus den ehemaligen Google-Projekten geformt haben – allen voran natürlich Waymo. Aber auch der zukünftig wichtige Bereich Verily mit dem Fokus auf Gesundheit kommt in dem Brief nicht zu kurz. Wirkliche Zahlen oder Neuigkeiten nennt Page nicht, sondern liefert eher einen Statusbericht.
Page freut sich dass die Gründung von Alphabet vor gut eineinhalb Jahren so gut funktioniert hat und genießt den Luxus sich auf mehrere Projekte abseits von Google konzentrieren zu können – genau so wie sein Kompanion Sergey Brin. In Zukunft sollen sowohl bei Alphabet als auch bei Google viele große Veränderungen anstehen – aber natürlich geht er nicht genauer darauf ein, worum es sich dabei handelt.
Falls er nicht dauerhaft zur Verfügung steht, veröffentliche ich den Founders Letter einfach hier im Blog.
Hard to believe we are about a quarter short of two years of announcing Alphabet. It’s been busy! I certainly feel Alphabet is working well, and as intended (see the original “G is for Google” announcement). At the time, I wrote that “Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence.” The new structure has helped entrepreneurs build and run companies with the autonomy and speed they need.
Sergey and I are working well together on the overall Alphabet direction and providing guidance to the companies. Sundar is doing great as Google CEO. It’s certainly a big job and we are very lucky to have him. He’ll probably write this letter again in the future as he has in the past, so I won’t speak too much for him on the Google related topics in this one. But, I’m excited about how he is leading the company with a focus on machine learning and AI. We took a big step in that direction with the Google Assistant, and built it into a new family of hardware devices like the Pixel and Google Home. There’s a lot more to come.
We’ve had a number of significant things happen on the Alphabet side since I last wrote. A number of our projects became companies, with more autonomy and dedicated leadership.
Waymo is the new self-driving car company formed from Project Chauffeur at X. John Krafcik is the new CEO and brings significant auto industry experience. I love the name and I love even more the excitement you can see when you visit with them! They also formed a partnership with Fiat Chrysler around their new plug-in hybrid Pacifica minivan which I see driving around the Waymo offices with lots of sensors on it. I can’t wait until Waymo launches.
Verily Life Sciences launched in December 2015 with Andy Conrad as founding CEO, also coming out of X. They have launched myriad efforts and raised $800M from Temasek, who joined their board and will help with Asian expansion. I’m very fond of their Debug project, which aims to stop mosquitoes in their tracks. It has been running for a while, showing some good foresight because it was started before Zika became a big concern.
In June 2016, Marwan Fawaz became CEO of Nest. He has been doing great against their plan, and we have really been enjoying working with him! I recommend you buy all their excellent products including indoor and outdoor cameras, learning thermostats, and smoke alarms.
Very recently Greg McCray started as CEO of Google Fiber. I’ve been enjoying working with him and his team and he has rapidly been getting up to speed. He visited all of our Fiber cities so quickly that I think he was still a bit out of breath when he got back to Mountain View! We have made significant investments in bringing gigabit fiber internet to lots of happy customers and I’m excited about our opportunities to do it better.
We have many other efforts within Alphabet. Calico CEO Art Levinson, former CEO of Genentech, is building an amazing research and development company focused on aging. We also have newly branded investment arms, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and CapitalG (formerly Google Capital) which are doing well. Sergey is continuing to spend time working with the X moonshot factory. They have a number of efforts like Wing, which is doing drone delivery. I also can’t wait for them to launch!
With the change to Alphabet, oversight has been easier because of increased visibility. We have streamlined efforts where it made sense and in other areas we have seen places to double down. I also think we have learned a lot about how to set up new companies with a structure for success. Our recent launch of Waymo was a great example of our learnings. In general we are taking a patient approach to investing our capital, especially significant uses. We’re not going to invest if we don’t see great opportunities and we feel like our track record for picking some important efforts long before others is pretty good. Machine learning and all the efforts around Google Brain and Deepmind are good examples. Google Cloud led by Diane Greene is doing a fabulous job of getting our machine learning hardware and software out to everyone. We were early in machine learning and are already seeing significant dividends coming out. Many of the Alphabet companies are already using this technology and are planning to use it even more.
So in conclusion, Sergey and I are having a good time looking for new opportunities and managing and scaling our existing efforts. I still see amazing opportunities that just aren’t quite fully developed yet—and helping making them real is what I get excited about.