Google CEO Larry Page doesn't often give interviews, but he usually doesn't pull punches when he does. In a new interview with Wired's Steven Levy, Page opened up on a wide variety of topics, including Facebook's ability to launch new products. While he does admit that Facebook is "strong" in its space, he also says the company is "doing a really bad job on their products." The timing couldn't be better — Facebook just announced its latest new product initiative, Graph Search, something that definitely treads on ground near and dear to Google. While Page wasn't talking about Graph Search specifically (this interview took place back in December), it's still a bold statement about Facebook's ability to compete on Google's turf — if Page is worried, he's not showing it yet.
"We have a good ability to see what's possible and not be impeded by the status quo."
A big part of the profile also focuses on the top-secret Google X lab, a place where Levy believes Page would like to spend more time developing new initiatives like Google's self-driving car project. Page says his focus is on outpacing the competition by 10 times — 1000 percent — because "incremental improvement is guaranteed to be obsolete over time." To Page, that mindset is what makes Google so unique and valuable — "I worry that something has gone seriously wrong with the way we run companies," Page says when talking about the typical corporate mindset. "A big part of my job is to get people focused on things that are not just incremental."
Unsurprisingly, Page also took a minute to discuss Google's rival Apple. When discussing Apple's penchant for only doing "a very, very small number of things," he acknowledged that "that's working pretty well for them," but also said its not the Google way. "I find that unsatisfying," Page said. "I feel like there are all these opportunities in the world to use technology to make people's lives better." Steve Jobs' famous comment about going "thermonuclear" on Google because of the Android OS was also quickly dealt with — when asked about the remark, Page simply said "how well is that working?" When pressed further on Android's reported market share dominance over iOS, Page simply said "Android has been very successful, and we're very excited about it."