Marissa Mayer On Charlie Rose: The Future Of Google, Future Of Search

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Charlie Rose, who’s been focusing lately on Silicon Valley personalities, interviewed Google Vice President Marissa Mayer last night. In a long and broad ranging discussion, Marissa talks about the product development cycle at Google as well as the future of search and other key areas of technology.

At one point in the interview Rose ask Mayer about Yahoo. Her diplomatic answer – an independent Yahoo is best for the web. She also says the biggest problem facing them is their loss of human talent over the last couple of years.

Regarding search, she says its a big and growing problem. There are more than a trillion URLs, she says. And video and sound files need to be integrated into search.

On social networking, she admits Google’s Orkut has largely fallen flat (other than in Brazil and India). She says one problem was the site was very slow at launch, which hurt them. But she highlights the massive page view volume from social network users – search generates maybe 25 page views a day per user, but social networking can generate up to 100, she says. “It’s the equivalent of almost user crack.”

And, oddly enough, she says that one of the goals behind developing Google’s Chrome browser is to “make the web as fast as turning the page in a magazine.” That is still one advantage paper has over the Web: zero load times.

See Charlie’s recent interviews with the MySpace founders, Reid Hoffman, Larry Lessig and Marc Andreessen.

Full Transcript (with sections bolded for emphasis):

Charlie Rose:
We are back in San Francisco this evening with Marissa Mayer. She is the vice president of search products and user experience at Google. She helps decide which of Google engineers’ new ideas get presented to the company’s founders. Gmail, Google maps, Google news and many other applications all went through her. Portfolio magazine originally said, “That power gives her enormous sway over the ebb and flow of competition on the internet. She joined Google in 1999. The Stanford graduate is one of its first 20 employees and its first female engineer. I am pleased to have her on this broadcast for the first time. Welcome.

Marissa Mayer:
Thank you. I’m really happy to be here.

Charlie Rose:
Oh, it’s great to have you here. You are a legend already. So let’s just go back in this short time, in ten years.

Marissa Mayer:
In ten years.

Charlie Rose:
Have you celebrated your anniversary yet?

Marissa Mayer:
My ten-year anniversary will be in June.

Charlie Rose:
Are you celebrating with a great extravaganza.

Marissa Mayer:
We tend not to have a lot of fanfare around the different anniversaries because for us, you know, the best is always what’s to come at Google.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
And so it was fun in September to take sort of a retrospective. In particular, we brought up one of our old search engines.

Charlie Rose:
Yes.

Marissa Mayer:
One of the old indices from when we first started, and the engineers were appalled. They didn’t want to launch it. We wanted the public to see it, but you don’t [unintelligible] take it that much retrospective.

Charlie Rose:
Is it fair to say that search is in its infancy.

Marissa Mayer:
Very much so. It was interesting for our engineers to see that early index and see how far we’ve come in ten years. But when you think about what would be the perfect search engine, what is an answer as opposed to a result? Why are we handing you just links and URLs? You know, what does it mean to try and synthesize a video or an image or a diagram that better explains your answer or maybe even grabs facts from all the different pages and helps you do comparisons. There’s just a lot of different things we can do. And that doesn’t even happen into how do people search, from their phones, from their cars, how do we get more mobile, how do we deal with so many different interface challenges?

Charlie Rose:
Tell me about your job.

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I have one of the best jobs in the world.

Charlie Rose:
Why so?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I get to work with great people every day, abd we’re just working on really amazing ideas that touch millions of people’s lives and trying to help those people get better information, hopefully make better decisions is just really fulfilling. And it’s just amazing to go to an office that’s so charged and motivated with people who really just don’t — you know, we’re not done yet. We’re just in the infancy. And that’s what’s fun about it. There’s so much more yet to do.

Charlie Rose:
Somebody said, I think this was business week in 2005 said, “Her title belies her power and influences [unintelligible] of innovation. She has her hands on virtually everything the average Google user sees from the look of its web pages to new software for searching your hard drive, and she helps decide which new initiatives get the attention of the company’s founders and which don’t.” Everything with the Google brand that consumers use goes through her.” So when you look at all this stuff, what’s the process?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, that’s a good question. It all starts with an idea. And ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes we have ideas that come from our users. People always mailed us and said how come I can’t search my computer as fast as I can search the web? It caused us to do Google desktop. There are some that come from our engineers, Google news and or kid came from the engineers. There’s some that come from the executives. Larry really wanted to do good mail. He really thought mail could be much improved.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
And there’s some that come from a real strategic analysis, finance and maps. We said, you know, we’re seeing our users go to the competition and use a product that we don’t think is very good and that we think we can improve on, and we really think we should round out our offerings. So ideas come from everywhere. In search of that idea and then it’s about building a prototype. Can you build something that really illustrates what technology you’re going to use, how are you going to create an innovation out of that? How are you going to capture the imagination and the attention of the users and really meet their needs? And so taking that prototype then and building of a team around it and really productionizing it. And then it becomes sort of the fun part of the fit and finish of the details, how does it look, how does it work? Is each pixel just right, just so? And it’s like almost like producing a movie. You want to make sure that that product walks out the door the way that you want it. And also not doing that too much, right, because a big part of our innovation process is iteration, try something, get a lot of feedback, try something new. And so really bird walking along that path to what the user really wants which means launching early and launching often.

Charlie Rose:
I mean Google clearly has done well because it had a very good idea, and it executed a very good idea very well. Beyond that, why has Google been as successful as it has?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think there’s a lot of different elements of the culture that have really fostered innovation. We like to work with really small teams.

Charlie Rose:
Yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
When I started, there were about nine engineers. And [unintelligible] said, “Well, we have nine engineers and right now they do about three different things.”

Charlie Rose:
Yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
So if we double and we had 18 engineers, would we want them to do the three things twice as well? Or would we want to do twice as many things? And I said, “Well, obviously we’d want to do twice as many things.” And so you know that’s how we’ve grown. We’ve tried to keep the teams really small which leads to a sense of empowerment, people making decisions around what’s the best feature, what do their users need, how are they going to build the best product, and it allows also for them to be really agile. You know, we try and avoid meetings and like a lot of reasons when you have — one of the great things that happens with a small team is you can put them all in the same office. At Google we usually have three or four people in each office and that works really well because when they wanted to make a decision, people just roll back from their desk and say, “Hey –”

Charlie Rose:
And turn around and what about this?

Marissa Mayer:
I got –

Charlie Rose:
Yeah, right, yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
I got something that we need to decide right now. And so, that allows the teams to really be very agile. And we’ve also had a really broad mission all along, Larry and [unintelligible] had the foresight to give the company the mission of organizing the world’s information.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
And making it useful and [inaudible].
[talking simultaneously]

Charlie Rose:
And how far along are we on that?

Marissa Mayer:
We’ve just barely gotten started. And so, but with that broad mission you know every Googler has an idea. Googlers are what we call the Google employees. Every Googler has an idea as to something that’s not being done right now that could be done.

Charlie Rose:
Most of the ideas come in from in-house?

Marissa Mayer:
Oh, they come from all over. As I said, sometimes they got ideas from our users and from observation.

Charlie Rose:
But most of them.

Marissa Mayer:
Most of them I would say come in-house so especially when you’re a leader in search you really do need to be looking at both the user needs and also where’s the technology going to take us, what’s possible and what’s not, right? So for example we’d like to make progress on both vision and voice, [unintelligible] what’s in an image, how well can we recognize it –

Charlie Rose:
And where are we on that?

Marissa Mayer:
– a spoken image and a spoken word. And I think voice is actually a lot further along than images in recognizing shapes and that. I mean, if you look at the academic research, that’s generally the case. So sometimes you have to follow the technology, what’s possible. I think we’re going to have really good voice search, really good speech to text on YouTube videos so you’ll be able to search it, that will happen sooner than you’ll be able to say give Google an image and say find other images like this or find me images of a monkey, those types of things.

Charlie Rose:
When will it happen?

Marissa Mayer:
I think that the voice breakthrough will probably happen in the next five years, maybe 10, and I think that — and then I think the vision will probably happen in more than a 10-year timeframe, maybe 15.
Those are of course guesses just off the top of my head but –

Charlie Rose:
I often ask this, I ask this almost of everybody like you. You know, what’s the next big idea? You know, do you see all the technology that you see and you’ve got all these engineers working on all of these things, and you are in fact the filter to Larry and Sergey and Eric, what’s the big idea?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, there’s a lot of I think big ideas. One thing that we’ve been talking about for awhile is really a [unintelligible] involving cell phones. If you take the cell phone technology, the GPS style technology we’ve worked on with wireless networks and cell phone towers and you combine that with a social network, you can find out where your friends are.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
In fact, we just released data of that product last week called Google Lattitude.

Charlie Rose:
Yes.

Marissa Mayer:
It’s a very early prototype but it’s a really interesting idea. Can these cell phones we have with us help us connect better with our friends and find out where people are and what they’re doing and –

Charlie Rose:
Where they are geographically.

Marissa Mayer:
Where they are geographically because your cell phone understands that.

Charlie Rose:
Now, why is that important?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think that you know in terms of trying to understand you know someone, are they on their way to the meeting or not, are they you know, like are they in the coffee shop, you just happen to walk by, do they happen to be in the same airport you’re in? Those types of questions are really interesting. I think that’s an interesting application for a cell phone.

Charlie Rose:
This is a broader philosophical question I want to talk about later. But I mean is there some point in which we know too much about people?

Marissa Mayer:
Well I think that in all cases it’s a tradeoff, right, where you will give you some of your privacy in order to gain some functionality, and so we really need to make those tradeoffs really clear to people, what information are we using and what’s the benefit to them? And then ultimately leave it to user choice so the user can decide. And you have to be very transparent about what information you have about that user and how it’s being used.

Charlie Rose:
But it’s also seems to me clearly a product of age and generation, how willing you are to give up privacy and to allow transparency, clearly.

Marissa Mayer:
Sure, absolutely, and I think there’s all kinds of interesting paradigms. In fact, one of the younger women who works for me was dating someone who just turned off their wall on Facebook. And interestingly it was viewed as an absolute move of distrust. Why would anyone turn off their wall? And you know was he dating someone else? Right?

Charlie Rose:
Right, right, right.

Marissa Mayer:
I’m like and I just thought you know this poor guy I mean last year he didn’t have a wall.

Charlie Rose:
Yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
And he’s just trying to get back to a previous state of privacy.

Charlie Rose:
Right, right, right, right.

Marissa Mayer:
And it’s gone. So it definitely is a generational thing. And the interesting thing is that the generational standard is set for that new generation such that the rules are very different, but even sometimes trying to regain a former sense of privacy you know are –
[talking simultaneously]

Charlie Rose:
You are now I assume in your 30s and therefore the people you’re hiring are in their 20s, correct?

Marissa Mayer:
That’s right.

Charlie Rose:
Do you see significant differences in you and your attitude and them and their attitudes?

Marissa Mayer:
I think I view it as more of a spectrum than –
[talking simultaneously]

Charlie Rose:
[inaudible]

Marissa Mayer:
– but there’s no question that they have new observations and new ways of using our technologies and other technologies that you know surprise me.

Charlie Rose:
Yeah, what’s the difference in Larry and Sergey?

Marissa Mayer:
Sure. Well, I think they have a lot of similarities. I refer to them both as Montessori kids. They’ve always kind of liked to do things their way, challenge the norm. Right? And like you know they’re always asked to you know they’ve been taught to always ask why. Sergey’s very mathematical. So he’ll be the first one to dig in on a new equation that we’re using in the search relevance function. He also would you know really decide things like stock options and salary for almost every employee. Until we were about 2,500 people you could ask Sergey about any person in the company –

Charlie Rose:
What they made and what their options were.

Marissa Mayer:
And he knew within about five percent so he has this amazing memory especially for numbers and really likes to dig in on things like the deal. So when we did the deal with MySpace or some of the larger deals we’ve done with AOL Sergey would really engage in the details there. Larry tends to be more about the technology and the product and the interfaces, what type of storage system should we have and how would that support g-mail, do we have data centers in all the right places in order to make queries really, really fast, how do we make the Web faster overall, what products could be released that could help people —

Charlie Rose:
So does that mean that –
[talking simultaneously]

Marissa Mayer:
– ultimately use the internet more.

Charlie Rose:
– Larry’s more entrepreneurial?

Marissa Mayer:
No, I don’t think so. I think they both very much have an entrepreneurial spirit. And I think a lot of that comes from you know the view that nothing’s impossible. You know, there’s nothing that’s impossible and I think both of them have that spirit.

Charlie Rose:
Did you once say that the person you most admired in Silicon Valley was Steve Jobs?

Marissa Mayer:
I am a big fan of Steve Jobs.

Charlie Rose:
Why Steve Jobs?

Marissa Mayer:
Well I think that he has amazing vision around what consumers will use and like when you look at the predictions and the trends that he saw in the PC industry, everything down to the mouse, [unintelligible] there’ve been other people who invented those things and got them started. But he could recognize a trend that would catch on with consumers, the same way he has with the iPod and the iPhone so I think he has a great eye for what consumers would want and I also think he’s amazing at talking about really complicated technology in a way that people fundamentally understand.

Charlie Rose:
Because we assume he is 99 percent marketing, and heartily technical.

Marissa Mayer:
Oh, I’ve met with Steve Jobs and if you talk to him about –

Charlie Rose:
Technology.

Marissa Mayer:
– technology, right, like the resolution on a video player or you know what different types of encoding should be used in this player or that player, he has very deep knowledge of all of those. So he’s — [unintelligible] to you he’s a very much a technologist. He’s also a great marketer but it really is the blend of both.

Charlie Rose:
And has a fairly good sense of design, too.

Marissa Mayer:
Exactly.

Charlie Rose:
There is this which I keep coming back to and I hear this from you and I hear it from what you talk about Sergey and Larry and about Steve Jobs and others, this sense of asking the right question, you know, why can’t we have this? Why can’t we build a better e-mail system, why can’t we expand into this? It is almost like this is by my experience not so good and why can’t we do better? Or B, why can’t we have this kind of functionality that doesn’t exist today?

Marissa Mayer:
Absolutely, I think that’s the big key of it, right?

Charlie Rose:
That’s the key to asking the right questions and being able to seek the answer.

Marissa Mayer:
And also the right nonintuitive questions like the other day Larry asked this great question of how come the Web isn’t like a magazine? How come going to a new Web page isn’t as easy as just turning the page, the content’s there already –

Charlie Rose:
Very good, Larry.

Marissa Mayer:
– it’s loaded up right there.

Charlie Rose:
Yeah, right, right.

Marissa Mayer:
And like that’s a great question, [unintelligible] there’s all kinds of issues on speed of light and caching and where the data lives that’s going to make that a very hard challenge but imagine how the internet’s already so useful, imagine how useful it would be if it was as fast as a magazine –
[talking simultaneously]

Charlie Rose:
Well also what’s fascinating about that to me, it is this idea of looking at some old form and saying its ease of accessibility is something we want. We have in a sense replaced that form. But there are qualities about it that we want to retain to add to the advantages we have.

Marissa Mayer:
Well, it makes sense, right. The physical world’s been around a lot longer. It’s gotten more of the bugs and kinks out of it.

Charlie Rose:
Right, right, right.

Marissa Mayer:
It’s very heavily optimized. The virtual world is really new and so really nearing some of those same principles in the new technology is what we should strive for.

Charlie Rose:
Someone said that the Google business model was paid search. Is that a fair description?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think that it’s advertising subsidized search.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
So we run advertisements on our search page. They obviously don’t appear on every page because there’s some searches where we don’t think the ad is as useful as our results. And that’s really our goal, to produce ads that are as useful as our results. And I would argue today if you searched for different types of concert tickets, the ads are as good as a result as some of the results that come from the search engine.

Charlie Rose:
Because it is said — and I think — a number of people have said this, that part of the problem with monetizing Facebook is the search for friends does not — advertising does not play the same role because you are not searching for a product or information about something. You’re just searching for information about friends.

Marissa Mayer:
Well, it really has to do –

Charlie Rose:
Is there some merit to that?

Marissa Mayer:
There is. It really has to do with how focused you are. Search occupies this wonderful moment in a user’s day where it doesn’t even really break along demo graphics, right? It’s, we know what they were thinking about because they just typed it into the search engine.

Charlie Rose:
Yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
And that’s what they want. And if we can give them an ad for that, that’s a great very well targeted lead. And their attention is really focused on getting that thing. When you introduce ads into other mediums, it may be, for example, on social networking sites, people will tend to browse through a hundred pages a day, right. Even an avid Google searcher will do ten searches, 20 searches. So I mean the amount of attention that a user pays on each page and how it’s directed between say, search and social networking is fundamentally different. I think advertising can work in both. But the type of attention you’re going to have on the ads on the social networking site is a little bit more distributed. It’s a little bit let focused.

Charlie Rose:
Now, are you putting advertising next to news on your search?

Marissa Mayer:
We are.

Charlie Rose:
Have you just begun to do that?

Marissa Mayer:
Yeah. We just started that yesterday.

Charlie Rose:
You had been reluctant to do it, and then you made the decision to do it.

Marissa Mayer:
We did because — well, we were very concerned. In fact, we had talked to some news sources that said there are certain types of news stories that they just didn’t feel it was appropriate to run advertising alongside.

Charlie Rose:
Sure.

Marissa Mayer:
Murders and suicides.

Charlie Rose:
This is the old notion that after a plane crash, you want to make sure that the ads for that within that news program are not ads for an airline.

Marissa Mayer:
Absolutely. And so we really wanted to make sure that the ads we showed were relevant.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
And that they were tasteful. And I will say that I think there is still challenge. We looked at the product this morning, the day after launch, and one thing that is new is our advertisers aren’t used to placing sort of the spur of the moment ads, right? So some of the news stories that broke last night, where, for example, I think Giselle, the supermodel just got married, right? So there’s all these queries coming in now in Google news for this. And if you were running TMZ or Entertainment Weekly, you’re an advertiser on the Google network, but your ads aren’t targeted at that search term right now. So we do have a ways to go to make this product really work. But I think that there is an interesting opportunity. But what’s interesting and new in the news is of course new and it’s unpredictable. So how people place ads is going to be a little bit of a shift from something we’ve done in the past.

Charlie Rose:
Okay. So that actually dumps us back in terms of what your role is. Because that’s a business question rather than an engineering question, rather than a how-to question, correct?

Marissa Mayer:
Yes.

Charlie Rose:
So is that part of your own responsibility, too? Or you just do that out of curiosity?

Marissa Mayer:
Product management really is the fusion between technology, what engineers do –

Charlie Rose:
And commerce.

Marissa Mayer:
– and the business side. And so really trying to pull together a vision of how do you fill the users’ needs and do that based on the best technology available and do that in a way that’s really scalable, sustainable and ultimately build a good business. That’s really the fusion of product management. Sometimes people will talk about product management as sort of a hub and spoke model, or product management’s job is to make all the spokes go around and basically fill in the gaps, which is kind of one of the other reasons I really love my job is because I never really know what I’ll be doing in the morning. Maybe I’ll be running a blog post to explain the glitch on one of our products. Maybe I’ll be meeting with a team to decide the ultimate look and feel of a product we’re going to release next week. Maybe I’ll be brainstorming with engineers on a very early prototype and what they could do to make it more compelling. And so you know, you really just do whatever needs to get done to really make that whole package of that product because the product is what you’re really managing [unintelligible].

Charlie Rose:
Is Google so different as a company that there is no model as to what it’s going to become? Or, as some have said, Google is the next Microsoft and Facebook is the next Google.

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I don’t know. I didn’t know that there is –

Charlie Rose:
I only know one person that said that, but it’s a fun question.

Marissa Mayer:
I think that — you know, I heard the theory on startups early on is that most startups start off being very technology driven.

Charlie Rose:
Right. That’s how they find their attraction.

Marissa Mayer:
And as they grow up, they either become very sales driven or very marketing driven. And you can kind of play a game with most companies where you can ask, are they marketing driven, or are they sales driven?

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
Pepsi, marketing driven.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
SAP, sales driven.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
In terms of like who is coming back and saying, this is the next product for [unintelligible] –

Charlie Rose:
Google.

Marissa Mayer:
– this is what we’re going to build. And then Google is interesting because usually they’ll say as a company gets large, you have to become one or the other. Google is very engineering driven so even to date. Engineers aside, this is a technology we think we can bring to market and do something useful with. And so it’s remained very technology driven. There are other examples, like I think, for example, 3M is a good example of a company that’s very large that’s still very focused on the technology and what’s possible with it.

Charlie Rose:
Some argue –

Marissa Mayer:
GE, there’s a few good large examples.

Charlie Rose:
Is this a fair criticism: A lot of people argue that Yahoo! lost its place because it lost its emphasis on engineering and technology and focused too much on marketing.

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I definitely thinks that what drives technology companies is the people, right? Because in a technology company, it’s always about what are you going to do next.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
So then it comes down to, well, who is going to build that thing that you do next.

Charlie Rose:
Right, right.

Marissa Mayer:
So if you have the best people –

Charlie Rose:
So talent is the key.

Marissa Mayer:
– that’s a huge benefit. And I do think that some of what happened with Yahoo! was a little bit of that lost focus, but I also think that over the events of recent years, they’ve lost a lot of their good people. There are still a lot of good people there, and we definitely are cheering for Yahoo because we really think that the web is better off.

Charlie Rose:
Because — because they will be a healthy opponent in search.

Marissa Mayer:
Because we think — exactly.

Charlie Rose:
Oh, this is interesting. Are you also cheering for Microsoft so that they will be a strong opponent in search?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think that in general –

Charlie Rose:
Are you cheering for Microsoft to buy Yahoo!?

Marissa Mayer:
No, definitely not the last one because we really think that an independent Yahoo! is better for the web, right. It’s a really healthy, vibrant [unintelligible] product.

Charlie Rose:
Yahoo! is also better for Google.

Marissa Mayer:
Well, and I think that it also is better for consumers because it means there will be more competition on some of these key services, web mail, IM, search, a lot of things you use every day having more competition there means that users needs get met more.

Charlie Rose:
Do you think Microsoft is obsessed with Google because they missed search?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I can’t speculate as to what –

Charlie Rose:
Come on. You all know each other.

Marissa Mayer:
I can’t — I can’t — I can’t speculate as to what their thoughts are there. I definitely think that we’ve seen that they are trying very hard in search.

Charlie Rose:
Well, yes.

Marissa Mayer:
But I ultimately think that we really have been focused on building the most comprehensive search engine, bringing off line content online, the relevance pieces. And it’s hard to get all the different parts of the search engine right. You have to get comprehensiveness.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
Because now there’s a trillion URLs out there that we’ve seen.

Charlie Rose:
Right, right.

Marissa Mayer:
That’s a huge amount.

Charlie Rose:
You have, what, 64 percent of the market, search?

Marissa Mayer:
We have a 2/3 share.

Charlie Rose:
70 — 63 or 66, right.

Marissa Mayer:
Yes, yes.

Charlie Rose:
66. Two more than I suggested. Microsoft has 9 or 10.

Marissa Mayer:
That’s right.

Charlie Rose:
[unintelligible]

Marissa Mayer:
And then Yahoo!

Charlie Rose:
And then Google has — I mean Yahoo! has 20, maybe.

Marissa Mayer:
Yeah.

Charlie Rose:
So that’s about it, yeah. Will it be in the end as many businesses are, two people that in the end everything will separate out so that you have and Yang, two people that are fighting for dominance?

Marissa Mayer:
That’s interesting. We haven’t seen that trend. In fact, we’ve seen that a lot of people, even if they use Google will occasionally use Yahoo! or occasionally use Microsoft. So that people tend to have a few different search engines. There’s a lot of user choice. And search has a lot of allegiance, right. Once a [unintelligible] search engine has helped you find something, you tend to return to it and have a lot of allegiance even when you’re trying out those other search engines. So I believe that most people will use a few different technologies.

Charlie Rose:
give me your take on social networking.

Marissa Mayer:
Sure. Well, I think the social networking is really interesting. And I have to say, we launched a social network at Google called Orkut. It’s not very popular in the United States, really popular in a couple of other countries.

Charlie Rose:
Which countries?

Marissa Mayer:
Brazil and India. We’re the number one website. In fact, if you go to those countries, they often think that Orkut owns Google. And you talk to people in Brazil, they’re like, oh, Google, you mean the subsidiary of Orkut?

Charlie Rose:
But what’s the difference, why India and Brazil? Do you know?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think that what happened, one thing that happened is when Orkut first launched, we did our launch early and often strategy. And it wasn’t ready to scale. So the network got really slow. But in Brazil, they were sort of used to the latency. So the fact that the site was slow didn’t slow them down. They just kept building momentum. And India, I think because it was on the Indian opposite time zone, it also wasn’t competing for that same resource of scalability. Now we have a much more scalable system in Orkut, but there definitely is a first mover advantage in social networking. I think it’s really interesting that one of the most interesting things I’ve seen was this difference in the number of page views users do in a single session because we released Orkut. We like to do this thing at Google called dog fooding where we all use the product. You eat your own dog food. And I sent out the [unintelligible] –

Charlie Rose:
Eat your own dog food.

Marissa Mayer:
Eat your own dog food. I sent out the note saying, hey, there’s this new system called Orkut. You know, sign up, try it out. Let us know what you think. And I sent it out, and it was probably about 8:00 at night. And at about 10:00, I checked our logs.

Charlie Rose:
Yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
And there was something like 10,000 log lines.

Charlie Rose:
Wow.

Marissa Mayer:
And at that time, and I looked at how many users were on the system, and it was about 200, which meant that every person who got on the system immediately did 50 page views. And then I started looking at it over days, and sure enough, in the average session, people were doing, 50, 80, 100 page views when they logged on. And I’ve just never seen anything like that. It’s the equivalent of almost user crack, right. Search is great in that you’ll often get 15, 20, 25 pages from a single person in a single day. But social networking, people really are very interested in finding their friends and reading other people’s profiles, forming those connections, doing that messaging. And as a result, it means there’s just a lot of page view volume which is why you see such large numbers posted by MySpace.

Charlie Rose:
So what do you think about this controversy about who owns the Facebook data?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think it’s pretty clear to me the users own their data.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
Right. The fact of the format that you write it down in and how you store it doesn’t make it yours. It ultimately really belongs to them. And there should be an element of transparency on that data of choice and ultimately of portability, right. It should be the case that you can ultimately pick up all the contacts you’ve built up on a particular network and move somewhere else and take that with you because it really is your data.

Charlie Rose:
You guys have an enormous amount of data that you — you know more about people than what they buy, their email, who their friends are. It’s extraordinary phenomenon that one company would have so much knowledge about so many people.

Marissa Mayer:
It is. But there’s actually a lot of other analogies around that people don’t think about in terms of who knows what. I will say that, you know, we have a very strict privacy policy. We try to be very up front with our users, what information we have and how we’ll use it. But search engines aren’t alone. ISPs, your ISP knows a lot of what you do.

Charlie Rose:
You’re right.

Marissa Mayer:
Innocently, your credit card company knows a lot what you do. I was reading an article just the other day that said your credit card company knows two years beforehand that you’re going to get divorced with 98 percent likelihood.

Charlie Rose:
And what is it –

Marissa Mayer:
And how is that possible?

Charlie Rose:
Well, yeah, you tell me.

Marissa Mayer:
Probably you don’t even know, right?

Charlie Rose:
No, no, but before you leave that, what are the indications that they pick up on, the kind of products you buy?

Marissa Mayer:
Probably the kind of purchases, stuff like that so — so there’s probably some good indicators, but they obviously have enough interest in this because they might make you a credit risk.

Charlie Rose:
Yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
But it’s really interesting to know that probably most people don’t even know a year beforehand that –

Charlie Rose:
So what, do you think they have an obligation to tell us so that we can get ready? I’m not married, but –

Marissa Mayer:
Maybe. Maybe not. But I mean, I think that it is a phenomenon that we’re currently living in right now, that there’s a huge amount of data out there about people, be it with their ISP, with their credit card company, phone company, with their search engine. And we really need a lot of transparency, a lot of user choice available there to really help people manage that.

Charlie Rose:
This is what Steve Balmer said. “We have a positive price on our software,” Balmer said. “Google does not. I do not know how it is a sustainable thing to not have a positive price. And don’t tell me you think it’s search because even when they win the Android business, they have to pay to have their search installed on that phone just as we do. That’s a competitive bid that the operators mandate. So we’re going with a real price with real investment with a professional approach and a positive price on software based model.”

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think — I’ll go back to a question I used to point out to my friends in the early days of Google when people were saying well how are you going to make money?

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
And they’d say Google’s amazing, it’s so amazing I would actually pay for it.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
And I’d say really? How much would you pay? They’d say, like $20 a year. And I’d say okay so you want to –

Charlie Rose:
That’s not a business.

Marissa Mayer:
So you say you want to pay $20 a year for Google search. And I said how many searches do they do, do you do a day. And they’d say like 20, I probably do 20 searches a day. I was like okay, so let’s pretend you do 20 searches a day and you get — take the weekends off, five days a week, that’s 100 searches a week, right?

Charlie Rose:
Boy you’re good at math.

Marissa Mayer:
What if we could make a penny off of each of those searches? Right? That’s sort of [unintelligible], we’re nowhere close right now with the ads we’re selling, but what if we could sell enough ads that ultimately the amortized you know revenue for us could be a penny? That would mean that we’d make a dollar off of you each week and we’d make $52 off of you over the year. And I really do think that, that type of math works out. It turns out that yes I mean a lot of very [unintelligible] you end up with both, direct payment or subscription funded users as well as an advertising model but I think that search is in this interesting space where you can actually earn more money through the advertisers wanting to be in front of those consumers than from the consumers themselves even though the consumers believe that it’s a very valuable tool that they’d be willing to pay for.

Charlie Rose:
You think your revenue base will change over the next 10 years?

Marissa Mayer:
Well I think that there — well there’s no question that the economy at the moment is definitely affecting things.

Charlie Rose:
So it’s down 10, 15, 20 percent?

Marissa Mayer:
Well I think that you know it’s — you’ll see where things end up. But I think that advertising is a really good sustainable model. And we have a very diverse base of advertising even within our makeup. We also have a very healthy enterprise business so we’re looking at how can we bring some of our services be it search, e-mail, calendar into different enterprise. I think that’s very exciting. But even when you look at the diversity of our revenue base, it’s more diverse than I think it would originally seem. And it is because we have advertising from almost every sector, right? I mean the other day I was learning about — it was one of the strangest things that Google sometimes — extreme ironing, [unintelligible] a sport where people try and iron things in really extreme places.

Charlie Rose:
Well, give me an example of a strange place.

Marissa Mayer:
Like on the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Charlie Rose:
Oh, yes, right, right, right.

Marissa Mayer:
And it’s [unintelligible] we have ads for extreme ironing at Google. It depends on when the competitions are. But when they’re running competitions, they’ll put an ad on Google to get people to sign up for the extreme ironing competitions so we have you know a really diverse advertising base, some small advertisers, some big advertisers, so usually when one industry ebbs, another really flows. And so we see that type of balance overall in our advertiser base, and of course an overall downturn affects everyone.

Charlie Rose:
The answer to this may be e-mail but what is the one thing that the internet gives you that you could not live without?

Marissa Mayer:
Well I am a very search-based person so I really –

Charlie Rose:
And what do you search? I mean, restaurants? You search –

Marissa Mayer:
Almost –

Charlie Rose:
– I mean, vacation places, you search what?

Marissa Mayer:
Almost everything, so I’m a search addict. I think I’m a really serious person. I had one Saturday this past fall when I kept track of all the questions that came into my mind all day that I couldn’t search for right then.

Charlie Rose:
Well, give me an example of that.

Marissa Mayer:
Like who you know — I mean, now there’s like Shazam [spelled phonetically] on your iPhone but who sings this song? What kind of bird is that? You know, what school has the banana slugs as a mascot? You know like will this come up in conversation? I mean you know like and so you know people will say things and –

Charlie Rose:
And so you’ll search for the answer to those questions.

Marissa Mayer:
I’ll search for the answer to those questions but that’s why I think that not only is search in its infancy in terms of the evolution of the technology, it’s also in its infancy in terms of how much people use search because you know me with my job being a search addict I would think that I would be searching about as much as anyone could, and I would guess –

Charlie Rose:
Right, and they’ll [spelled phonetically] probably be too busy, yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
No, I would guess that I do about 20 percent of the searches that pop into my head every day. And the other 80 percent just sort of stay there, trivia questions unanswered. Maybe they weren’t important enough for me to search on, but –

Charlie Rose:
What’s the impact of mobile in terms of change, in terms of how many people search, and in terms of revenue from mobile advertising versus Web advertising?

Marissa Mayer:
I think that search is at mobile is the big answer to those unsearched searches I just referenced because a lot of the time I can’t actually do my searches because I’m on the go. So I think that, that really unleashes a whole new market. I think obviously there’s a lot of challenges with mobile search, the interface, you’re working with a much smaller screen, how do you get the attention on the ads as well as the search results, and how do you make this really fast? And while we have a lot of really wonderful data enabled phones, a lot of the phones that are around the world aren’t data enabled. Right? I think there’s more than 400 million cell phones in China, but only a small percentage of them are data capable.

Charlie Rose:
Now why is that?

Marissa Mayer:
Because they’re cheaper. Because the market there is just — you know the adoption is coming in. And eventually we’ll switch. But right now, a huge number of them aren’t data enabled. So can you do things like SMS search, right? And so maybe actually do have an SMS product where you can SMS in your searches and get searches all back that way if you’re on a phone that’s not data capable. But there’s just a lot of interesting challenges, especially with all the different types of phones and different carriers and the fact that the technology is moving so quickly in terms of what you can expect to be on a phone.

Charlie Rose:
How does Google do in China?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, we have a nice growing business there. So our overall search product has gained a fair amount of share. We’re still catching up in things like image search, some of our other products. But we have a really healthy competitor there, buy Yu [spelled phonetically]. And they do a very good job. And I think that it’s a very interesting market.

Charlie Rose:
Chinese owned.

Marissa Mayer:
Chinese owned. It’s a very interesting market because it fosters so much competition. We’re seeing lots of rollouts and ideas for how to create searches also in Chinese that are more relevant. How can you improve this? And so I think that that competition has really spurred out a lot of innovation.

Charlie Rose:
Take the idea of your own mobile phone, G1. Walk us through how that came into being and the decision process about what it ought to be and not be.

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I’ve obviously — a whole story unto itself. We –

Charlie Rose:
Is it another case where Larry said, why aren’t we in the cell phone business or –

Marissa Mayer:
No. We — sometimes it’s about finding the right team. And as I said, sometimes ideas come from other places. So we hired this amazing person –

Charlie Rose:
Okay. Let me back up just a little bit. Now, was this something — I mean, if I sat in on some of the executive session that’s Google does in which you and Larry and Eric and Sergeyand all these other people don’t know about, were having a session, are there a whole list of things that you know you want to do, but you can’t get to it right now because you don’t, A, have the right talent to do it, B, you don’t have time to focus on it, C, there’s something standing in the way that I wouldn’t know.

Marissa Mayer:
Absolutely right.

Charlie Rose:
All of the above?

Marissa Mayer:
All of the above, right. I think that the view always was like, well, we could build a phone.

Charlie Rose:
Right. Exactly.

Marissa Mayer:
But we would only do it –

Charlie Rose:
We’re a technology company. We can do it.

Marissa Mayer:
But we would only do it if we had the right person and the right idea at the right minute.

Charlie Rose:
So first of all, let’s save that. Right person there, you can always find the right person. Harder than I imagine but –

Marissa Mayer:
Harder than you imagine.

Charlie Rose:
There is a right person somewhere.

Marissa Mayer:
There is a right person.

Charlie Rose:
To develop a new cell phone for Google.

Marissa Mayer:
But the stars really do need to align, right. So it’s not, okay, we’ll do a phone at any cost. If we can’t get all those factors lines up, we won’t [unintelligible].

Charlie Rose:
Okay. But let me just say, so we’ve got the right person. Stay with me.

Marissa Mayer:
Right.

Charlie Rose:
Okay. So the next thing you have to do is what? The next thing you did was what?

Marissa Mayer:
So we found the right person. His name is Andy Rubin.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
And he has built a lot of phones. He’s really familiar with hardware. And he had a vision for the type of phone that he wanted to create. He wanted it to be a touch screen. He wanted to have a really large device. And he said you know, I don’t understand — a really large display. He’s like, I really don’t understand why all these hardware companies know keya, Motorola are writing software, browsers, et cetera, that don’t work that well.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
Right. I mean he’s like but part of the problem is that they’re hardware companies. And software companies should be writing the software that lands on these phones. And he’s like –

Charlie Rose:
That’s the very argument that Microsoft makes.

Marissa Mayer:
He’s like you know, I’m really familiar with hardware, but what I really would like to do here is build better software for phones that could run on any device or you know, any device that has the right prerequisites. And so that’s what really what he set out to do. And I think that is a really important distinction. I think that when know keya and Motorola and a lot of the large cell phone manufacturers do is really great, but I think that software companies do have a better touch for how do you create an operating system for it that’s really welcoming to the developers

Charlie Rose:
So you created an operating system Android, yes?

Marissa Mayer:
Android is the operating system.

Charlie Rose:
I know. And this is the guy who did it, the guy we talked about.

Marissa Mayer:
Andy Rubin.

Charlie Rose:
He — Andy did that. And you looked, and he said, I want it to be a touch, but I want it to be sort of like iPhone.

Marissa Mayer:
No. The iPhone wasn’t out yet when Andy developed –

Charlie Rose:
So he knew it should be touch, yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
Yeah. So he knew — he felt it should be a touch screen. He wanted it to be large enough that it could run a serious application, be that search or any other number of things that the developers were going to create. So he really wanted that device to be more like a computer than a phone. Like the fact that it could be a phone, too is important, but it’s really an add-on to that functionality of the computer inside of it.

Charlie Rose:
People ask this question all the time: Cell phones, smart phones will be the way we access the internet in the future most of the time. You would quarrel with most of the time.

Marissa Mayer:
I would quarrel with most of the time. I think that your cell phone will be very important. It will be the way that you access a lot of different things. But I also think that having a larger screen, having a stationary computer at work is pretty important. I think it’s hard to imagine that we’re all going to be sitting at our desks with our cell phone doing things. So I do think there’s times when the larger form is actually useful.

Charlie Rose:
And with the G1, you get all the Google applications. They’re all there, yes?

Marissa Mayer:
Yeah. The there’s Google applications there. But it’s an open source operating system so people can see how the operating system was built.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
And they can also see all the APIs that they can interface with.

Charlie Rose:
So are you having a whole lot of people design applications for your –

Marissa Mayer:
We have a lot of Android developers who don’t work at Google.

Charlie Rose:
But at the same time, even though it’s a very different — it’s a closed system, the iPhone now I mean there’s a whole industry developing and vitro [spelled phonetically] funds are funding people who want to develop applications for the iPhone. And they take out these big full-page ads all the time. And that’s all they’re selling is the applications. Right or wrong?

Marissa Mayer:
Yes, that’s right. So we do think that, you know, people will pay for functionality, like shazam!, which I referenced earlier.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
You know the idea that you can recognize a song, that’s useful.

Charlie Rose:
There’s Chrome.

Marissa Mayer:
Mm-hmm.

Charlie Rose:
Was there some internal debate about whether we should create Chrome or not?

Marissa Mayer:
Again, I think it was an issue of timing. So we actually — the answer on the issue of a browser, for a long time, there, I would say it was more conclusive. With the phone, we’ve said to ourselves, we would do it if everything fell into place. With Chrome, we really wanted to do it.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
Right. We said, you know, we really think it makes sense to have a browser. If we’re going to make the web as fast as turning the page in a magazine, right, we’re going to need to have a browser that really, you know, ultimately defines how quickly things can be displayed, how they’re cached, how the whole item works. And so we also wanted to really make sure that our users had access to our search and that search was built into the internet experience. I think the omni-vax [spelled phonetically] on [unintelligible] one of the things that I’ve learned to, you know, love the most about it, the fact that you can type a URL or you can type a search.

Charlie Rose:
Right, right.

Marissa Mayer:
And vox just does the right thing.

Charlie Rose:
Right, right.

Marissa Mayer:
That was a great feature in Chrome that came from a user observation. We were looking at our logs and we’re like, why do people keep typing URLs into the search box? Right, and then we realized oh, maybe they have the tool bar and they have the search box, and they don’t know which box goes where. So then we realized that people were legitimately doing that. But a lot of times they were just making a mistake and typing it in the wrong box. So we said, how about our browser, also to minimize how much of the screen is for the control and maximize how much is for the web page. Why don’t we just have one box, and then it will just do both things.

Charlie Rose:
Is there anything Google thinks it can’t do?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, we’re really focused on information technology. So we really think that what we’re good at is building software to attack really big everyday problems. And so I think there’s certainly some things that are really physical or logistically intensive that, you know, we ultimately wouldn’t probably attack. But I think that we are really interested in technology and the internet and the [unintelligible] related to that space because it’s all part of that core mission of organizing the world information.

Charlie Rose:
And how far along are we on this mission?

Marissa Mayer:
Not very far at all. So — we have a lot of products that we’re very proud of, but there’s a lot more to do.

Charlie Rose:
When you hire new people, what is it — is there an X factor you’re looking for? In other words, it’s people, talent. I mean, I’ve had so many conversations with so many people, and if you them what’s the critical difference, it’s always people.

Marissa Mayer:
It is. I think that there’s two key elements that are part of all the very good people we have at Google, and that is smart and gets things done. If you have someone who’s smart, who doesn’t get things done, that’s a problem
.

Charlie Rose:
Right, right.

Marissa Mayer:
If you have somebody who gets things done but isn’t smart, that’s a problem. We look for both of those elements. And then we also look for people who are motivated to really make a positive impact on the world.

Charlie Rose:
And how do you determine that? Do you determine that by the interview? Do you determine that by testing?

Marissa Mayer:
We definitely determine it by the interview. We also rely really heavily on any references we can do, what we can find out because we ultimately — you know, we run through all of our interview scores. You can imagine we’re so into data at Google.

Charlie Rose:
I know. That’s why I’m asking.

Marissa Mayer:
We actually did, you know, regression tests on what was the best predictor of performance? You know, the interview score, their references?

Charlie Rose:
And what did youdiscover?

Marissa Mayer:
– background –

Charlie Rose:
And what did you discover?

Marissa Mayer:
You know [inaudible] and we basically found that their background and references are the best predictors. And you can’t use them exclusively. But it’s true, right? The best predictor of future performance is past performance. And that’s really what we found out through the regression models. We also found that there were few interviewers in the company who were very, very good. Right? They were you know [unintelligible] standard deviation of all –
[talking simultaneously]

Charlie Rose:
You mean they weren’t intuitive enough or they weren’t what?

Marissa Mayer:
Where meaning that they could tell if I had an interview whether or not someone’s going to be good or not and in some cases they would be aberrant and reach a different conclusion than the other interviewers but they would be correct.

Charlie Rose:
Grade Google News for me.

Marissa Mayer:
I think that Google News fills –

Charlie Rose:
Come on don’t [inaudible].

Marissa Mayer:
I think it fills a different niche than a lot of people –

Charlie Rose:
Has it been what you expected it to be?

Marissa Mayer:
I have to say I didn’t have an expectation for it.

Charlie Rose:
Yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
Krishna Adbara [spelled phonetically], this amazing engineer that I’ve gotten to work with over the years built a demo for reading news himself. And then he mailed it out to the company because he thought it would be useful for all of us to read the news, and I was just [unintelligible] you know Krishna, do you take this and we add more sources and your favorite 15 sources [unintelligible], like we’re going to need more than the 15 sources, we’re going to need more like a couple thousand and we put pictures on this and ultimately divided into sections, we could actually have a new experience that’s got multiple viewpoints represented and you know really allows people to explore the news in an entirely new way. And it’d be entirely generated by a computer like [unintelligible] probably a disclaimer on the bottom that said you know this page was generated by a computer algorithm, no humans were harmed or even used in the creation of this page, and sort of riffing on the animal testing piece, but I think that looking at it, it is an amazing way to see viewpoints from all over the world and view all these different stories. I think that there’s clearly some shortcomings in [unintelligible] we’ve had trouble over the years with duplication.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
The same story getting echoed again and again, how do you deal with that duplication? And how do you deal with –

Charlie Rose:
And people argue that you’re taking other people’s content, et cetera, et cetera.

Marissa Mayer:
Well but I think the real beauty of the [unintelligible] is that we send people on to the source and that’s where people read the story. Then we actually see that we send you know 10s of 1,000s, 100s of 1,000s of clicks all over the Web every day, millions of clicks all over the Web every day to different sources. And interestingly we help people discover new sources. I know that you know there’s people who say well gosh you know I never would have thought to go and read the BBC on this, I never would have thought to — I wouldn’t have known the local paper, well this was the Sacramento B [spelled phonetically], and they’ll find new sources they like over time and so and they ultimately will really you know go back to those sources so one we expose people to more sources and they might develop a loyalty there but we really are causing people to read more of these. And that’s what we see. When we’ve done the analysis, the people who use Google News are people who really love the news and they read a lot of news and by presenting those multiple sources, people who normally would have read just one or two articles on the story now read five or six. And people are able to go a lot deeper. Can I ask, do you use it?

Charlie Rose:
Do i?

Marissa Mayer:
Yeah, do you use Google News?

Charlie Rose:
Of course. Yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
Okay.

Charlie Rose:
Now, yeah, but I also –

Marissa Mayer:
See I [inaudible] people who love news –
[talking simultaneously]

Charlie Rose:
When you said to go to [inaudible] –
[laughter]
– surprised they go to the BBC, I mean I go to the BBC every day. I go to the news every day. I go –

Marissa Mayer:
Certainly.

Charlie Rose:
– you know, but I go to a whole range of sources and blogs I mean I — you know, it’s the nature of my curiosity but it’s also the nature of what I do. Now, here you are, back to you, here you are, let’s say 35, all right, and you got this job at Google which you adore, you love the company, you love your job, you find it challenging and exciting, you have this great life in San Francisco and Silicon Valley and wherever you live, all right, grew up in Wisconsin –

Marissa Mayer:
That’s right.

Charlie Rose:
– went to Stanford, parents are still in Wisconsin. Are they — yes?

Marissa Mayer:
They are, yep, mm-hmm.

Charlie Rose:
Okay, what — is anything missing from this equation?

Marissa Mayer:
Well I do have to say and like I really love my job. [inaudible] I really love my life and it’s like now I think that it’s really, for me as a computer scientist it’s just a great place to be.

Charlie Rose:
Why did you choose computer science at the beginning?

Marissa Mayer:
I grew up thinking I was going to be a doctor. And I started off as a biochem double major at Stanford.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
And, you know, Stanford’s really expensive. I remember feeling really guilty. I was spending all my parents money being there at Stanford when I could have gone to, say, University of Wisconsin.

Charlie Rose:
State school.

Marissa Mayer:
And gone nearly for free with scholarships. And at the end of my freshman year, I realized I loved chemistry, was very good at it, but it’s a lot of memorization, right? It’s a lot of memorize this chemical equation. And when I went home, I realized that all my friends who were at other schools studying biology and chemistry were learning the exact same material.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
In the exact same way. And I thought, well what could I do that would be unique to Stanford, that Stanford does really well and also would teach me not just facts but how to think better, how to be a better critical thinker, how to be a better problem solver. And that’s when computer science came in because in computer science, they have one of the best programs in the country, and you get to working on a new problem every day. So it’s not so of what you know or what you’ve memorized, but it’s more how do you think about problems.

Charlie Rose:
There have been serious people who worry that are not enough Americans are going into computer science today. We’re losing our edge in science and especially in terms of cutting edge technology for a whole range of issues. Does that concern you? And they say it in a comparative way, compared with China and India and –

Marissa Mayer:
Absolutely. China, I think the last number I heard was that they were graduating 80,000 to 100,000.

Charlie Rose:
Computer scientists.

Marissa Mayer:
Computer scientists.

Charlie Rose:
And we are graduating, even though there’s a population difference?

Marissa Mayer:
Oh, small, like I think about 10,000. So they’re really outpacing us. But I really think that that’s a big issue. And also, from my perspective, I would really like to see more women going into computer science because even though there’s a small — there’s a very small number of computer scientists, even within that group, there’s an even smaller number of them that are women.

Charlie Rose:
And why is that?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think that there is sort of the different stereo types around geeks and math and science and what you’re good at. And I also think that — I hope that some of the new technology will change this trend because I think that for boys growing up, they have video games, and they can see this is how computer science gets applied. They have some application that touches their everyday life. But for a lot of girls, that isn’t the case. But now with Facebook and Google, I really hope that people can visualize, oh, this is what a computer scientist does. I know when I grew up, my mother had one friend who was a computer scientist, and it was a woman.

Charlie Rose:
Right.

Marissa Mayer:
And she worked at JCPenney. And I didn’t — I knew that she was a computer scientist, but I didn’t know what she did. Was she processing catalog orders or what did she do every day? Where I think now because computers are so pervasive in our everyday lives, I really hope that the girls who are growing up right now who are good at math and science and the things translate well to computer science are thinking, gosh, I could grow up, and I build this [unintelligible]

Charlie Rose:
And how much of a mission and how much of a role — I mean, how much do you want to be a role model to make that case?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think it’s really important to make sure that the right communities get set up. So, for example, at Google, we have a really strong women’s engineering group and that they meet. We think that ultimately if you have a place where women feel really comfortable and supported, it ultimately causes more women to be hired. More women gravitate there. And Larry said they were great [spelled phonetically] because he was there in the very beginning. And even though I was the first woman engineer, they said, we really want the company to be 25 percent — around 25 percent of engineering to be women.

Charlie Rose:
Is that the reality today?

Marissa Mayer:
It’s very close to that, so we’re — [unintelligible]

Charlie Rose:
When you walk around the campus, you mainly see young male geeks.

Marissa Mayer:
Sure. But I think but we’re very close to that. And we’ve been really committed to that. If we end up getting too low in our — towards our yield for women engineers, we’ll add more recruiters there and ultimately get those numbers back up because we think that that — a well-functioning company, and particularly an engineering force really does have a large component of a population that’s women.

Charlie Rose:
give me your workday.

Marissa Mayer:
Okay. I usually start my workday at about 9:00. I’m usually in meetings until about 7:00 or so. And then I’ll do email at night until I go to bed. And then sort of rinse, repeat.

Charlie Rose:
And what are you reading?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I am a big magazine person, so I like to read the Economist. I like to read Newsweek. I like to read some fashion magazines, too. Those are sort of my guilty pleasure. And I obviously read a lot of news online through Google news, like the New York Times blog, like the BBC.

Charlie Rose:
Fashion is your –

Marissa Mayer:
And in terms of the — in books, I’m actually getting started now on Cryptonomicon, which I usually don’t read fiction, but I’ve been told I’ll really like this.

Charlie Rose:
Somebody who really knew you told you that?

Marissa Mayer:
Yeah.

Charlie Rose:
And can you see yourself in ten years doing the same thing you do now? Or can you see some temptation that would take you to another field or another –

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I’m really lucky. I’m really challenged at Google and –

Charlie Rose:
And got there early and young and saw [unintelligible]

Marissa Mayer:
And I keep getting new things, right. New things to work on. And so a few years ago, Google books joined my world, and I started thinking a lot about how we’re going to digitize the world’s books. Then the geo products got started where we were doing local and earth and maps. And last year we came up with Google health and I Google. So the challenge keeps changing which is what really makes it interesting and exciting.

Charlie Rose:
When you’re looking at all the world’s information, that’s the way it can be, isn’t it?

Marissa Mayer:
Sure.

Charlie Rose:
When you look at — here’s the interesting thing. Here is the most difficult thing that, for me to do is to — is there so much information out there is how do you access it? How do you do it in a smart way? It’s smart way. Because you can’t obviously do all that you want to do. You can’t read all the books. You can’t get all the movies. You can’t read all the magazines. You can’t, at the same time, have some sense of balance in your life.

Marissa Mayer:
Sure.

Charlie Rose:
So I’m looking for a formula from you.

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think that there is some people, when there’s too much to do, they’ll get overwhelmed by it.

Charlie Rose:
This is the old idea — okay, go ahead.

Marissa Mayer:
Or the other possibility is that you really revel in it, right. It’s sort of one of those things where, you know, if you ever get done with your entire to-do list on a certain day –

Charlie Rose:
Yeah.

Marissa Mayer:
It basically means that you probably did some things that weren’t important.

Charlie Rose:
Or you didn’t do something well.

Marissa Mayer:
And so you know so I really think that, yeah, you won’t get to all the information out there. But you kind of revel in the fact that there’s too much information because it really helps you prioritize your time and spend time on what you’re most interested in or what could be most compelling to you.

Charlie Rose:
that’s an interesting point finally. It is that take your own success and the trajectory you had. Do you get away from the designing thing? I mean, are you essentially now a manager?

Marissa Mayer:
Well, I think I spend a lot of my time managing. But I think that the goal really is to lead and to fill our users’ needs. And yes, in doing those two things, you ultimately have to spend some time managing. But managing isn’t — it’s a means, not the end goal. The end goal is really providing leadership, vision, especially in search, and ultimately really filling our users’ needs well.

Charlie Rose:
Not an easy task. Thank you for coming.

Marissa Mayer:
Thank you very much.

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