"Like A Toothbrush": Larry Page Live-Google+'s His Own Earnings Call

Today, during the earnings call about Google’s great Q2 2011 results, CEO Larry Page kicked things off. While this was technically his first full quarter as CEO, he got some flak during the last earnings call for only saying a few sentences. This time, he went much further, even sticking around for the Q&A session. He also did something really cool: as he was on the call, he posted all of his opening remarks to Google+. Yes, he live-Google+’d his own call. Talk about eating your own dog food. Awesome.

We’ve already posted on some of the key numbers Page shared: the financials, Android activations & numbers, and Google+ numbers. But there were a few other interesting tidbits in his remarks. Namely, he’s clearly enjoying the early success Google+ is seeing. He also believes his re-organization of the company is already paying off (though we can’t see all of the benefits of it yet). And he wants to make it very clear that his leadership of Google will be fiscally responsible.

When talking about some of the “speculative” projects that Google is working on (such as driverless cars), Page notes, “we’re very careful stewards of shareholder money — we’re not betting the farm on this stuff.” He goes on to say that they also don’t do things they don’t think could be massive opportunities. “All of us at Google want to create services that people across the world use twice a day — just like a toothbrush!”

Here were the key takeaways from Page’s remarks in his own words:

  • As you will have seen from our press release we had a great quarter–with revenue up by 32 per cent year on year and a new record for quarterly revenue at over $9 billion!
  • We have substantially increased our velocity and execution this quarter–a key goal of mine since taking over as CEO. It’s why I created a new, product focused management structure–with a clear leader responsible for each product area. This new management team is working together fabulously … and has already achieved a lot in just three months.
  • Our goal with Google+ is to make sharing on the web like sharing in real life, as well as to improve the overall Google experience.
  • The growth on Google+ has been great–and I’m excited to release some new metrics for you today: Over 10M people have joined Google+.
  • There’s also a ton of activity, we are seeing over 1 billion items shared and received in a single day!
  • Our +1 button is already all over the web — it’s being served 2.3 billion times a day.
  • Google+ is also a great example of another focus of mine–beautiful products that are simple and intuitive to use and was actually was one of the first products to contain our new visual redesign. We also launched that beautiful, consistent and simpler design on our home page, Gmail and calendar with many more products soon to come.
  • We’ve also done substantial internal work simplifying and streamlining our product lines. While much of that work has not yet become visible externally, I am very happy with our progress here.
  • Indeed I see more opportunities for Google today than ever before. Because believe it or not we are still in the very early stages of what we want to do.
  • Of course when we started doing search, people thought we were crazy–they said there was no money to be made in search over and above a bit of banner advertising. Most new internet businesses have had the same criticism. Fast forward to today–it feels like we are watching the same movie again in slow motion.
  • We have tremendous new businesses being viewed as “crazy”.
  • Android — we actually have a new metric to report of 550,000 Android Devices activated a day! That’s a HUGE number even by Google’s standards.
  • Chrome — It’s the fastest growing browser, with over 160 million users.
  • I think about our products in three separate categories: First, there is search and our ads products, the core driver of revenue for the company. Nikesh and Susan are going to talk more about ads later in the call. Next, we have products that are enjoying high consumer success–YouTube, Android and Chrome. We are investing in these in order to optimize their long-term success. Then we have our new products — Google+ and Commerce and Local. We are are investing in them to drive innovation and adoption
  • Overall, we are focused on long term absolute profit and growth, as we have always been–and I will continue the tight financial management we have had in the last two years, even as we are making significant investments in our future.
  • It is easy to focus on things we do that are speculative (e.g., driverless cars) but we spend the vast majority of our resources on the core products. We may have a few small speculative projects happening at any given time, but we’re very careful stewards of shareholder money — we’re not betting the farm on this stuff.
  • All of us at Google want to create services that people across the world use twice a day … just like a toothbrush!
  • We have made a good start but we are at only 1 per cent of what’s possible … Google is just getting started … and that is why I am here — working hard to lead this company to the next level. Thank You. And again, we had a great quarter.