Larry Page: "I Think About Our Products In Three Separate Categories"

Google has just released its earnings statements for Larry Page’s first quarter as CEO, to positive results, namely that Google set a revenue record at $9.03 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2011.

Page began the earnings call outlining the “substantially increased velocity” of his product-focused management team which has accomplished “a lot in 3 months” Page said. No kidding. He glowed over Google+’s encouraging numbers, with over one billion items shared a day, and over 10 million users.

Perhaps to reassure shareholders on the viability of these new products and token experiments like self-driving cars, Page mused on the value of innovation, “When we started doing search people thought we were crazy,” he said. Page then essentially separated Google products into three categories:

1) Search ads and ad products.

2) Products with high consumer success like YouTube, Android, and Chrome.

3) New products like Google+ and Google’s local and Offers efforts.

“We’re only at 1% of what is possible,” Page said. After asking rhetorically how these services will be monetized, Page explained that the toggling between the three is a precarious balance between short term and long term, with the eventual goal of creating services that people “use twice a day, like a toothbrush.”

“We’re careful stewards of shareholder money,” he said.

His notes, below:

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. People rightly ask how we will monetize these businesses?

And of course I understand the need to balance the short term with the longer term needs because our revenues and growth serve as the engine that funds our innovation. But our emerging high usage products can generate huge new businesses for Google in the long run, just like search. And we have tons of experience monetizing successful products over time. Well run technology businesses with tremendous consumer usage make a lot of money over the long term.

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.