Eric Schmidt from Google was just here (last week) speaking at our Corporate All Hands. It was pretty nice, though I have to admit to being a tad disappointed we didn't get Sergey Brin or Larry Page. Mostly, the meeting was some deserved back patting on both sides for the recently completed deal. Clearly, I have LOTS of thoughts on the details, of the deal and the meeting both, but not much I'm really in a position to share :)
Anyhoo, an interesting question came up, which speaks a LOT to the philosophies dividing the old world from the new (remember "Content is King", anyone?). I don't remember, verbatim, the question, but the gist of it was, "At AOL, we tend to have [Content] Programmers that offer our members a very managed experience that comforts them, whereas at Google, its much more automation and technology oriented - can you comment on this philosophy difference?"
And Eric replied, "When you say Programmer and we say Programmer, we mean very different things... Does that answer the question?"
Yes it does.
(And here I thought we didn't get one of the "good" ones - sorry, Eric :))
On which side of the divide do you think Google would place AOL?
One interesting comment he made: "We don't view you as competitors."
I have to say, it's pretty embarassing when you enter the battle arena thinking you're facing a worthy adversary - an equal - and he thinks you're there to clean his sword and groom his horse... ya-ouCH.