After Eric Schmidt was interviewed by Danny Sullivan, he held a press conference.
But first Eric stopped in the restroom and shook my hand shortly thereafter without washing his hands per reports of an SES attendee (it’s weird learning things like that 2 days later).
Learnings from this experience: Bring your business card, ask a specific and short question or risk having the tough parts missed.
The most surprising thing to me is that he only really holds press conferences about once a quarter. Think about that one of the busiest, hectic and arguably most controversial companies of our time that generates more news in a week than many companies used to generate in a year only has a press conference once a quarter. I wonder what Don Tapscott would think? Hmm, I just checked and actually Eric was quoted on the sleeve of Don’s 2003 book, the Naked Corporation! Think of how much the world has changed in those three years. Wow!
Below is my summary of the finer points of this rapid fire interaction (wish I could type faster) – minus the one area where he retracted a statement after continued pushback. It was very odd because in one way I felt sorry for him for being pounded on in a harsh way and in another way I felt he wasn’t being fully forthright and maybe even somewhat evil… I guess I’m trying to get across that the scene was very tense, terse and emotional.
Reporter: Can you say more on partnerships, Google as the affiliated partner, etc.
Eric: Dmarc is going to go well. Viacom/MTV suggested that taking content and putting video advertising at the beginning. Finding a way to monetize them is the hard part. We are doing well in search and content. Radio is coming out soon. The other two are starting now.
Reporter: Can you discuss the economics…
Eric: The forward commitments are much, much larger.
Reporter: Regarding the Kinderstart lawsuit.
Eric: It’s probably is best that I not comment on that.
Reporter: The AOL thing, how can it be impossible to happen at Google?
Eric: We have very specific plans about it. I’d rather not divulge them. (awkward silence in the room)
Reporter: Many people, do not know the difference between paid and natural search. Could you do more?
Eric: Yes certainly we could although I think most people know. (I’d like to hear more elaboration on this issue as would the reporter that asked it)
Reporter: Can you update us on Adsense policy?
Eric: Sites sometimes don’t follow the guidelines due to third parties. We have been tightening our guidelines.
Reporter: Update on Microsoft…
Eric: General Counsel made some claims. We’ll see where it happens. Google is more efficient, more scientific, etc. We will get more – $12 Billion of a $500 Million industry.
Reporter: Can you discuss video pricing model and cultural trends.
Eric: We will use an Adwords model. Development of social networks as lifetime models eventually. Myspace, it’s of the scale of instant messaging.