Thursday, April 20, 2006

Talk by Google's Eric Schmidt

Rajesh Jain points to a VC Confidential post on a talk by Eric Schmidt. The key points:
  • “We live in a world of continuous distraction and multi-tasking. It will only get worse.

  • People's attention is the most important asset for marketers

  • The key to getting people's attention is targeted advertising instead of untargeted.

  • Society is trying to block untargeted ads with TiVo, spam filters, Do Not call lists and such.

  • Social communities will become more and more core to interactions and marketing on the web

  • Group dynamics, such as predictive markets (future blog), are fascinating

  • Study after study shows that groups collectively predicting/assessing dramatically outperform individual experts. He said that all decisions at Google are made consensually through groups. New ideas are broken out into three person teams

  • Predators, Phishers and other such elements are greatest threat and will always be there

  • Google is working on auto-translation products. This will allow content, trapped within a language such as Japanese, to be freed for consumption world wide by all

  • Not only is the world opening up as never before, but data is unbounded as well, with handhelds having access to all content in the world.

  • Furthermore, handhelds will truly be digital assistants. They will know location & preferences in order to deliver what you want, when you want and now where you want

  • We are at the early stages here. Over 1 billion people are online, but 5 billion are not (of course 2.6 billion people get by on less than $2/day)”
IMHO: Attention scarcity and domination of communities online are a direct effect of too many channels bombarding information (similar and dissimilar) at the consumer. Assimilation and search costs for information keep increasing due to this proliferation. Online communities keep this in check. Going forward, two things should happen: consolidation in channels (through consumer choice or economic selection) and reduction in casual information consumption (headlines & summaries as opposed to detail). Some of this is already happening. Look around you and how much information is there for you to digest. How long since you read the newspaper from cover to cover?

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