Google co-founder Sergey Brin introduces Google Glass during the company's… (Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP /…)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Make no mistake about it, Larry Page has his sights set on the future.
The Google co-founder and chief executive discussed his company's big bets such as YouTube, Android and Chrome, but focused on more speculative bets such as Google Glass and Google Fiber during a conference call with analysts to discuss first-quarter financial results.
"Companies tend to get comfortable doing what they've always done, with only a few minor tweaks. It's only natural to work on the things you know," Page said.
But that's clearly not the path Page plans to take as he oversees ambitious investments in experimental project such as self-driving cars. And he wanted investors to know it.
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"We found that with ambitious goals and a committed team, you can make progress pretty quickly. There's not much competition, because no one else is crazy enough to try," Page said.
He deflected concern that avant-garde projects eat up resources and eat into margins. Google still remains 80% focused on search and other businesses that drive the company's success, Page said.
"Honestly, my job as CEO is to get people to do those things. If you look at most companies, they never do anything different and they run into problems for that reason," Page said. "As an investor and as a shareholder, I'm not really worried about the expense.… I'd be more worried we don't do those things fast enough."
Page specifically mentioned Google Fiber, which he said the company undertook because co-founder Sergey Brin wanted to show how speedy Internet access could change people's lives.
He also made reference to Google handing out the first pairs of Google Glass to software developers.
"I get chills when I use technology of the future," he said, "and that happens with Glass."
And, he said, he's expecting new and better mobile devices that have longer battery life and phones that don't shatter when you drop them.
"There's real potential to invent new and better experiences. Having just seen Motorola's upcoming products myself, I'm pretty enthusiastic," Page said.
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