The world is not limited by IQ. We are all limited by bravery and creativity.
I’m a father to four kids, so it bothers me that even though our children think big naturally, our society systematically trains them out of thinking that way.
The cycling helmet can save your life, but it doesn’t look good and tends to ruin your hair.
If you don’t have a tonne of optimism, you’re not going to make it… you won’t be able to evangelise to everyone else. On the other hand, if you aren’t constantly paranoid about what can go wrong and put plans in place, then you’re going to get bitten at some point.
Most of us have to spend a lot of energy to learn how to drive a car. Then we have to spend the rest of our lives over-concentrating as we drive and text and eat a burrito and put on makeup. As a result, 30,000 people die every year in a car accident in the U.S.
If you’re shooting to make the world 10% better, you’re in a smartness contest with everyone else in the world – and you’re going to lose. There are too many smart people in the world.
When technology reaches that level of invisibility in our lives, that’s our ultimate goal. It vanishes into our lives. It says, ‘You don’t have to do the work; I’ll do the work.’
Failing doesn’t have to mean not succeeding. It can be, ‘Hey we tried that. We can go forward, smarter.’
Here is the surprising truth: It’s often easier to make something 10 times better than it is to make it 10 percent better.
Doing exercise without monitoring yourself will be rare in the future of wearable technology.
There is no law of physics that says just because we’re connected, there has to be this schism between our physical lives and our digital lives.
Glass is the world’s worst spy camera. If you want to surreptitiously take photos, I would not use Glass.
To say a scientist is not at all responsible is wrong. But to say that someone who invents a piece of knowledge or technology is responsible for all future uses is ridiculous. It doesn’t have to be that binary.
It comes up over and over and over again that a ten times increase in the weight-oriented density of batteries or the volume metric, the space-oriented density of batteries, would enable so many other moonshots that that’s one that just constantly comes up over and over again, and we will start that moonshot if we can find a great idea.
Really, having people who have different mental perspectives is what’s important.
Our goal is not to produce immediate results. We’ve been tasked with producing long-term results. That means that there’s more risk in any individual thing we take on. But we still aspire to a strong return on investment.
Why shoot for the moon? It matters because when you try to do something radically hard, you approach the problem differently than when you try to make something incrementally better.
When you attack a problem as though it were solvable, even though you don’t know how to solve it, you will be shocked with what you come up with. It’s 100 times more worth it. It’s never 100 times harder.
Failures are cheap if you do them first. Failures are expensive if you do them at the end.
Really great entrepreneurs have this very special mix of unstoppable optimism and scathing paranoia.
I do believe that making a factory for innovation, a moon-shot factory, is possible.
We’ve got rings, glasses, we wear things for armor, for protection from the elements, to signal our status to other people. And we’re going to co-opt a lot of those things, where wearables are going to end up being the interface between us in the world.
VisiCalc and WordPerfect were the killer apps of their day, but Google and Facebook make them look small in comparison.
I think wearables in general have, as their best calling, to better understand our current state and needs and to express those back to the world.
It’s crazy that you have to tell your phone or your computer or your house or your car ‘It’s me!’ hundreds of times a day. Wearables will solve that problem.
Moonshots live in that place between audacious projects and pure science fiction.
Moonshot thinking starts with picking a big problem: something huge, long existing, or on a global scale.
I personally have a philosophy around authenticity and vulnerability.
I believe that the right thing for us to do, as much as we can and without confusing people, is to talk about how we’re doing, the things that are going well but also the things that aren’t going well.
We need to make sure that the things we are already working on turn out to do the things we believe they can do and creating value both for the world and ultimately for Google.
Without getting into specifics, I assure you we are looking at very substantial opportunities for Loon – Google-scale opportunities.
Rather than thinking of ourselves as a computer, and trying to give you computer-like functionality, it’s better to start from the understanding that this is a pair of glasses, and say, ‘How smart can we make these glasses for you?’
Making a moonshot is almost more an exercise in creativity than it is in technology.
Use creativity and storytelling as your main muscle instead of smartness.
We don’t have some message from God that gives us a list of what’s good and what’s not good. Obviously, we have to make our own flawed judgments about each thing.
When we try to make a car that drives itself, we believe – whether we’re right or not – we believe that there would be strong net positive benefit to the world if cars could drive themselves safer than people could.
Actually, that issue of ‘Don’t be evil’ is probably the number one reason we throw out ideas.
I started my second company in 1999. BodyMedia was set up to take advantage of the future of wearables – sensors and computing worn on our bodies in any and all ways that could make our lives better.
The faster you can get your ideas in contact with the real world, the faster you can discover what is broken with your idea.
The Explorer edition of Glass wasn’t for everyone, but the Explorer program pushed us to find a wide range of near-term applications and uses for something like Glass.
When you try to do something ten per cent better, you tend to work from where you are: if I ask you to make a car that goes 50 miles a gallon, you can just retool the engine you already have.
People text when they’re meant to actually be driving. So imagine what they do when they think the car’s got it under control.
If you want to explore things you haven’t explored, having people who look just like you and think just like you is not the best way.
We don’t take on Google Glass or the self-driving car project or Project Loon unless we think that on a risk-adjusted basis, it’s worth Google’s money to do it.
Google Glass is the wearable computer that responds to voice commands and displays information on a visual display.
The future is all about leading a stress-free life and having all the solutions for all problems at hand.
Going from an error rate of 25 meters in GPS to 2.5 meters is huge. Going to 25 centimeters is going to matter just as much.
We’re excited about how tech can be used to get tech out of the way.
I grant that people are generally uncomfortable with how fast privacy issues are changing in the world, but Google Glass is not going to move the needle on that.
There’s no point having something worn on your body – that’s a big ask – unless you can give people something they really couldn’t get otherwise. It has to be qualitatively better for it to be worn.
I think we’ll see, not only with Glass, but the watch wearables, with the contact lens, that each of these things have their own best purpose, but it will take more on our part and society’s part to figure out what that is.
The great decision was the Explorer program. The thing we did not do well is that we allowed and somewhat encouraged too much exposure to the program.
People do really stupid things while driving.
You make a ton of progress by making a ton of mistakes.
The longer you work on something, the more you don’t really want to know what the world is going to tell you.
Phones would not be better if they could be cooler looking, if they could weight less, or if they could have more battery. Phones would be better if we didn’t have to carry them around.
We’re going to look back and wonder why we had to micro-control our cars.
When you go into a bar, there are hundreds and hundreds of cameras in that bar – many of them installed by that bar. They might be checking something or taking a picture of you.
It is the essence of innovation to fail most of the time.
There’s this open question of what Google is going to be a decade or more from now. Google X isn’t the only answer to that question, but it was built as a place to do some of the exploration to find some great new problems for Google to tackle.
Every time you drop the price by a factor of two, you roughly get a 10 times pickup of the number of people who will seriously consider buying it.
Every day, hundreds of millions of people stab themselves, bleed, and then offer, like a sacrifice, to the glucose monitor they’re carrying with them. It’s such a bad user interface that even though in the medium-term it’s life or death for these people, hundreds of millions of people don’t engage in this user interface.
The moonshot for Google Glass is to harmonize the physical and digital worlds. It is specifically to find a way to help people be naturally, elegantly situated, physical and digitally, at the same time.
Most ideas don’t work out. Almost all ideas don’t work out. So it’s okay if yours didn’t work out.
I don’t believe a mistake-free learning environment exists.
Anything which is a huge problem for humanity we’ll sign up for, if we can find a way to fix it.
We are proposing that there is value in a totally new product category and a totally new set of questions. Just like the Apple II proposed, ‘Would you reasonably want a computer in your home if you weren’t an accountant or professional?’ That is the question Glass is asking, and I hope in the end that is how it will be judged.
We are serious as a heart attack about making the world a better place.
We know in our hearts that technology at its best should make us feel even more human than we currently feel. Sometimes it makes us feel less human.
I’m a compulsive storyteller, an avid reader, and have always nurtured the secret goal of spending my life as a writer.
Ultimately, a timeless story has to be about the human condition.
The real goal of AI is to understand and build devices that can perceive, reason, act, and learn at least as well as we can.
Our culture already has a number of well known stories about artificial life and non-human intelligence. In ‘Exegesis,’ I’ve tried to not only tell a new and engaging story but also to comment on those well known stories through the details of my novel.
Google is already overflowing with incredibly creative bright groups already working on lots of the software problems of the world.
Find some fun way to get a little more oil on your hands or mud on your boots. Sometimes, that’s what it takes to take down some of the really big problems.
If software’s the only thing in your bag of tools, I’m not going to give you great odds.
If we want to help Google become something meaningfully different in the future, then that’s more likely to happen if we focus on the physical world instead.
Your body is spewing off millions of data points a second.
Let’s make health care a meritocracy. Access to the best care goes to people who did what they could to avoid becoming ill.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had a jetpack that wasn’t a death trap? The problem is that it is going to be so power inefficient. I just couldn’t live with that… it would be as loud as a motorcycle.
A ten-times increase in the weight-oriented density of batteries would enable so many other moonshots, if we can find a great idea. We just haven’t found one yet.