Google’s Eric Schmidt recently made an appearance on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, which is weekly comedy trivia show. Schmidt was using this appearance to promote his new book, however as one would expect — other topics were discussed. For example, Schmidt revealed that he doesn’t feel sorry for those using AOL email, that he could read all of our email and that he felt the “don’t be evil” slogan was “the stupidest rule ever.”
The interesting part of don’t be evil being stupid was why. Schmidt went on to talk about how he didn’t like it because “there’s no book about evil.” Further noting that “the idea was that we don’t quite know what evil is.” On the flip side, despite not necessarily liking the rule, he did go on to mention that it worked. The provided example happened during a meeting about an advertising product. During said meeting, an engineer said “that’s evil,” the conversation stopped and the project was eventually stopped.
As far as that comment about AOL email, this has to do with partnerships. Schmidt was asked whether he felt sorry for people still using AOL email. Technically he didn’t comment about the specific person using AOL, but AOL themselves. He replied by saying that AOL is one of their largest partners and said they are “very happy if you’re using AOL.”
The potential to read our email probably should’t come as much of a surprise, however it was interesting to see the topic discussed as it was. In this case Schmidt basically said he could read a users email but that he would be “fired” and “sued to death.” And just to drive the point home, Schmidt noted that “someone would find out” if he were to do that.
Otherwise, as one may have guessed, the topic of Google Glass also came up. In this case, Schmidt said they are looking towards the developers to see what they create. On the topic of privacy, it was said that Google needs to find the “appropriateness of how people are going to use these things” and that there is “a right time to have Google Glass on, and there’s a right time to have it off.”