Google's Schmidt Offers $1M in Grants, Talks WhatsApp and Motorola
Got great ideas to solve world problems? Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt just might give you a lot of money for them.
Mon, February 24, 2014
Computerworld — Got great ideas to solve world problems? Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt just might give you a lot of money for them.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt (Photo: Bobby Yip/Reuters file photo)
Google Ideas, an organization inside of Google, focuses on how technology can enable people to handle global problems like violent extremism, counterterrorism and fragile governments.
When asked why he is donating so much money, Schmidt, "I should put my money where my mouth is."
He and Cohen, who appeared with Schmidt on the morning show, noted that their book is about bringing attention to global problems.
"The book is about the problems," said Schmidt. "We've identified a whole bunch of companies in different parts of the world trying to solve different kinds of problems."
Schmidt, who is donating his own money for the grants, is already vetting the contenders. The grants will be awarded on March 10.
Cohen turned the conversation to talking about the power that people who are just gaining access to the Internet through smartphones will have.
"As new people come online, what happens to dictators and autocrats?" he asked, specifically referring to the political turmoil in Ukraine and Venezuela. "They are going to be significantly outnumbered... As billions of people come online they are doing it in parts of the world with autocratic governments. They're going to be the largest demographic in the world armed with mobile devices and savvy young populations."
Schmidt jumped in, adding, "We forget how many billions of people in the world don't have the liberties of America and they're going to want that too."
However, when asked about the steep price Facebook paid for the company, Schmidt said, "The price was low if they make gazillions of dollars off their customers. The price is too high if they can't monetize it. We like WhatsApp, and we like our own products too."
He also said that buying Motorola in 2011, and then recently selling the company were both great moves for Google.
" Motorola is a huge deal for Google because we got all the patents we needed," Schmidt said " Android got stronger because of the Motorola deal. It was a very good deal for Google. I'm very proud of it."