The final speaker at Freedom2Connect was Chris Sacca.
Sacca is the head of special initiatives for Google.
NOTE: Right after Sacca spoke, Google and its partner Earthlink won their bid to build a WiFi network covering San Francisco.
Google has bucket trucks?
What can we do to get ore access to more people more cheaply more accessible?
Larry and Sergey didn’t start in a garage, they graduated to a garage. Some of the original computers came from the loading docks at Stanford. Very humble, nerdy beginnings.
Something Esther Dyson said, “It’s sad. The kids are growing up.”
Esther is a friend, and we’re growing a little bit, but we haven’t grown that far yet. It’s best to think of us as adolescents, geeky skateboard teens. We build products as a kid would, with no constraints. We try to not bind ourselves to the limitations of reality. That goes from CPU power, storage, bandwdth, business models, and partner concerns.
We’re allowed to piss off our partners. If you’re solving a problem for end users, it’s encouraged.
So we get to do disruptive things.
Our mission statement is to organize all the world’s information, to make it universally accessible and useful.
When you filter, you miss nuggets. When you zoom on a picture you find there’s a lot more information than you thought. There are 170 terabytes of information, we’ve got 5 terabytes
The user experience drives everything we do. This is in contrast to the way our competitors do business. They find their existing cash cows and milk them. We start with the end user experience and look backwards, and maybe we’ll gert revenue from it.
They want to search and find stuff. We want to do business, share and collaborate and we want global access.
By that I mean all data platforms, all the time, across a multitude of devices, just plug and play.
I’d like to see a bunch of little networks all interconnected, interoperating, bringing connectivity to everyone all the time. But someone has to build those networks, and it’s probably not going to be Google. I’d also like to see more devices out there, but someone has to build them and make them interoperable. It’s not going to be Google.
We’d like connectivity across a bunch of devices, so what will we do to help this?
To be a great device maker you need to have chops we don’t have. To be a great network operator you need chops we don't have. But we want to kick start this. We want more networks, more competition, greater ease of use, and cooler devices.
We’re good at building applications people like, so if we build location based applications people like we’ll create demand for devices.
That starts with Google Local. It doesn’t have location data. But it’s very location oriented. You can search for sushi in a zip code. We think that by creating programs lik this we can unlock access from carriers.
Our ads deliver tens of millions of dollars to network partners. If we can enhance that by introducing location information you can get ads that travel only within a few blocks. We can hand someone this and they can build businesses. If Google Local knew where you were it would be better.
We’re also good at convincing others. We have guys likie Alan Davidson and Andrew McLaughlin working on these issues.
We’ve got Vint Cerf writing on the Google blog and testifying.
I know how to do one thing, start building stuff.
We got excited about building a free network.
(showed Tropos network)
Our network is mesh. You don’t have to provide backhaul to each lamp post. The radios talk to each other, and you need a small number of injection points. We’re starting to see this as we test the network, and will launch soon. We have a full subscriber management system which puts us in a position to really understand thr demands an operator claims they have to satisfy.
We’re both an advocate of network neutrality and a network operator.
We have 330 radios for 11.5 square miles. That’s 1 Mbps free to end users citywide. We’re going to see what the network can do. Just come to a splash screen, register with a username and password, and turn it off if you like. We’re leaving it unsecure intentionally to encourage a broad range of devices. If you go with 802.1x you’re cutting off a lot of neat connectivity devices, so we’re encouraging the widest variety of devices. We’ve had game machines, dual-mode phones, and all sorts of things they don’t want the carriers to know exist.
We’ve made a declaration of packet independence.
We hold these truths to ve self ecient that all IP packets are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights
S -- I’m not an expert but we invested a lot in policy. Not being a policy wonk, I’m a consumer of our privacy checks. Everything we do we run by Brad, who has that department, before launch, and try to be sensitive to his concerns about privacy.
Q – Skype shared a Business Week column with Google about China, and the filtering of content. Anything new?
S -- I don’t keep up with it from week to week. Sergey’s parents left Russia to come to the U.S.. The last thing he ever wanted to do was feel like he was endorsing a similar institution. So for years the debate has raged. And at the end a lot of things came into the decision. We prioritize user experience over everything. When we’re delivering unfiltered clips to China, we send snippets with broken links. They call us names and move on. We try to balance.
Q – You have one of the largest deployed base of users in Gmail and Gtalk. Have you thought about putting those to use to promote your point of view in Congress or elsewhere? To lobby?
S -- I understand what you are saying. But I don’t think we ever marketed our own services to people. People discover Google on their own. It would be weird for us to market anything, incluing a position. It’s still a clean page. We still have people who bust our chops when there are too many words on the Google home page.
Q – What are you thinking in terms of open access with individuals who own devices that are mesh points in a wireless area network?
I don’t want to build any more cities. It’s out of my core competency.
I opted for a simple network in Mountain View, just to get it working. We’re fans of open access. In San Francisco we have bid as an anchor tenant for an Earthlink network. We would pay them to provide a free service for folks. That wold be an open network. I have to build a lot of tools to become a wholesale ISP, and I am not going to be here forever.