When asked to explain how his company was open, Google CEO (and former Apple boardmember) Eric Schmidt chose to answer the question by saying that Apple is closed, and that his company did the inverse of what Apple did, and therefore is open. Thus did Mr. Schmidt accomplish what many a corporate executive aspires to do, deftly deploying the red herring and a strawman, mixed with some sleight-of-hand, all in one fell swoop.
The comments took place Tuesday morning at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, the same place Mr. Schmidt said on Monday that open technologies would one day allow developers to make mobile apps as powerful as iPad apps are today.
In a presentation on Tuesday, Mr. Schmidt began a new conversation about Apple by saying his company has a culture of openness when compared to Apple’s “core strategy of closedness.”
When asked about this openness during a question and answer session, rather than speak about how his company is open, he set about to prove said openness by defining Apple’s closedness, instead.
Eric Schmidt Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt
Photo source: TechCrunch (via Flickr)
“It’s easier to understand by opposition,” Schmidt said, according to coverage of the event by VentureBeat and a transcript by TechnologyReview. That opposition is, of course, Apple.
“The easiest comparison to do today is the Apple [iOS app] model,” he explained, acknowledging that said model has “worked very well.” He noted, “You have to use their development tools [which is no longer true - Editor], their hardware, their software, when you submit an application they have to approve it.”
“That would not be open,” he concluded. “So the inverse would be open.”
And since Google is the inverse, it must be open!
In other news, a woman having the mass of a fowl was burned at the stake for being a witch. Details to follow.
If Steve Jobs weighs the same as a duck, Google must be open…