NEW YORK (
) -- For the last several years analysts have busied themselves looking for the next Steve Jobs, the next Bill Gates.
(GOOG - Get Report)
CEO Larry Page already puts both of those tech legends to shame.
As Gandalf says near the end of
Lord of the Rings
, "Now come the days of the king." The name of the king is Larry Page.
defined the look and feel of PC computing. Jobs'
has defined the look and feel of its successor, device computing. Page's Google is defining the look and feel of the global Internet. Which niche do you think is biggest?
Microsoft built a campus, and Apple is building what looks like a spaceship. Google has had the Googleplex for so long a movie has been made about it:
(They made the movie in Atlanta, by the way -- no Googleplexes were harmed.)
When Bill Gates was 40 he had just released Windows 95. When Steve Jobs was 40 he was still in exile at
. At age 40, Page is worth about $25 billion, and his days as Google CEO are just beginning.
The power of Larry Page dwarfs anything Gates or Jobs ever dreamt of. Do you think the National Security Agency could have launched Operation Prism without Google's cooperation? Would the World Wide Web Consortium have added digital rights management to the Web's standards over Google's opposition?
This is another way of saying that Page's Google is different from that of Eric Schmidt, his predecessor and mentor. Schmidt's Google had the motto "Don't be evil." Page's Google appears to operate with a motto of "Don't be stupid." Page's company is all grown-up, beyond the garden of good and evil. If it serves Google, it's good. If it doesn't, it's competition.
Alliance for Affordable Internet
, which hopes to bring data streams to everyone in the world, in part by changing regulatory policies, is powered by Google. The effort to protect privacy by making mugshots harder to find online is driven by Google.
When Google sneezes, the business world catches cold.