January 21, 2013
Don't ever let it be said that Larry Page doesn't think big. In a wide-ranging interview with Wired writer Steven Levy, Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) co-founder and chief executive wondered aloud whether it would be possible for the search king to have a million employees.
Levy, who in the interview comes across as incredulous at the notion that Google could grow to such lengths, pushed Page on the subject. His reply: "Doesn't Wal-Mart have more than a million employees? OK, maybe it's not important for us to have a million employees, but I like to think that we could build companies that are really scalable to that size."
Anyone else wondering if that's a threat? Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) , concerned as it is with efficiency and gross margin, is unlikely to scale in the same way Page is thinking. IBM (NYSE: IBM ) has long pursued big ideas -- "moon shots," as Page refers to them -- but the chances that Big Blue, now home to more than 440,000 employees worldwide, could reorient any significant portion of its business around a single idea are slim at best.
Yet Fool contributor Tim Beyers says that if he's reading these comments correctly, Page seems willing to do exactly that to Google if the idea (or opportunity) warrants it. Talk about rule breaking.
Even so, the odds that Google will become a million-person company are long indeed, amounting to an 18-bagger increase from today's levels. Is Page right to be concentrating on "moon shots" like this? Or is he simply tilting at windmills? Tim answers these questions and more in the following video. Please watch and then leave a comment to let us know what you think.
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