Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

I have many friends in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who often wonder what their lives would have been like if they tried to execute some of the creative ideas they have had over the years. Many of them claim they didn’t act on their impulses because they were afraid their ideas weren’t good enough. They didn’t understand the concept back then of tweaking a good idea until it became a great one.

Obviously, the Google co-founders didn’t have any of those inhibitions. There were other search engine algorithms already in place when Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford in 1995. They started Google in 1998 because they felt their algorithm made more sense. It examined “the number and relevance of links between pages, not just the keywords on them.” Business Insider has a good story explaining this.

BI also explain how Page attended a conference given by an Italian science and math professor that changed his thinking about the efficiency of a search engine. In 1997, Massimo Marchiori of the University of Padua, Italy, shared information about a project he was working on called Hyper Search. The program scanned links between web sites, not the text in them.

Long story short, Page latched on to Marchiori after the seminar. He spent the day talking about algorithms, Marchiori remembers Page saying, “Man, I would like to develop your idea further.”

The net net. Page and Brin developed an algorithm that completely changed our lives. I am sure, however, they will have their own set of regrets when they reach our age.

Did you have an idea that ran away? Share it with us.

Successful Characteristics

I thought you would enjoy interesting tidbits about two of the most successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley: Larry Page, co-founder of Google and Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla Motors. I always like to examine the characteristics of people who are successful in business because it helps me discern changes in the digital community. I like checking out personalities, quirks, and dreams. I usually find a common denominator in all of them. Most of the time it’s a passion and a certain, positive attitude.

Click on these two links to read some real wild stuff.

Google CEO Larry Page Is Becoming One Of The Most Powerful People In Human History

16 Genius Quotes From Eccentric Billionaire Elon Musk

I have also included a chart from Business Insider that shows how well top colleges in the country have done cultivating billionaires. It’s interesting to note that many of the successful business people in the digital community dropped out of colleges.

What is the lesson to be learned here? You need to believe in your dreams in order for them to come true!

An Update On Self-Driving Cars

The other night when he appeared on stage at the 92nd St.Y, along with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsDigital, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, hinted that his company’s self-driving cars will be on the road earlier than originally thought. It appears that a number of government officials in California, Nevada, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and the District of Columbia, all want to lead the way to make these cars legal. Some states already have legal rights to test them. Schmidt said Google “is very interested in leading the way most people will get around.”

This is a real mindblower.

Google began testing the self-driving cars in 2009 along side engineer Sebastian Thrun, who had previously worked on the technology with the Stanford University faculty. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are cheerleading Thrun to perfect the technology. Yes, the cars drive themselves with the aid of lasers, cameras, and other gear. Schmidt revealed that Google’s autonomous cars have already racked up more than 100,000 miles on the road.

It is very possible that five years from now, when many of us will need them most, we will be able to take advantage of this wondrous invention. Just imagine the implications. We will be more independent than ever before, going where we want to go, when we want to go there. Schmidt said that autonomous vehicles are safer than human drivers. “This technology could prevent accidents, help disabled people get around, and reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption.”

General Motors and Toyota are working closely with Google to hasten the development of the technology.

Swisher added that she took a test run and it was a totally weird sensation. “I found myself breaking to stop and wanting to put my hands on the steering wheel. It is going to take some to get used to this.” Schmidt summed up this advancement in technology saying that “humans driving cars was a big mistake. This is the way it was meant to be.”

Swisher must feel Google is getting closer to introducing the self-driving cars to the marketplace because soon after the 92nd St.Y discussion, the Wall Street Journal released an update on it. My comment is, “This may be a good time to get older.”