New York correspondent Benjamin Edison reports from a breakfast talk given by our favorite Google VP.
Geek Barbie and workaholic Marissa Mayer (Products Director of Google) appeared before her public again today. Speaking at this morning's Newhouse Journalism School breakfast meeting in New York City's Bryant Park, Mayer "shared" the spotlight with another guest, billionaire Nathan Myhrvold (ex-Chief Strategist and CTO for Microsoft).
In a room filled with East Coast media bigwigs - from the editor of the New Yorker to IAC head Barry Diller - the event was to be a "conversation" with the two speakers. Perhaps the better word is "monologue." As in "The Mayer Monologues."
Most of the topics revolved around the recent YouTube impulse buy, and how much Google respects copyright (despite being sued over infringements in three formats). Search got air-time, particularly around her vision to have results come back as a consolidated mix of relevant text, video and images, as well as the ability to search via voice recognition. Mayer also wants the ability to search by asking questions, as opposed to individual words. Perhaps she could Ask.com.
In a bout of modesty, she admitted, "Search is super-primitive right now" and that, although she is in charge of the user-interface at Google, "my family is disappointed as it hasn't changed in seven years."
Remaining questions from the crowd were mainly fawning requests for her vision of the future. Revelations du jour include:
- "Google is less offensive than you think"
- "It's thrilling to sit in the dark of a movie theater...and see people enjoying themselves"
- "I don't have a TV at home, but I just bought a projector"
- "My favorite YouTube video at the moment is Treadmills OK GO"
- "Orkut...we're big in Iran"
The meeting was held in part to publicize the New Yorker's media issue. Did we mention Nathan Myhrvold was there?