Google VP: Israel is world leader at utilizing global- tech

“This is one of the most tech-value markets, and not just from an in-market situation, but also from the way the Israeli market looks at global technology.”

November 10, 2011 07:18
2 minute read.
President Shimon Peres, Nikesh Arora, Meir Brand

President Shimon Peres, Nikesh Arora and Meir Brand 311. (photo credit: Mark Neyman/GPO)

Israel’s global perspective on technology makes it “one of the most successful markets in the world” at finding opportunities outside its own borders, Google senior vice president Nikesh Arora said during a brief visit here this week.

“This is one of the most tech-value markets, and not just from an in-market situation, but also from the way the Israeli market looks at global technology,” he said during a meeting with reporters in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. “The Internet has opened up opportunities outside local markets, and it’s fair to say that the market that leverages that the most and uses that the most is Israel.”

Arora, who is also the Internet giant’s chief business officer, stopped in Israel during a tour that included Turkey and his native India. He called Google’s R&D centers in Tel Aviv and Haifa “phenomenal,” comparing the situation with his previous visit in 2005, when he established Google’s Israel office and had just one local employee, regional director Meir Brand.

Arora rejected criticism of Google raised in Steve Jobs’s recently released biography, in which the late Apple CEO is quoted accusing his rival of copying his company’s smartphone operating system rather than creating through its own technology.

“Firstly, I think Steve Jobs was a phenomenal individual,” Arora said. “I think he inspired a lot of entrepreneurs and I presume inspired a lot of people in this country [Israel] to be entrepreneurs.

We all have to tip our hat to what he was able to achieve.

“But that having been said, I firmly believe that Google has created amazing innovations in the market, whether it be Chrome, whether it be Android, or whether it be what we’ve done with YouTube since acquiring it, or what we’ve done with search. Many of those things are what people would call innovative, and I think we will continue to be innovative in the future.”

Jobs is quoted as saying in the biography: “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product.

I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.”

Arora said he doesn’t understand the statement that Android isn’t new, saying that “the base of innovation of smart-phones has been significantly increased by having an open-source operating system.”

Samsung, LG and other smartphone manufacturers had also benefited from this “innovative business model,” he said.

Arora also addressed questions about the company’s social strategy, saying that Google was not attempting to emulate Facebook, but that it was becoming increasingly important to show that its products “were becoming more social.”

He pointed to the social network Google+, which was launched four months ago and already has 40 million users, as proof the company is headed in the right direction.

“We want to be more social,” Arora said. “We realize people want more social products, they want to be able to share more things among their friends, and that’s where the trend is.”

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