Characterizing Google

Amid an otherwise excellent rebuttal of complaints about Google “stealing value” from content creators, Aaron Swartz includes this:

…the closest people to moguls behind the recent shifts in media distribution are two computer science grad students: Larry and Sergey.

Even giving Swartz the benefit of the doubt that his assertion is rhetoric not to be taken at all literally, this is perhaps the most idiotic and naïve characterization of Google I’ve ever seen. Two guys were grad students at one point in their lives, and ended up founding what went on to become a huge company that dominates the industry. That company has for almost a decade been run by Eric Schmidt, former CTO at Sun and CEO at Novell. I’d describe Schmidt as a seasoned industry veteran, but then he also has a PhD so I guess he counts as a grad student, too.

Suggesting that Google is run by two grad students is like saying that Microsoft is run by a Harvard undergrad: wrong on its face; wrong after basic correction; irrelevant to Microsoft’s current behavior even if completely rewritten for accuracy.