Thursday, December 1, 2011

Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt, Visits The U. of MN, Mayor R.T. Rybak, and Area Business Leaders Recognizing MN’s Economic Talent While Marketing Google Apps

Jeremy Swenson

On Wednesday, 11/30/11, MN was host to one of technology’s most successful business leaders, Eric Schmidt, who has an estimated net worth of over $6.2 billion dollars according to (2011).  Schmidt has held leadership roles at Sun Microsystems, was the CEO of Novell, and steered Google as CEO during their growth phase – 2001 to 2011.  Today, Schmidt serves as Executive Chairman of Google advising the CEO and Board of Directors.

Schmidt started his talk on the future of technology, asking the audience where innovation was going to come from.  He cited “open idea generation and collaboration” as a way to outthink old ways of doing things.  He went on to describe mobile devices running Google’s finely marketed Android operating system, suggesting some ideas his company brings forward get quashed due to privacy concerns in spite of convenience.  The example he cited was a mobile device application that allows you to predict where your contacts are going to be based on their mobile GPS trail, etc.  This is something I agreed with due to the possibility of misuse, and also because where you are is not always indicative of what you are doing.  Creating such a tool with more intelligent and retractable tracking abilities could have more market appeal for a targeted demographic.

At the later part of his presentation I had the opportunity to ask him (top photo) about the similarities of Google Voice video chat and Google + Hangout video chat.  As I had anticipated, he said, “the two will be merged”, which is a good way to streamline services and reduce marketing confusion between two related but fairly new products.  Schmidt also hailed the U of MN as an early adopter of the Google Apps product, and praised MN’s economy as highly capable of innovation­­­. 

Later in the day he met with technology entrepreneurs and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (bottom photo) and toured the
Minneapolis Grain Exchange building.  This leads to speculation that Google could open an office in Minneapolis to tap MN’s technology and marketing professionals, or at least that we have a growing market of small businesses that serve Google, like Augusto the Google Apps, Docs, and data migration consultancy

Photos by Jeremy Swenson and John Hageman respectively. 

Jeremy Swenson, MBA, is an experienced marketer, marketing manager, communicator, sales person, and business analyst/academic.  He has extensive product marketing experience with financial products and retail electronics products (State Farm, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Intel, and Best Buy).  Since 2009 he has served on the MN AMA Social Media/Marcom Committee.  You can reach Jeremy at  

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