That’s the biggest takeaway from this interview that Larry Page gave to my old pal Brad Stone of Bloomberg-Businessweek.
I think the Android differences were actually for show. … I think that served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better.
Page also takes a shot at Facebook:
I mean, our friends at Facebook have imported many, many, many Gmail addresses and exported zero addresses. And they claim that users don’t own that data, which is a totally specious claim. It’s completely unreasonable. One day you can import all of your Gmail contacts into Facebook and the next day try to export those out and they would not let you do that. It’s clearly for competitive reasons that they do that.