Monday, October 5, 2009

Google CEO: Pittsburgh's economy a model for others to follow

Pittsburgh Business Times - by Kim Lyons

Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt said Wednesday that Pittsburgh has "the most effective tech council in all of America," and the region's drive to create new industries, dating back to the Mellons and Carnegies, has served it well in the 21st century.
Schmidt was the featured guest at the Pittsburgh Technology Council's Pre-G-20 Forum, held Wednesday morning at Heinz Field. Tech Council president Audrey Russo held a question-and-answer style talk with Schmidt on topics ranging from company culture to Pittsburgh's role in a technology-driven economy.
The working relationship between CMU and other universities and the Pittsburgh business community was a large factor in Google's decision to put an office on CMU's campus. CMU's decision to put some of its first tech spinoff companies in an incubator on campus has become the model other universities have followed, Schmidt said.
The company culture at Google (Nasdaq:GOOG), viewed by many as an example to follow, evolves and adapts as the company grows, he said, and is based largely on the guiding principle that innovators don't like being told what to do.
"Employees have to feel empowered," Schmidt said. "That's what makes people love what they do and where they work."
Pittsburgh's transformation from a steel-based economy to a so-called "eds and meds" economy is part of President Obama's agenda for America, Schmidt said. Obama named Schmidt to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in April.
During a question-and-answer session with the audience following his talk with Russo, a technology company president asked Schmidt what training young people should pursue in order to have the skills necessary to work in the tech section of the future. His answer: learn programming and play and design video games.
Teenagers, Schmidt said, are not wasting time playing video games.
"The game world is good training for a career in tech," he said. "It teaches players to build a network, to use interactive skills and thinking."
Building a game on the Web is an invaluable way to learn about programming and network skills, he said.
"Everything in the future online is going to look like a multiplayer game," he said. "If I were 15 years old, that's what I would be doing right now." | (412) 208-3827


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home