Back in 2000 — when Google was looking for a seasoned CEO to provide "adult supervision" — its young co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, met with some of the biggest names in tech. They talked to Intel's Andy Grove, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, and others, reports Steven Levy at Wired, "but they would only consider one person: Steve Jobs." What would Google be like if it had snagged the Apple mastermind?
We would all be lining up outside Google stores: The world would be very, very different if Jobs had taken the reins at Google, says John Brownlee at Geek.com. We'd all be camping out in front of Google retail stores to buy the latest tablet computer. It would be "a world in which Android boasted the walled garden," and Apple "remained an extremely niche computer maker," because Jobs' iPod-iPhone-iPad revolution would have never happened.
"Steve Jobs was Google's first choice for CEO"
We would not be "Googling" anything: Back then, "Google" wasn't a verb yet, says Ali Tinwala at HTML5trends, so Jobs definitely would have given it a snappier name: "Probably iFind or gFind." Gmail would come in three different sizes — 8GB, 16GB and 32GB — with an annual subscription fee. Okay, I'm joking, but who knows? We'd probably be paying for maps, and a lot of other things, too.
"How would Google have been if Steve Jobs were its CEO?"
Jobs would have been mad to leave Apple: Back in 2000, Jobs was about to introduce his first iPod, says Kevin Fubar at SlashGear, the gadget that transformed Apple into the industry leader it is today. At that juncture, there's no way Jobs would have left to "come guide the young company." Besides, Google could hardly have done better — it hired Eric Schmidt, then of Novell, and "has been on a meteoric rise ever since."
"Google almost tapped Jobs as CEO in 2000"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How to survive a spaceship disaster
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week