The Google chairman advises Israeli CEOs to stay close to their development centers.
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“You should exploit the talent here and if necessary, hire an American manager to run the US branch. The Israeli CEO should stay close to the development center, because that is the most important thing, ” Google chairman Eric Schmidt told a small group of Israeli entrepreneurs on Monday. His recommendation bucks the advice that venture capital funds have given Israeli entrepreneurs for years – to be as close as possible to their target markets. Consequently, quite a few start-ups CEOs moved to the US to manage the company in the proximity of their customers.
One of the more interesting topics of discussion was the successful virtual currency, Bitcoin. “I am constantly asked in Israel about Bitcoin. It seems that there is a large community engaged in this, ” he said. “Bitcoin’s inventor was very smart. It’s one of the important inventions of the past 25 years.”
Schmidt said that Bitcoin was an amazing model with a hedge that can quarry electronic items and also manage it in a limited way. He cautioned, however, “I don’t know if it will succeed. The intention is a central bank and regulation.”
Schmidt could not avoid discussing privacy, which has been one of the most talked-about issues relating to Google, and the subject of litigation in Europe and elsewhere to require the company to delete search results. “This is something that should be handled very carefully, ” he said. “There are people who committed crimes that are of public interest, serious crimes 20 years ago, or who committed sexual harassment and other offenses. People should know about these things.”
Schmidt said there were many opportunities in healthcare with the introduction of algorithms and big data. He advised entrepreneurs to jump on the healthcare bandwagon. On technology adoption in Africa, he said that the continent was challenging in part because of corruption and the lack of telecommunications infrastructures. He said that Google was trying to solve the latter problem with mobile communications balloons.
On the expansion of technology in the workplace and how it affects the future of employment, Schmidt said that high-tech employees should fear for their jobs, but that employees at factories that were replacing people with robots were at risk. He added the caveat that there were jobs that were hard to automate, such as security guards and gardeners.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com