Q: What obstacles does Google face in continuing to innovate?
A: A problem that we face now is that we have people in multiple sites. It's a problem that everybody faces, but we're going to face it bad. We have, like, 50 locations.
Q: So you still need that face-to-face contact?
A: The best programming team is a "telephone call," which is two people, you and I, programming together. The second-best programming team is, everybody fits into a single room. All other variants are bad.
Q: Can innovation really be managed, or is it a case where you have to keep the company and its managers out of the way?
A: I disagree with the word "managed." You have to have a set of necessary conditions for innovation to occur. To start with, you have to listen to people.
Q: Pretty basic, no?
A: But not often practiced. Innovation comes from places that you don't expect.