Nikesh Arora says ‘don’t wait for Google’

Tue 9 December 2008 12:20, Bas van den Beld

Nikesh Arora says ‘don’t wait for Google’

Today at LeWeb, the internet conference hosted in France by Seesmic-founder Loic LeMeur, one of the first people on stage was Nikesh Arora. Arora is the President of EMEA Operations & Vice President of Google UK Ltd. He is responsible for development and expansion of Google partnerships in Europe. Arora sat on stage and had a chat with LeMeur.

Most of the time these kind of talks don’t give any new insights in what the person interviewed is doing in his day to day job. This interview seemed no different, though it was a pleasant conversation to follow. Arora didn’t make a lot of ‘shocking’ statements. Though a couple of things were interesting: he adviced us” Europeans  to “think global and according to Arora the biggest thread for Google are two guys in a garage.

Arora thinks of the current financial crisis as “a hang-over after a big party” and he thinks the US will recover earlier than Europe. The reason for that is because he sees more startup activity in the US. And that is also where he thinks the biggest thread for Google will come from: those two guys in a garage who are building the “new Google”.

Loic LeMeur asked Arora about the different countries in Europe. Europeans tend to look at their own country first. Arora thinks that is wrong. You should “think global”. Europe is a huge market. Don’t think in different languages, think in numbers of potential users. All the big companies thought global very quickly.


The focus of startups is often to get as much funding as possible or to get bought by Google as soon as possible. Arora stated that it would not be a very good business plan to wait for Google to come and buy your company. “Do a great job. But don’t focus on Google as that is bad and you will become obsessed. If you are good - someone will find you.”. Arora points out its important to focus. Big companies like Google and Apple do. He concludes: “These are the times, if you can survive for 12 to 18 months in Europe, you’ll come out with great business”.

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