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How music education influenced Google CEO Larry Page

26th November 2014

The importance of timing in music has come to define the Google CEO’s approach to his company’s products.

Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO, famously said that a course in calligraphy he dropped in on at Reed College instilled in him an aesthetic that inspired the typefaces and fonts of the original Macintosh computer and eventually those of the entire PC industry.

“If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts,” Jobs said during a commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. “And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.” Jobs went on to say that it didn’t become apparent until much later how that single course impacted the “wonderful typography” of personal computers. “Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college,” he said. “But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.”

As Google CEO Larry Page looks backward, he’s realizing how much his musical education inspired critical elements of Google—especially his impatience and obsession with speed.

“In some sense I feel like music training lead to the high-speed legacy of Google for me,” Page said during a recent interview with Fortune. “In music you’re very cognizant of time. Time is like the primary thing.”

Read more on the Fortune website

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