Mike talks about a conversation between Eric Schmidt and John Batelle:
Eric Schmidt: “They (Google’s office-like tools) have the one benefit of being free.”
John Batelle: “It’s hard to beat the benefit of being free.”
Eric Schmidt: “Well, we could pay people to use our apps?”
*cue the entire room laughing*
(the irony – as pointed out by John is that they probably could pay their users)
Not only could they pay, but it could even make sense.
If they can calculate that they can make X per user on ads, then they could pay X-Y to use it.
This is like the idea of giving books away for free, and only having the user pay shipping. You setup an amazing deal w/ the postal carriers, and book providers, and somehow manage to make $ on the shipping to more than cover costs. One day? :)