Eric Schmidt Executive Chairman, Google
We've never had a collaboration platform like the Internet. If you think about Skype, for example, and the various forms of social media and so forth, those are all collaboration frameworks. For 30 years, people have been talking about collaboration. Now we have everyone collaborating, and we see what they can do.
People are very social. They enjoy working with each other, and if they're not in physical presence, they can video conference and collaborate by e-mail. There are many, many examples in our company where people have never met physically, but they work extraordinarily well together. They see each other on video conference, and they e-mail and so forth. It's natural.
Trust is an issue in online collaboration as in any collaborative effort. Without trust, people can treat each other with suspicion and not be comfortable working in a team or sharing information. Ownership of ideas can be difficult to assign when information is flowing in a chat or instant message, especially with large groups. In addition, chats and instant messaging don't always include audio and video. Misunderstandings can result from simple misinterpretations of meaning that happen without the presence of facial expression and tone of voice.
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