Schmidt's well-seasoned perspective has been an effective complement to the Google founders' youthful exuberance and impatient goals. Schmidt seems to telegraph reliability and stability. Yet, despite his down-to-earth demeanor, Schmidt encourages people to "set audacious goals." To their credit, Larry and Sergey had enough acumen to choose Schmidt as a partner, and clearly they have learned from him.
At Google's 2008 annual meeting, Schmidt declared that the Google guys had grown up:
They now function in the company as the senior executives with the kind of skills and experience....
At that point Larry interrupted, "... we wish we had five years ago."
Now we don't have the same kind of arguments. In fact, they really are running the companies that they founded at the scale and with the insights that you would expect of people who are no longer young founders but are mature business leaders.