The Chat with Karen Hutton: Vic Gundotra

Chatting with Vic at Google HQ

In this week’s episode of The Chat, I visit with Vic Gundotra; Senior Vice President of Social at Google. He and his team are also the creators of Google+… the social network that literally changed everything for me. I was so excited to sit down with him – the only agony was trimming the huge herd of questions I had!

2 Decisions

I thought long and hard about what to ask in the short time I had with Vic. Y’know, the most challenging thing about The Chat is it’s short format time frame. At the same time, the duration is why someone as busy as Vic can actually make the time to do it! It’s definitely a double-edged sword.

But I decided two things:

  1. What I wanted to see was what lights Vic up; what inspires him, what excites him and makes him look forward to leaping out of bed in the morning. I wanted this Chat to be not only for photographers, or social media fans – but for any creative soul seeking the inspiration to excel at whatever creative pursuit enlivens them.
  2. That there was no one perfect way to approach it. I had to just show up prepared, be present and let it all unfold from there.


Vic was generous, gracious and made no rules about what kinds of questions I could ask. Although I had submitted a prospective list ahead of time, which included both personal and Google-centric topics, he basically said “Ask anything you want!”

Be Prepared, Then Go With the Flow

My aim is never to create some kind of adversarial “gotcha” moment, although I know that’s how most interviews go. Instead, my intent is to let people speak from their hearts and a place of passion. For me, it’s about hearing what successful creatives think an artfully lived life is really all about. Personally, I want to be inspired to reach higher, feel deeper and live a life of meaning. And I’m betting you do too. So while I do show up for these Chats prepared with a list of questions… the flow is always best when it unfolds organically, which it certainly did here with Vic!

Delightful Surprises

What surprised me the most in talking to him was how all roads lead back to his passion for his work and mission to humanize technology and bring people together.
He clearly thinks about it a lot!

What I loved was asking the deeper questions toward the end and how willing he was to stop and fully consider them.
What I loved even more were his answers.

This is an episode to revisit more than once… I know I will!

I hope you enjoy this fantastic episode!