Rajen Sheth is used to being ridiculed. He’s also used to being vindicated.

Sheth has been the driving force behind some of Google’s most crazy-seeming product pivots — first the advent of Google Apps, which asked enterprises to leave the long-standing comfort of Office for services like Docs and Gmail, and then the launch of Chrome OS, which challenged the very idea of what a desktop operating system needed to be.

Both projects attempted to introduce a new kind of cloud-centric focus to a change-resistant environment — and both were met with skepticism, doubt, and even disdain at their start.

“When we first started pitching [Google Apps], I literally had CIOs kicking me out of the room after five minutes,” Sheth recalls.

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