I enjoy technology and learning about how innovations made it from concept to full integration. For the longest time Google did a great job hiding their internal workings. Now it's possible to catch up on all that happened behind the curtain. This book not only tells the story of each of the key Google people, but also tells the story of how their ideas were implemented. It goes into great depth about Google's corporate culture and how it fostered so many changes in the IT industry.
If you're looking for a book on Google or even just to learn more about how the internet has developed, you can't go wrong with this book.
A must read if you want to understand how Google works, the value of data on the web, and the current state of business on the internet.
I was surprised at how interesting the story of Google was. It made me ponder some of the underlying factors that made Larry & Sergei succeed, such as their Montessori education. The approach to data mining is fascinating for most anyone interested in improving their business. I was familiar with Schmidt from his Novell days and so it was good to see where he fit in.
Understanding some of the Google functionality and excellence that I had taken for granted. Getting a feel for the Google 'culture' was helpful for me too.
Reading about the Google experience in China.
I guess anyone who wrote an entire book about the iPod was always going to be a bit fanatical, but this would have made Page and Brin nauseous. Steven Levy pumps up everyone even remotely related to Google so much that his ability to be objective on the points of actual interest has to be questioned. Continuously referring to the super intellect of everyone from Google detracts from the real subject matter to the great detriment of the book. Levy seems to imply these people are infallibly intelligent, so anything they say is both automatically correct and beyond our comprehension.
As an example, Levy clearly implies it took the genius of Googler Hal Varian to fuse the disciplines of Economics and Statistics to invent the field of Econometrics. Having not bothered to do so little as a Google search, Levy just assumes that Googlers invent whole new fields of human endeavor during their lunch breaks (never mind the term itself has been in use for over 100 years now) and that we should just be in awe of them. [Having studied Econometrics more than 20 years ago, this particularly stuck in my craw, and made me wonder what else was poorly researched and portrayed in an undeservedly good light.]
Two things I concluded from the book: firstly, Stanford allowed it's resources and intellectual property to be begged, borrowed and stolen to create a multi billion dollar enterprise, and seems to have little or nothing to show for it. This did not rate a mention in the book, but surely is a matter worthy of some discussion. Secondly, I listened to this book as I had believed that unlike some other IT industry giants, Google hadn't behaved too badly. Unfortunately after listening to this I no longer feel that way - not because the book is filled with evidence of wrong doing, but because it is so one sided it forces the reader to take an opposing stance just to bring some balance.
The book is far too long for the actual amount of content, it seems every scrap of information available has been used to write the book and the minutiae bog it down in places.
Seems to me there is a great opportunity for someone to write a more balanced book on Google, which I would recommend waiting for.
This is a book that truly seems to reveal the soul of Google. Steven Levy did an excellent job researching this book. He also did an excellent job telling the story. I did not find it to dry and dull as I have found with many other books in this genre.
I found myself driving further than needed just so I could keep listening to this book in my truck.
No. Steven seems to be in love with Google, and the whole book seems to be something Google have bougth.
Still it was an interesting and well written book.
the same as my headline. It felt like an advertisement for Google, even though, I like and use google.
Learn from new book about Steve Jobs
Disappointment and sadness
interesting eye opener
Delivering Happiness - Tony Hseih. biography about dot con entrepreneurs with a strong vision.
Yes I was keen to find an excuse to listen all day.
Can't work out if I liked the narrator's accents when he quoted people.
I would encourage anyone to listen / read this book! It is amazing how much Google does that we do not know about. Before one could want to downplay or target Google for being Goliath (#1), try to read this book first and understand their views fully. Infact I'm more encouraged to learn more.
Great reader and compelling story that has increased my admiration and respect for the Google founders. It does get a bit technical which made me love it but may be a bit much for some so that's why I gave it 4 instead of a perfect 5 stars.