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Ola Vea

Oslo, Norway | Member Since 2010

  • 5 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2015

  • I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Douglas Edwards
    • Narrated By Douglas Edwards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Comparing Google to an ordinary business is like comparing a rocket to an Edsel. No academic analysis or bystanders account can capture it. Now Doug Edwards, Employee Number 59, offers the first inside view of Google, giving readers a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company. I'm Feeling Lucky captures for the first time the unique, self-invented, yet profoundly important culture of the world's most transformative corporation.

    Stephen says: "Definitely worth a credit"
    "A fascinating account of the inside of Google"

    Did you ever wonder what it’s like to work at Google? Now you can find out. Well, that’s only part true. Edwards was Google employee number 59 and worked there from 1999 till 2005. We should perhaps instead have asked: Did you ever wonder what it was like to be Douglas Edwards while he worked at Google?

    We listened to the Audible unabridged version of this book (at double speed — it’s addictive), and found it to be an appealing account of a work-place totally dominated by engineers — or should we say nerds?

    Edwards sets the scene by recounting an episode from 2002 where he basically asks Page for a confirmation that, although Page and Brin had been right most of the time, Edwards’ expertise had also been important to the company. Page answers dryly: “When have we not been right?” And such is Edwards’ depiction of the nerd couple being Larry Page and Sergei Brin. They sincerely believe that they are right, that what they are doing is right and that anyone who believes otherwise is simply misguided.

    Edwards ends up being misguided a lot of the time. And he is honest about it in his book. After all, his background in marketing is of the traditional type. He came from an executive position in marketing at the newspaper of the Valley, turned down an offer with Yahoo!, only to end up working with a future CEO of Yahoo!: Marissa Meyers just got hired at Yahoo!, but used to work alongside Edwards as a UI expert and later in the product management group reporting directly to Larry Page. It’s safe to say that Meyers and Edwards didn’t get along so well.

    The book is largely anecdotal. Hear about the firing of middle-managers in a public staff meeting; Vice-President Al Gore spending his abundance of spare time wandering the corridors of the Google HQ and Eric Schmidt entering the scene during the long-lasting process of “we should probably get ourselves a CEO”.

    Edwards asked Eric Schmidt, after a particularly exhilarating argument with Page and Brin in which Schmidt backed Edwards, if he didn’t think Page and Brin were a handful sometimes. Schmidt supposedly answered:

    “I’m well compensated. Now, excuse me while I walk around the building a few times.”

    September 11 affected the people at Google in much the same way that it affected anyone else. One early response was “Is Google alive?” meaning, are the people at the Manhattan office OK? Yet, the account of decisions made in the surge for information following the attack is memorable.

    Edwards took compromises in a lot of places in order to spend time at Google. We say he was motivated by his eagerness to be a part of something bigger. When that feeling went away, he left Google in March 2005. He felt lucky, and he probably was.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre and Every Business Is a Stage

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By B. Joseph Pine II, James H. Gilmore
    • Narrated By Eric Conger

    The curtain is about to rise, say Pine and Gilmore, on the Experience Economy, a new economic era in which every business is a stage, and companies must design memorable events for which they charge admission. With The Experience Economy, Pine and Gilmore explore how successful companies, using goods as props and services as the stage, create experiences that engage customers in an inherently personal way.

    Kathleen says: "Brilliant, Insightful, Impactful - A Must Read!"
    "Is your business a stage?"

    If you're looking for a lesson on the difference between commodities, goods, services and experiences, then this book will provide it. The important lesson, though, is how to move from a service-based business model to one based on experiences, as first exemplarized by Disney's theme parks​.

    ​Other than that, we find that The Experience Economy functions mostly as content marketing for the authors' consultancy business. Which is perfectly fine, but we think that the main lessons of the book are outdated.

    We found one important and interesting aspect of PIne and Gilmore's book that we want to point out. It's reflected in the book's subtitle: "Work Is Theatre & Every Business Is A Stage".

    In order to transform your service into an experience you must consider yourself a director of a play, your employees as actors and supporting staff, and your customers as the audience.​

    You must also appreciate the different styles of acting -- and more importantly, reconsider​ the traditional script-based customer service. Draw lessons from improv theatre and street actors, to give your customers truly unique experiences.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • God Is Not Great: The Case Against Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Christopher Hitchens

    With robust clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which Hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix. God Is Not Great marvels at the possibility of society without religion.

    Mark says: "God is not great is great"
    "Religion is man-made"

    Religion, and its institutions can arguably be blamed for countless atrocities throughout history, such as the molesting of innocent children, the burning of women because they had cats (and possibly other horrendous crimes), the fall of democracies, genocides (yes, plural), plentiful wars, starvation, 9/11, Israel vs. Palestine, AIDS, ... well, you get the idea.

    No religion escapes Hitchen's watchful eye and characteristically stingy British tongue. Of Muslim extremists and their motives he notes dryly that "their problem is not so much that they desire virgins as that they are virgins."

    Hitchen's book is not only a history of religion, and a criticism of its claim to universal truth, but also an argument that all religion is man-made. Religion was created for man to dominate woman, for the powerful to subdue the masses or for the wealthy to control the poor.

    "Religion is opium to the people," is to be understood not as a criticism of religion, but as a statement about power, and how power necessitates the creation of instruments to ensure that those who have it, keep it.

    God is an infinitely hypocritical figure, creating things to be desired, only to forbid its devouring. To create us as sexual beings, and make then sex a sin. To make foreskins, labia and clitorises and instruct our clergy to brutally cut them off.

    Such is only a few of Hitchen's numerous powerful criticisms of all of the world's religions.

    Finally, Hitchen asks the inevitable, what happens to our morale without religion? The short answer is: Since religion is man-made, human morale necessarily precedes religion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Seth Godin
    • Narrated By Seth Godin

    What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don't? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and true brands to gasp their last? Face it, the checklist of tired P's marketers have used for decades to get their product noticed - Pricing, Promotion, Publicity, to name a few - aren't working anymore.

    Sunny says: "Excellent"
    "Great book about marketing"
    If you could sum up Purple Cow in three words, what would they be?

    Great book about marketing.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Make insanely great products, base your marketing on that

    What does Seth Godin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He believes.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes I did listen to it in one sitting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold Commands

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Richard Morgan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ringil Eskiath, scarred wielder of the kiriath-forged broadsword Ravensfriend, is a man on the run - from his past and the family who have disowned him, from the slave trade magnates of Trelayne who want him dead, and apparently from the dark gods themselves, who are taking an interest but making no more sense than they ever have.

    Ola Vea says: "Surprising Story and Good Action"
    "Surprising Story and Good Action"
    What did you love best about The Cold Commands?

    Believable characters. Close and dirty fighting. Cold and comfortable love making. Beautiful betrayals. Surprising story.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Egg. He is a mean mofo.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I finished listening to the 16 + Hours book in two days. While I made drawings for my blog

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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