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I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 | [Douglas Edwards]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Comparing Google to an ordinary business is like comparing a rocket to an Edsel. No academic analysis or bystander's account can capture it. Now Doug Edwards, Employee Number 59, offers the first inside view of Google, giving listeners a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company.

Edwards, Google's first director of marketing and brand management, describes it as it happened. We see the first, pioneering steps of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the company's young, idiosyncratic partners; the evolution of the company's famously nonhierarchical structure (where every employee finds a problem to tackle or a feature to create and works independently); the development of brand identity; the races to develop and implement each new feature; and the many ideas that never came to pass. Above all, Edwards - a former journalist who knows how to write - captures the Google Experience, the rollercoaster ride of being part of a company creating itself in a whole new universe.

I'm Feeling Lucky captures for the first time the unique, self-invented, yet profoundly important culture of the world's most transformative corporation.

©2011 Douglas Edwards (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This lively, thoughtful business memoir is more entertaining than it really has any right to be, and should be required reading for startup aficionados." (Publishers Weekly)

"Douglas Edwards is indeed lucky, sort of an accidental millionaire, a reluctant bystander in a sea of computer geniuses who changed the world. This is a rare look at what happened inside the building of the most important company of our time." (Seth Godin)

"Douglas Edwards recounts Google's stumble and rise with verve and humor and a generosity of spirit. He kept me turning the pages of this engrossing tale." (Ken Auletta, author of Googled: The End of the World as We Know It)

“With a warm, approachable tone and perfect pacing, Edwards narrates his detailed account of his experiences as an early employee of Google, Inc….Edwards seems a natural as he provides a highly listenable audio performance….the listener walks away with a better understanding of how true organizational creativity and brilliant technical engineering can impact the human condition and world culture.” (AudioFile)

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4.1 (1064 )
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  •  
    Michael Victoria, BC, Canada 03-11-12
    Michael Victoria, BC, Canada 03-11-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Early Days of Google -- First Hand"

    This book provides insider details on how key decisions were made in the early Google days. There is a high volume of source material that outsiders will have trouble finding. The marketing perspective on this engineer-run company is especially interesting. At the beginning, the sarcastic voice inflections are overdone, but about 20% of the way through, that settles down. The writing is excellent and overall, the reading is well done. If you're interested in technology breakthroughs or Google, this book is highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil 03-02-12
    Neil 03-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Great story but are you chewing on something?"
    How could the performance have been better?

    Did he have a mint in his mouth the whole time? He kept getting a little slurpy. It kinda turned my stomach a few times.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a great story about how some extremely smart people built a great company.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    toni 02-15-12
    toni 02-15-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A bitter man"
    What would have made I'm Feeling Lucky better?

    A good motive to write it. I couldn't see the point of the book other than to make sure people knew that Larry and Sergei were very flawed and lots of other people really did the work. I heard bitterness everywhere.


    Has I'm Feeling Lucky turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    What character would you cut from I'm Feeling Lucky?

    The author - substitute him for someone less cynical


    Any additional comments?

    I don't know that this book added anything to the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Makes you want to join a Silicon Valley start-up"
    What made the experience of listening to I'm Feeling Lucky the most enjoyable?

    What made it great was that the writer narrated the book, so it sounded so real.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Getting the inside scoop on Google.


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

    Himself and his reaction to the experience.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    His jumping from the stability of his prior job to join this odd start-up. Turns out he picked the right one.


    Any additional comments?

    Well done. Bought the Kindle as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evelyn SAINT GEORGE, UT, United States 01-20-12
    Evelyn SAINT GEORGE, UT, United States 01-20-12 Member Since 2010

    Evelyn

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    "Fantastic Read"
    Any additional comments?

    What a fascinating, charming story. It is so well told, it inspired me to take a Python programming class.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N 01-11-12
    N 01-11-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It was hard to stop listening."

    A fascinating look into Google, done in an honest and fair way. I don't "talk tech" so there were things that I didn't exactly understand but that never took away from the story. It's easy to see why Google is so popular!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Hamilton, NJ, United States 12-13-11
    David Hamilton, NJ, United States 12-13-11 Member Since 2010
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    Story
    "Well written but too high on self-pomotion"
    Would you try another book from Douglas Edwards and/or Douglas Edwards?

    No


    What was most disappointing about Douglas Edwards’s story?

    The sad part of this book is that the author - who writes very well - took what could have been a real insider's look at the beginnings of Google and turned it into a book mostly about how HE specifically impacted it. Regardless of how amusing, insightful, or entertaining each individual story could have been, the author manages to somehow selfishly bring each and every one around to see exactly what impact he had on it, rather than focusing on the story itself, the other major players involved, and overall try to give us some objective, fun peak into Google. In fact, the entire book actually has an undertone of sarcastic resentment towards the engineers (including the founders Page and Sergei) and basically everyone that


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The author somehow managed to read most of the book with an undertone of sarcastic resentment for most others that were making decisions and fueling the engine of Google.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry San Francisco, CA, United States 12-04-11
    Terry San Francisco, CA, United States 12-04-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Better Than Expected"

    Quite a bit better than I expected - I am not typically a fan of business books. For instance, even though I earn a living via Google, I have never read Battelle's book on Google. But I loved this book. Great writing, and I thought it was very broad in scope. It's not just about marketing, or product, or user experience, or Larry or Eric., etc. It's about all of that, and told in such a compelling way - definitely highly recommend this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill san jose, CA, United States 11-27-11
    Bill san jose, CA, United States 11-27-11
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    "Far fetched"

    At first I had doubts to read a book of a former employee who was apparently fired. But I decided to give it a try.
    Then after about an hour of listening, I had to turn it off.
    The author is an English major, yet he attributes to himself the design of the Google homepage. He's not a coder, not an engineer, yet he manages to override Sergey Brin and Larry Page in the final design decision? He himself says Sergey micromanages every detail in the company.
    Another huge red flag of inflated facts is when he describes Sergey insisted that Google had an infinitely scrolling page, but the author argues against it and Google finally had "pages" instead.
    Another red flag of fictitious facts, is that he was arguing for Google to have a Sans Serif font in the results. I mean, this is all laughable. You would have to be a very naive person to believe any of this.
    He also mentions that Sergey and Page wanted to make the Google home page hot pink.
    I wouldn't waste my time listening.
    There's probably some facts here and there, but why waste my time trying to guess what's BS and what's true. A journalist should be impartial and present only facts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Valley Stream, NY, United States 11-22-11
    Joseph Valley Stream, NY, United States 11-22-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An inside look"

    If you want to know about Google itself, this book is pretty good - but if you want to know what it was like to work there, then this book is a must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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