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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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  •  
    Kris Venice, CA, United States 08-23-12
    Kris Venice, CA, United States 08-23-12
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    3
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    "10 hour job resume and a 5 hour story of google"
    What made the experience of listening to I'm Feeling Lucky the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the history and story of google, along with a candid and sometime cheeky way summing up the events of google's history


    Any additional comments?

    The Narrator and writer of the book is a saint, a genius, and possible responsible for all of Google's success, even thought set admits being pretty clueless and the company has no use or job for him in the end. Every good idea he was on board for and "pushed" forward and every bad idea that happen he knew it was bad and tried to stop to even though he had no impact on the out come. He wrote the copy on the website. By his account the only decision he really made and felt strongly about was not putting an American flag on Google after 9/11, too tasteless? The history is pretty in-depth due to interviews and accounts of the people he worked with and some of his own. Douglas Edwards seems like a polite nice guy but when he writes from his accounts it reads like a job resume and seems like he trying really hard to sound important and make the reader like him or maybe he was always right everyone else was wrong and he never made a bad decision at Google I'm not sure. Either way a nice read if you want to learn more about Google

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    realistic 06-25-12
    realistic 06-25-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    81
    4
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    "Engaging insider perspective of Google."
    What did you love best about I'm Feeling Lucky?

    Plenty of detail regarding the the day-to-day operations at Google.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It covered the the internal corporate tension that is not typically revealed to the public.


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

    He was there from the start; he was authentically Google-ly, and humble enough all the same -- could pick this up in his narration.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    "A talented, non-Engineer at Google claws and scrapes, in an effort to be noticed and respected among a sea of top-tier CS Majors." --- OK, obviously I won't be making a career writing tag lines...


    Any additional comments?

    A bit better than "In the Plex".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Jones 06-05-12
    Aaron Jones 06-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating insider look"

    For anyone who lives in the geographical area of Silicon Valley but hasn't ever worked at a start up this is a must read. Fascinating to read how it all unfolded. Simply fun to hear local places being mentioned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Delray Beach, FL, United States 06-03-12
    Steve Delray Beach, FL, United States 06-03-12 Member Since 2013

    A well written book is a gem.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It's really about the talent."

    Have your slacker kid read this one.The title would lead you to believe employee #59 along with a bunch of other "lucky" people just happened to be standing in the right place when the astounding success of Google just struck like lightning. In actuality these were very talented people hired by even more talented people to invest themselves completely in an uncertain future. The original Google employees were not hapless rejects who came together by chance. The vetting process to work at a company like Google is this: "Hire the most talented people you can find." Do your homework.
    The only downside to this one; a bit too many arcane administrative details behind the scenes. But otherwise a good instructive read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim 05-15-12
    Kim 05-15-12
    ratings
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    5
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    Story
    "Interesting Insights"
    If you could sum up I'm Feeling Lucky in three words, what would they be?

    Insightful, long, interesting


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    More character development/descriptives


    Which character – as performed by Douglas Edwards – was your favorite?

    Serge


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

    The author's persistence to forge forward when faced with moving targets and negative feedback.


    Any additional comments?

    An epilogue that listed "where they are now" for employees #3-60 would have been interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Guelph, ON, Canada 04-27-12
    Scott Guelph, ON, Canada 04-27-12
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    "Very entertaining insight into mega success"

    This book is really well written and performed. Despite the fact that a lot of the technical info is over my head I really enjoyed this book. Edwards is funny and fair in his descriptions of the challenges he experienced at Google.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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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    "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
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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
    7
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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

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