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.
"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)
Several times, Doug's writing cause a laugh to spurt from my mouth. You get a sense of the talents he brought to Google as he employs them in describing his experience as their first brand manager.
Halfway through the book I had to check who the narrator was - he was doing such a good job of inhabiting the text. And lo, it was Douglas himself! May you have more adventures to tell us about.
If you're looking for a thorough review of what went into the technical accomplishments, look into Plex.
This book is a great (audio)book after you've finished the biography of Steve Jobs. It gives the same kind of inside view of one of the most succesful tech companies.
I never thought Google was such a mess at times. After listening about how employees had to work such long days to install new servers in all the time and reading their mail at 2:00 AM, you'd almost get tired of listening about all those 4-hour nights of sleep.
This book certainly shows a different side of being in a booming startup like Google in the early 2000's.
I enjoyed the history and story of google, along with a candid and sometime cheeky way summing up the events of google's history
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
Plenty of detail regarding the the day-to-day operations at Google.
It covered the the internal corporate tension that is not typically revealed to the public.
He was there from the start; he was authentically Google-ly, and humble enough all the same -- could pick this up in his narration.
"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...
A bit better than "In the Plex".
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.
I'm always looking for that well written gem.
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.
Insightful, long, interesting
More character development/descriptives
The author's persistence to forge forward when faced with moving targets and negative feedback.
An epilogue that listed "where they are now" for employees #3-60 would have been interesting.
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.
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.
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