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Publisher's Summary

A bold and vital book that asks and answers the most urgent question of today: What Would Google Do?

In a book that's one part prophecy, one part thought experiment, one part manifesto, and one part survival manual, Internet impresario and blogging pioneer Jeff Jarvis reverse-engineers Google, the fastest-growing company in history, to discover 40 clear and straightforward rules to manage and live by.

At the same time, he illuminates the new worldview of the internet generation: how it challenges and destroys, but also opens up vast new opportunities. His findings are counterintuitive, imaginative, practical, and above all, visionary, giving readers a glimpse of how everyone and everything, from corporations to governments, nations to individuals, must evolve in the Google era.

Along the way, he looks under the hood of a car designed by its drivers, ponders a worldwide university where the students design their curriculum, envisions an airline fueled by a social network, imagines the open-source restaurant, and examines a series of industries and institutions that will soon benefit from this book's central question.

The result is an astonishing, mind-opening book that, in the end, is not about Google. It's about you.

©2009 Jeff Jarvis (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A great place to start....

"Overall I would definitely recommend this book. I say overall, because there are times where I am just amazed at some of the revelations and correlation he builds with reference to Google and new social based business models. Other times, I flat out want to ask him if he has lost his mind.

This book opens up a plethora (word of the day) of other books related to the Internet, up-and-coming social technologies and new business concepts such as "Free as a business model". Based on Jeff's recommendations and references of sources, I now want to research and read them based on what is covered in this book. At the very least, this book is a great starting point for learning more about the future of the Internet and web based social networking."

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Todd
  • Snohomish, WA, USA
  • 06-30-09

Very useful overview of countless DOT Com topics

As the internet has emerged, some of us have been pretty on-the-ball in regards to education and knowledge. Something I found incredibly worthwhile with this book was how it speaks in such a way that both daily internet users and designers can benefit/pull info from this AND also small business owners who have basically been in the dark about the thing called the "internet"! I have had several people listen to this with me who have absolutely no idea about the internet and walked away with a much better idea of what they could do for their smaller businesses.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • JohannesburgSouth Africa
  • 04-04-09

Change the way you think of your business

While the book covers what google does, it's more about the profound changes that the internet is making to all industries and businesses.

It uses the example of Google as best practice to make one think about ones own business.

Everyone in media, particularly those who still think content is king, should read it. But all marketing people and indeed anyone in service or sales will also benefit.

The author reading it himself adds a dimension of authority and enthusiasm. One can feel his metamorphosis from print to digital over 30 years.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Todd
  • Beamsville, Ontario, Canada
  • 07-02-09

Worth the read

Jarvis starts off strong and finishes well. The middle is a bit boring though... he wanders off into some examples that didn't keep my interest. Regardless, this book is well worth listening to. It provides a great overview of Google's impact on the business world and ways that we can adopt these principles in our own interaction with those around us.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

A series of "what if's"

I recommend readers look elsewhere to learn about Google and internet strategies for business. The premise of the book is built on the idea that Google is a successful company and if you mimic them, with Jeff Jarvis as a guide you will be successful too. Unfortunately, there is little fact or reason in the book about when the strategies are appropriate.

I had hoped for more exploration of the case studies, rather than, what felt like cherry picking only cases that agreed with the author. As it stands, the book takes the tact of a cure-all prescription for whatever ails a business.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jeremiah
  • Detroit, MI, United States
  • 02-05-09

Unobjective; audiobook equivalent of linkbait

This book, while it does seem to be an exercise in what could be, is hopelessly one-sided throughout toward Google, has little to no counterpoints, and very little understanding of the business realities underneath some of these industries and why they do what they do.

It is written like a series of blog posts that are great for retweeted or sharable headline links. If you're looking for one-sided "Google is perfect" to reinforce your thought process, buy it. If you're looking for critical or thorough commentary or thoughtful writing, skip. I shoulda listened to the guy who wrote the first review.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Shallow and one-sided

"It seems that no company truly knows how to prosper in the internet age, except Google."

These are the opening lines of the book, and so the tone of the book continues: Google is perfect, the rest of the world sucks.

Any internet user with even a little knowledge knows that the reality of the situation is different: Google does some things well (search and monetising search) and have struggled in achieving traction with their other products.

Not worth the effort - I suggest reading "The Google Story" instead.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Insights into the Google Approach to the Market

The author does not have any hands-on experience inside Google, however he does put together an intriguing set of ideas around how Google and its peers (Facebook, Craig's List, etc.) will change our industries. He is very insightful and can see many things that I, being in the technology industry, never even imagined. For instance, what will happen to ad agencies? Are they toast? And if so, why don't they seem to be worried? What would a restaurant do if it approached its market like Google? Would its menu list the number of people who've ordered each dish? Would you see things like "people who liked this dish also seemed to like this one." This book changed my thinking about all industries and especially my own, IT consulting. I strongly suggest reading / listening to it.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • Baulkham Hills, Australia
  • 03-15-10

Open your eyes

Jeff Jarvis provides an educated and enlightening depiction of modern economics. A shift in business thought where Google has become a leading players. It will be interesting to review the book in 5 years time and see whether some his ideas have gained traction.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good facts, but way too biased.

The book had a good compendium of facts and examples of ways that Google and working with Google has created tremendous value. In the same time, however, the author dismissed any other business model. I am not one to argue with success, but in the same time the world is full with other success stories which the author simply does not see fit to include. Even as he urges us all to be as open as possible and share every bit of information with the rest of the world, he never acknowledges that Google is often reclusive about its own methods (algorithms, strategies, etc). They urge customers and consumers to be open and make it easy for them in a variety of ways, including creating open APIs and infrastructure - after all Google makes money by essentially publishing other people's content. But in the same time when it comes to the real core knowledge and IP - they can be as closed as a Big Pharma.

All this is not to say that Google is not a revolutionary business from which anyone can lear a lot. This book, however is way too biased, skipping over problems and snags when the basic premisse is to be contradicted. Maybe it should be called Google Can Do No Wrong.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dele
  • 10-19-09

A strong message for rethinking a business

This book has disrupted 3 years of planning and 18 months of execution of our business.

We are in the process of creating a business around creating realtime automobile traffic video and before we read the book we were going to charge users for every time they download the latest traffic information.

Not anymore we wont after reading this book. Jeff explores many ideas about giving the users control and sacrificing a few upfront change for real money that may be waiting further down the road or through a side door.

We intend to give customers control and then we will step out of the way.

Great work Jeff.

The book should get a 5 star rating but I gave it a 4 because Jeff tried to touch too many industries and you could tell when his insight was a little light in areas where he may not have had a lot of knowledge of the industry.

I recommend the book particularly the audio version on an ipod for anyone in business. listen and ponder and work out how to googlify your business.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeremy
  • 02-16-10


An absolutely amazing book read fantastically well. I enjoyed this book so much that the commute to work became a joy.

It is insightful with some really good examples and innumerable ideas for how to put GoogleThink into practice. It is a must-read for anybody in business, politics, healthcare... in fact, anyone!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • isaac david
  • 07-08-09

Great book for internet based business

This is a great book on how 'More is More' how abundance on the internet is the new way of generating traffic on the internet. Great book for people wanting to start a internet business