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Publisher's Summary

As enlightening as The Facebook Effect, Elon Musk, and Chaos Monkeys - the compelling, behind-the-scenes story of the creation of one of the most essential applications ever devised, and the rag-tag team that built it and changed how we navigate the world.

Never Lost Again chronicles the evolution of mapping technology - the "overnight success 20 years in the making." Bill Kilday takes us behind the scenes of the tech’s development, and introduces to the team that gave us not only Google Maps but Google Earth, and most recently, Pokémon Go.

He takes us back to the beginning to Keyhole - a cash-strapped startup mapping company started by a small-town Texas boy named John Hanke, that nearly folded when the tech bubble burst. While a contract with the CIA kept them afloat, the company’s big break came with the first invasion of Iraq; CNN used their technology to cover the war and made it famous. Then Google came on the scene, buying the company and relaunching the software as Google Maps and Google Earth. Eventually, Hanke’s original company was spun back out of Google, and is now responsible for Pokémon Go and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

Kilday, the marketing director for Keyhole and Google Maps, was there from the earliest days, and offers a personal look behind the scenes at the tech and the minds developing it. But this book isn’t only a look back at the past; it is also a glimpse of what’s to come. Kilday reveals how emerging map-based technologies, including virtual reality and driverless cars, are going to upend our lives once again.

Never Lost Again shows us how our worldview changed dramatically as a result of vision, imagination, and implementation. It’s a crazy story. And it all started with a really good map.

©2018 William Kilday (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
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Just read it

This was an easy read that offered an insight into something that we use everyday.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

Great story with a strong beginning, middle and end structure. Great reminder of how different the world was before Google maps. A real inspiration to create something that will change the world. Focus on product and moreso user experience.

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How did Google Maps happen?

Great telling of one man's perspective of the history of Google Maps from a great demo to an amazing product!
if you love tech history stories, this is a must listen!

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Startup roller-coaster, Google acqui-hired, repeat

This is a great insider-case study on the startup[s] acquired by Google for their Earth and Maps apps, and beyond. The author was "just a marketing guy" who initially resisted following his childhood/college buddy into startup land, but eventually gave in; and ended up having enough influence and clout to make his perspective in recounting the events quite valuable, even if he lacks technical depth.

The story recounts the roller-coaster highs and near-deaths of their startup before [and after] the Google acqui-hire. After finally burning out from ~10 years of helping to transform Google from just a search engine, to the location-aware data-behemoth open-market enabler of billions in market-cap it is now, the main characters of the story hit success again with their current company, which developed the Pokemon Go app. I expect to hear more about this story in the near future.

Sharp story and delivery.

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A WOW Book (Could Have Used a Better Title)

The book traces the detailed history of a lucky Silicon Valley start-up (and even that would have been a better title) from famine to feast (a better subtitle). The book was better than fiction. Its main focus was far broader than just the mapping technology that they were basing their economic hopes on. It was gripping on a human level, too, in that the 'feast' is not always a guaranteed 'heaven on earth' when 'success' means less job satisfaction and new petty politics with small-minded office obstructionists. I'm glad I gave the book a chance, it was better (on several levels, especially the human level) than the past dozen or so tech books that I listened to. I did wonder what the stories would have been from the other people in the start-up - obviously they would all have offered their unique perspective.

On the highest philosophical level, however, it just further confirmed my observation that the human race is still universally clueless, even as it advances (blindly) into the future, in this case substituting the drive for money (during the famine days) or the drive to create beneficial products for mankind and to even save the planet (the feast days) for an adequate life-guiding philosophy (enter me) - meaning such drives all good as fuels for life, but they are no guidance system (so I have work to do in getting the word out - consider this a prime occasion).

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I cancelled this order

I have cancelled this order because
they're using God's name in vain!!
This is unacceptable!!

0 of 3 people found this review helpful