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Googled: The End of the World As We Know It Hardcover – November 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The; First Edition edition (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594202354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594202353
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Two Googles emerge in this savvy profile of the Internet search octopus. The first is the actual company, with its mixture of business acumen and naïve idealism (Don't Be Evil is the corporate slogan); its brilliant engineering feats and grad-students-at-play company culture; its geek founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, two billionaires who imbibe their antiestablishment rectitude straight from Burning Man; its pseudo-altruistic quest to offer all the world's information for free while selling all the world's advertising at a hefty profit. The second Google is a monstrous metaphor for all the creative destruction that the Internet has wrought on the crumbling titans of old media, who find themselves desperately wondering how they will make money off of news, music, video and books now that people can Google up all these things without paying a dime. The first Google makes for a standard-issue tech-industry grunge-to-riches business story, its main entertainment value being Brin's and Page's comical lack of social graces. But New Yorker columnist Auletta (World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies) makes the second Google a starting point for a sharp and probing analysis of the apocalyptic upheavals in the media and entertainment industries. (Nov. 3)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“This is an engrossing look at Google and the broader trends in information and entertainment in the Internet age.”—Booklist, Starred Review



“[A] savvy profile of the Internet search octopus….[and] a sharp and probing analysis of the apocalyptic upheavals in the media and entertainment industries.”—Publishers Weekly



“Auletta uncovers some endlessly colorful material and assesses [Google’s] prospects critically but fairly.”—Kirkus Reviews



“Auletta has captured something critical and true about the tribe that made the enormous success of Google possible. His understanding is critical and essential for anyone trying to predict how long this run of enormous success will continue. Bottom line: Not forever, and maybe not much longer. Here's exactly why.”—Larry Lessig, author of Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy and Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity



“A uniquely incisive account of the new Internet revolution, powered by Ken Auletta’s unparalleled access. Essential reading.”—Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape and co-founder of Ning



"Ken Auletta has produced the seminal book about media in the digital age. It is a triumph of reporting and analysis, filled with revealing scenes, fascinating tales, and candid interviews. Google is both a driver and a symbol of a glorious disruption in the media world, and Auletta chronicles, in a balance and thoughtful way, both that glory and that disruption."—Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life


More About the Author

Ken Auletta has written the Annals of Communications column for The New Yorker since 1992. He is the author of eight books, including THREE BLIND MICE: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way; GREED AND GLORY ON WALL STREET: The Fall of The House of Lehman; and WORLD WAR 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies. In naming him America's premier media critic, the Columbia Journalism Review said, "no other reporter has covered the new communications revolution as thoroughly as has Auletta." He lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Sreeram Ramakrishnan VINE VOICE on October 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For a book that bills itself as something that will "offer insights into what we know, and don't know, about what the future holds for the imperiled industry", it does an excellent job with the first part, hard to say what was unique about the take of the author that was significantly different from other books such as What Would Google Do?and The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Timeand hardly does justice to the last portion (what future holds). The story of the beginnings and rise of Google, its famed work culture, unconventional approaches of its founder are all well told - in this book as well as previous ones. Auletta tries to cast the discussion from the viewpoint of the advertising industry - and while that in itself doesn't provide a significantly different perspective (Anyone who understands Google's revenue streams already knows it is in the advertising business....), it does provide for interesting reading. For an initiate in the Google story, this book will do full justice. If you are already familiar with the Google story and thought that the author will focus on the future of advertising media and related topics, you are likely to be disappointed. A recent book The Curse of the Mogul: What's Wrong with the World's Leading Media Companies actually does more justice in that regard.

Auletta does (re)raise significant issues - the discussion on Google Books and copyrights is a clear standout in the book.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Enthusiast TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Without a doubt, this book is thoroughly and expertly researched.

However, it took me numerous ambivalent weeks to read it (BTW, it is not at all unusual for me to read 3 books at once and be finished with them all in two days and I am most positively interested in technology). Unfortunately, this one didn't "grab" me like I thought it would, given its topic: the most brazen, upstart Corporation in the History of the Universe. The Anti-Microsoft. What I call "The God Box," otherwise known as Google.

Although I can say I learned a lot I didn't know before (like the incredible level to which we have all been contributing personal data streams to cable, satellite, internet, and phone companies for YEARS and the commercial value of this information and the fact that My Favorite NerdHero, Jeff Bezos, is one of the original angel investors in Google AND that Amazon's search technology is based on an offshoot of Google's), it felt like those nuggets of wisdom were buried in a lot of unnecessary background noise.

I think if you personally knew some of the people covered in this book, you would find it more engaging than I did. For me, the first 2/5ths of the book read like a corporate dossier, reciting the degrees and digital pedigrees of individual employees and associated boardmembers, etc.

What I really wanted to read about was what the title promised: how Google transformed the world and how it would build it anew. I also hoped it would delve into how Google might be addressing the problem of Search Engine Optimizers who are gaming Google's algorithm and degrading the quality of search results.

I HATE to criticize a talented writer who has obviously poured so much effort into a project, but this book just fell short on delivery of its promised "sizzle," for my tastes.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on October 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Googled" by Ken Auletta chronicles the rise of Google from its auspicious origins within the labs of Stanford University to its becoming perhaps the most influential technology company in Silicon Valley today. Mr. Auletta, who has covered the media and technology industries for many years, has drawn on his many dozens of personal interviews with key players to tell this remarkable story as only he can. Full of interesting anecdotes, insight and analysis, this highly readable book explains why Google matters a lot to consumers, businesses and policy makers.

Mr. Auletta excels at writing Google's corporate history, dedicating individual chapters to each year of its development from 1999 through 2008. Like many Internet success stories, we become acquainted with Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two (more or less) socially-awkward but undeniably brilliant persons who have remained true to their vision of making information accessible to end users via the Internet. Mr. Auletta explains that Google's focus on perfecting its proprietary search algorithms has proven to be widely disruptive to technology and media companies alike; while its control of information has garnered attention from governments and non-governmental organizations who are concerned about issues of corporate power and personal privacy.

Mr. Auletta discusses how Google's growth has posed challenges within to its management, corporate culture and strategy. While generally praising Page and Brin for their decisions, Mr. Auletta is concerned that Google's founders, who have yet to be confronted with the kind of adversity that afflicts most business owners, could be overlooking some of the external threats to the company's long-term viability; chief among these are what Mr.
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