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Googled: The End of the World as We Know It Audible – Unabridged

4 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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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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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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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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