- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 16 hours and 19 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: July 12, 2011
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005C7QPFK
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
Not only was it interesting to learn about the engineer-centered culture, the founders as cult figures, the corporate value against paying for marketing, and the "do no evil" slogan, but the adventures of this particular guy held my attention. He was a 41 year old married guy with kids trying to keep up with the 24/7 youth culture at Google and it was not easy. He used a lot of self-deprecating humor and managed to sound like a friend relating a story. He names the names of his co-workers and leaders, so you will learn about the key players at Google, many of whom are still there, such as CEO and founder Larry Page.
The author did a very, very good job of providing layman-friendly explanations of technical issues, such as the nature of the search algorithm, capacity issues for such a high-volume site, and the process of developing new apps. It is a long book and goes into some detail about various epochs and episodes, but I never got bored. He is a clever writer (a marketing guy, after all), and I stayed on board through all 400 or so pages. I only wish he had stayed at Google longer or that some other Google person would write the 2005-2012 book.
This book is recommended whether you already know a lot about Google or not. If you are interested in Google, read this book! Reading this book has helped me understand why Google is in trouble today with the FTC threatening to sue. Google leadership is still suffering from the hubris and lack of corporate savvy described here. Being great at meeting technical challenges (which Google excels at) does not make a company also great at maneuvering in the business world as a HUGE public corporation. Bottom line is I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
On a personal/subjective note: I've never been a big fan of Google (for various reasons), and a lot of my suppositions are reaffirmed by this book. Mr. Edwards doesn't seem to have an agenda against Google, however there is some apparent tension evident in the comments and general handling of some topics. Personally, I find the way that he recounts his departure as reprehensible -- 'Google: uhh, I can't figure out where you fit in, so goodbye' (paraphrasing here).
Anyway, well worth the read. I wish the best for Mr. Edwards, and keep a jaundiced eye toward Google...
In a tone similar to Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, Doug (a middle-aged branding executive and employee #59) takes us through a journey of the Google "tribe" in its early days. Narrating objectively and with journalistic excellence, he describes how decisions were made based on frugality, efficiency and "not being evil" and how each engineer had the power to make the next billion dollar idea happen. He also does not shudder away from the not-so-great aspects of the company describing some of the controversies that happened during his time. I found it hard to put this book down and wished that he had stayed longer at Google so that he could have covered some of the more recent events. Overall, a great book and a must read even if you plan on picking up only one book about Google.
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