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What Would Google Do?: Reverse-Engineering the Fastest Growing Company in the History of the World Paperback – September 20, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
This scattered collection of rambling rants lauding Google's abilities to harness the power of the Internet Age generally misses the mark. Blog impresario Jarvis uses the company's success to trace aspects of the new customer-driven, user-generated, niche-market-oriented, customized and collaborative world. While his insights are stimulating, Jarvis's tone is acerbic and condescending; equally off-putting is his pervasive name-dropping. The book picks up in a section on media, where the author finally launches a fascinating discussion of how businesses—especially media and entertainment industries—can continue to evolve and profit by using Google's strategies. Unfortunately, Jarvis may have lost the reader by that point as his attempt to cover too many topics reads more like a series of frenzied blog posts than a manifesto for the Internet age. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Jarvis, columnist and blogger about media, presents his ideas for surviving and prospering in the Internet age, with its new set of rules for emerging technologies as well as industries such as retail, manufacturing, and service. We learn that customers are now in charge, people anywhere can find each other and join forces to support a company’s efforts or oppose them, life and business are more public, conversation has replaced marketing, and openness is the key to success. Jarvis’ other laws include being a platform (help users create products, businesses, communities, and networks of their own); hand over control to anyone; middlemen are doomed; and your worst customer is your best friend, and your best customer is your partner. Jarvis offers thought-provoking observations and valuable examples for individuals and businesses seeking to fully participate in our Internet culture and maximize the opportunities it offers. It is unclear what role Google played, if any, in the preparation of this book, which provides excellent advertising for the company. --Mary Whaley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Overall it is a good read, read it as though you are talking to a geeky friend about Web 2.0 You would love the book.
I believe this is a profound book about changes in the business world created by continued advancement of the information age. The book as I read it, really is not about Google, per se. Instead it is a thoughtful discussion as to how all kinds of businesses will be impacted by the forces on which Google has so brilliantly capitalized.
As a long time strategic consultant, it is my vocational responsibility to be observing changes and synthesizing them so as to help my clients. This book had as much impact on my thinking about change as any I have read in the last year (and I am a voracious reader of business books, the best of which I review here on Amazon).
Here is the bottom line, I have already bought and distributed a dozen copies of this book for C level executives at clients and urged them to read and absorb the authors points about how industries are changing and will be changing. All kinds and forms of information are and increasingly will be readily available and inexpensive. The winners will be those who can effectively and efficiently synthesize the relevant information on a given subject. Jarvis is certainly not the first to make this point; but his book does a wonderful job of driving home the point.
Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, sums up the book so well right on the top of the cover of the book: "Google is not just a company, it is an entirely new way of thinking. Jarvis has done something really important: extend that approach to business and culture, revealing just how revolutionary it is."
First Salesman: "We lose money on every sale."
Second Salesman: "How do you do it without going out of business?"
First Salesman: "We make it up in volume."
In an economy fueled by social networks, data and technology, companies that want to thrive need to replace questions like `HOW MUCH can we make from each transaction?' with questions like `HOW LITTLE can we charge and still get by?'
According to Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do?, businesses that rely on the formerly-reliable `law of supply & demand' to guide financial strategies are likely to fail in today's economy. Why? Scarcity doesn't ensure value. IF ANYTHING, it attracts a wide field of competitors striving to underprice you and deliver your once-scare commodity faster.
"Scarcity was about control: those who controlled a scare resource could set the price for it. Not anymore,"Jarvis said. "Google has found a business model based on creating , exploiting and managing abundance. The more content there is for it to organize, and the more places there are for it to place ads, the better."
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