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What Would Google Do? Hardcover – January 27, 2009
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1. being free
2. acting fast
3. allowing customers to decide (thereby eliminating the third party or agent)
4. providing the most prevalent links based on their ranking ("Googlejuice")
The author gives numerous examples of successful companies which employ similar tactics such as etsy, craigslist, and Amazon. He describes various reasons why these tactics work.
The author certainly elaborates on enough strategies that make Google and others like Google online successes; however, the text drags on endlessly and in a somewhat unorganized fashion that I felt he was verbally vomiting. It was like reading an endless blog instead of a book. If found myself repeatedly asking these two questions:
1. What did I just read?
2. What information did I get out of reading this?
In summary, a person who is thinking of embarking on a net presence will probably find that there's enough material in this book to guide them into doing what Google does. However, since the text rambles on, that person will have to jot down important details as he or she reads in order to remember it. If the book were better organized, more concise and definitive in its evaluation of what Google and others like Google do, and had a clearer table of contents (chapter headings), I would have rated it four stars.
Jarvis seeks to show how Google is the Future, but this gets lost in all his self-promotion and name dropping about his Davos luncheons. Not all of that is bad; his own struggle to get a laptop that works (and the ensuing, minor media racket he was able to generate) provide some good fodder for business and life lessons. One of which ("...your customer is your brand") is even quite profound.
But there is always a but. To get to these nuggets, you have to bushwhack through Jarvis' prose tic of coining absurd neologisms ("Googlethink", "Googlejuice", more and worse to come) and his inane triumphalism. In the introduction, Jarvis sets this tone by writing "We begin by examining the new power structure of the economy and society, where we, the people, are suddenly in charge--empowered by Google".
On the face of it alone, this notion is outrageous. Our Ourubian economy's slide is nothing less than a ratification of "old power structures" at work, regardless of where you're sitting. Even if you're at lunch with Jarvis at Davos.
Jarvis has the stuff in here to have written a short book about Google, without the silly, technorati zeal ("At Google, we are God and our data is the Bible...") and the reliance on old, worn out cliches about how Google's dominance presages "Geeks...coming to rule the culture" which constantly undercut Jarvis' allegations of "old models" being upturned.Read more ›
First, let's be clear. Google is not open by any stretch of the imagination. You can't get a 2-3 year view into their product roadmap. Google's data centers are top secret. If they're so open, why not let people tour them like Miller does its breweries or Boeing it airplane manufacturing plant? I, for one, would love to tour their facility. It'd be fascinating (geeks rule!). Second, Google doesn't implement everything its users want. GMail users have asked for custom folders to organize their email but instead get categories. Why isn't the customer's feedback taken into consideration? Every other mail provider allows for this. Lastly, their beta programs never seem to end. Beta programs, by definition, let users give feedback but they're also unsupported. "We lost your mail? Sorry, that's a beta." If the folks in Detroit rolled all of their cars off of the assembly line with a "beta" lable people could be killed. Thanks, but no thanks. Some of the cars coming from Detroit may not be award-winning but at least they are well tested and safe.
Certainly, the automobile manufacturers as well as all industries could benefit from the feedback loop that instrumentation allows. Unfortunately, they don't have the connectivity to each car that Google and other high tech companies are beneficiaries. Google knows where people click, how long they stay on a page, etc.Read more ›
Before answering, read on. "Owning pipelines, people, products, or even intellectual property is no longer the key to success - openness is." Oh, oh - sounds like Enron a few years ago. [...] Then, its "middlemen are doomed" - tell that to a truck driver taking load after load to warehouses. (Yes, I know the Internet will force real estate agents to greatly cut their commissions, but it won't eliminate them. Somebody has to verify a home's specifics, the financing, etc.)
Jarvis then forecasts the demise of newspapers and praises the benefit to the environment. But, as Nicholas Carr points out in "The Big Switch," we'll probably end up with fewer articles on government (corruption, achievements), resurgence of malaria in Africa, etc. because there's no natural advertising link to such content, and readers will become more and more polarized as they pursue affinity groups.
Jarvis extols his own experience blogging about poor Dell service, and their subsequent improvements - almost a year later. He then forecasts companies (eg. BMW) using eg. Facebook groups to help design new cars. Again, perhaps - but what about the bias contributed by those using Facebook, and the fact that some companies dislike "focus groups" because they're easily dominated by the most vocal, and generally have poor future-vision?
As for getting rich blogging - Technorati estimates the average haul for bloggers with advertisements at [...], a Newsweek blogger reports 1.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having just received the book 2 days ago and having only read a small portion of the book, it would be unfair of me to say this is an educated review. Read morePublished 7 months ago by D. White
Okay but, but not great. Jeff Jarvis is very insightful in his explanations of how the business world works and what working business models look like. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Isaiah Taylor James
I was lured in by the title, thinking it would give some insider looks at the workings of Google. Instead, the book is about applying the principles of transparency and distributed... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jerryaki
This book was required for a journalism class I was taking (media and society). I enjoy reading, but I wasn't thrilled about this book at fist, as it was required, and we skipped... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Livi
Excellent, informative and simple. Perfect for almost all audiences and available to all. I would recommended to parents, teenagers, college students. Read morePublished 18 months ago by ClaBVe
Simply one of the most important books on technology and society that i read ever. I love you Jeff Jarvis!Published 21 months ago by Kamil Dziadkiewicz
In this book Jarvis shows us how Google has redefined how we do things, how we need to redo things and how much Google has influenced the world we live in. So what? Read morePublished 22 months ago by Alumine Andrew