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I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 [Audiobook] [MP3 CD]

Douglas Edwards
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 April 2012
Comparing Google to an ordinary business is like comparing a rocket to a wheelbarrow. No academic analysis or bystander's account can capture it. Now Douglas Edwards, Employee Number 59, takes readers inside the Googleplex for the closest look you can get without an ID card, giving readers a chance to fully experience the potent mix of camaraderie and competition that makes up the company that changed the world. Edwards, Google's first director of marketing and brand management, describes it as it happened. From the first, pioneering steps of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the company's young, idiosyncratic partners to the evolution of the company's famously nonhierarchical structure (where every employee finds a problem to tackle or a feature to create and works independently), through the physical endurance feats of the company's engineers (both on and off the roller-hockey field) to its ethos to always hire someone smarter than yourself, I'm Feeling Lucky captures for the first time the unique, self-invented, culture of the world's most transformative corporation. Welcome to the "Google Experience".
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Corporation; MP3 Una edition (3 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455884340
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455884346
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,501,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Imagine a world where nerds reign supreme...That is the universe that Douglas Edwards stepped into in 1999...Edwards was a fish out of water from the outset...His inside story is thus told from an outsider's point of view. For you and me, it's no bad thing...His insight into the minds of Page and Brin is instructive...a front-row seat to one the most extraordinary success stories of recent memory (Danny Fortson Sunday Times )

Douglas Edwards spent six years in the Googleplex as Google's first brand manager, and I'm Feeling Lucky is a rare insider's account of the company's birth pangs and its early years. He can personally vouch for the goodies. (James Harkin Financial Times )

[An] extremely useful insider guide...Douglas Edwards...walks into the maelstrom of a start-up full of twenty-somethings where visitors genuinely wonder "who trashed the chairman's office?" (Pat Kane The Independent )

An enjoyable account of the struggles a creative marketing guy faced in the early days of Google, when the company was run by geeks with a messianic faith in "Efficiency, Frugality, Integrity" (Andrew Keen New Scientist ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Douglas Edwards was director of consumer marketing and brand management at Google from 1999 to 2005 and was responsible for setting the tone and direction of the company's communications with its users. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and hugely enjoyable 15 July 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wasn't expecting much from this book, fearing something tedious and overly-technical, dry and dull, but instead I found it was hugely enjoyable, fascinating, and extremely easy to read.

Doug Edwards was Google's 59th employee, joining the company in its infancy when the staff worked in one tiny building, made their own servers out of cork boards with components pinned to them (so they could fit four servers into the space normally occupied by one "proper" server in a rack cabinet) and focused entirely on making searching the internet faster, easier, and better. Doug sees the company grow and evolve, and he finds himself burning the midnight oil, often undermined by his managers, and eventually decides that the time is right to leave (the book ends in 2005.) There is also a fair amount of coverage of Google's battles with the likes of Inktomi, Yahoo and Microsoft, all of which is interesting, sometimes a little shocking.

Some have complained that the book has lots of padding but I didn't think this was the case at all. I actually found it quite riveting, often quite amusing, and surprisingly free of technical jargon, although the glossary of terms at the back is handy if you want to know the difference between a Noogler and a Xoogler for instance. Don't expect to find out the secrets of how Google's software works or what their corporate strategy is, or their future plans. Instead this book is a hugely enjoyable and very human tale of what it is like to work for a high-tech company that grew from nothing extremely quickly, and how they changed the world in their own way.

Quite possibly my favourite book of 2011 so far. I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good story of Google in the early days 23 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I found this book tedious and a little bit dull.

As interesting as the story of Google is, this account doesn't hold my interest. In fact my interest started to wane when I got a few pages in. The authors accounts and exaggerated or should I say enthusiastic descriptions all start to sound the same and get a tad boring. It's interesting enough if you're die hard about this stuff but for me, an I imagine most people, it's just a bit tedious.

But I guess as one other reviewer wrote, if someone wrote an account of AlstaVista, it wouldn't be as interesting, or at least relevant, to most people. Google is Google, everyone has heard of them but not many people will care about the detailed accounts this book goes into.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Googlophiles 16 Nov 2011
By HeavyMetalMonty VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you were entranced watching the stratospheric rise of Google from fringe search engine to one of the largest economies on Earth, you'll enjoy many happy hours immersed in the pages of I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59. If you appreciate Google's dogged insistence on creating a search engine that actually works as users want it to (rather than simply looking flashy), this book will resonate with you. If you consider the term 'computer nerd' a compliment rather than a put-down, you'll find nirvana in the pages of this book.

Douglas Edwards's descriptions of Google's key players, especially co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, give unique insights into the people behind one of the the world's biggest brand names. Brin and Page always had a clear vision of what they wanted Google to achieve. The most readable parts of the book are its humanising portraits of the men behind the brand name. For example, one Hallowe'en Sergey Brin conducted an interview wearing a full cow suit. As a nervous young prospective Google employee stuttered and stammered his way through the interview, Brin sat back on his chair and played with his rubber udders. Many such entertaining stories are peppered throughout the book, making it a must-have item for any Google aficionados. By reducing the amount of technical data included (about server sizes, speeds, etc.), Douglas Edwards could have increased the book's readability while cutting down its length, thereby helping his book to appeal to a wider market. As it stands, the lengthy tome is for hardcore Googlophiles only.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside Track of Life in the Googleplex 21 Jun 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Most people know that Google is a bit special. To evolve from a two man operation in 1996 to become one of America's biggest companies, not far short of Microsoft or Apple, is some achievement. Clearly they only did this by breaking the mould in a fairly significant way. It is pretty obvious that they are different. You only have to look at their main webpage to appreciate this. As the book explains, it is not so much what is there, but what is not there. The leading search engine in the late 1990s was Yahoo and their main page was so crammed with facts, adverts, links etc, that it was quite hard to spot the search box. Google decided early on to go in a completely different direction and keep their main page very simple. That is the way it is to this day, mimicked by the likes of Bing, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. They have never been afraid to be different and to think outside of the box.

The author was Google's 59th hire, hence the title of the book and joined the company in 1999. He was employed to head up marketing rather than being a techie in a very tech led company. This book covers his experiences between 1999 and 2005 and is a fascinating insight into how the company was run and what made it different. Google had a very flat management structure so everyone got involved in all aspects of the organisation and you get the inside track from Douglas Edwards on how these decisions were made. Innovation covered every aspect of Google. For example, unlike most start up internet companies, they did not go for state of the art hardware. Instead they put together a huge number of the cheapest servers they could cobble together and did not worry when some of them failed as there was always redundant capacity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading
This was an excellent insight into beginnings of Google from the early days. Only really appeals I think if you are interested in start ups and/or technology. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Chris L
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but...
Interesting but the narrative is disrupted by the author using obscure words unnecessarily in order to appear smart. E.g. "... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Mj Whitby
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into what it was like to work for Google
If you are interested in what is was like to be a Google employee from 1999 through to 2005 then its for you. Read more
Published 11 months ago by B. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Google's growing pains
Although ancient history - in IT terms - the years covered by this book are the formative period of one of the most successful, and omnipresent, companies of our time. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr Lee Rudd
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, funny but a little too long
I enjoyed this but honestly I feel that it could have been better edited. Losing 80 pages would have improved it a lot - and got it 5*. Read more
Published 13 months ago by L. Day
4.0 out of 5 stars Did the rise contain the seeds of the fall?
Google, like Apple, was once an unimpeachable 'good guy' of the modern world, in contrast with tarnished war mongering states and greedy corporations. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Adam Bartleby
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Techie
I really wanted to read this book as Google is such a central part of my life and has very quickly become something that I can't live without! Read more
Published 15 months ago by BookBliss
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the layman
As somebody with a strong interest in technology entrepreneurship, this is a book I enjoyed - it's a long, detailed and authoritative account of Google's relatively early days (but... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Paul Robinson
2.0 out of 5 stars Googolian reasons not to buy this book
The author 59 takes you through he doors of Google in its infant state. I bought he book thinking it would be revealing and interesting all he way through. Read more
Published 20 months ago by David A. Nash
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and well written
Brought this based on the reviews and was not disappointed. this book really gives you an insight of how google operated in the early days and how it went from a small start up in... Read more
Published 21 months ago by agodson
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