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3.9 out of 5 stars26
3.9 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I picked this up when it was going cheap in Zavvi's sale. It's a good account of the rise of Google: how they recognized search as the most crucial component of the web and made their money by adding targeted advertising to their search results. I was somewhat disappointed at the paucity of technical detail beyond some journalistic hand-waving about a "seamless blend of hardware and software at ... a massive scale", and the fact that Google's servers are assembled from commodity PCs. This, it's somewhat breathlessly announced on page 2, is "perhaps Google's best-kept secret", which sounds rather self-contradictory. However, given the general audience that the book is written for (and the many details of their architecture that really *are* secret - even down to the number of servers they employ), perhaps this isn't too surprising - though I'm pretty sure that even a general reader wouldn't need to be told (p35) who Midas was.

There's also some degree of repetition across the chapters, which makes them read more like self-contained magazine articles instead of pieces of a coherent whole. But in general, I found this an entertaining read, and an interesting story about how Google has changed the world over the past couple of decades. On a personal note, I was also surprised to discover from this book that one of my (vanishingly tenuously linked) associates from the field of computer graphics in the early 90's had shared an office with Google's founders at Stanford. It's a small, joined-up world.
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on 26 January 2009
This book is written as a testament to Google and all they've achieved in the last decade. As someone of a slightly cynical nature I found myself viewing a lot of this book with a fair amount of scepticism. Are Google really this good? Did they really have such a clear vision from the start? Do they never do evil? However, in the end I found this book incredibly enlightening and inspiring.

The Google vision is a strong one that stands against conventional thinking and drives the company to produce a quality product and a creative culture. This shines through in both the book and also the products they create. I came to realise not just that I use many of their products on a daily basis but also understand why I find them so appealing and useful.

The book is well written, very comprehensive and very informative on the different aspects and characters of Google. I have learned many things while reading this book and it has challenged me in a number of ways to improve what I do. It has also left me galvanised in my belief that free thinkers can achieve massive success when they don't give in to the pressure to conform.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A very interesting book. The writer starts off in a very sycophantic manner, praising Google as if the sun shines out of their HQ. Later in the book the writer covers some more of dodgy practices that Google partake in.

I get the feeling that the reader is being taken on the same journey as the writer; From "Do No Evil" to "Do Lots of Good, but turn a blind eye if it makes Google lots of money".

In 2007 it could do with some updates to do with the latest news, but gives a great history of internet search as well as Google

Ultimately a very good book, let down from 5 stars by some repetition from chapter to chapter
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on 14 May 2015
The book that basically tells the story on how Google came about. Since it’s been release back in 2005, it covers the period from late 90’s until events of 2005. You will find out more about founders themselves – Sergey Brin and Larry Page, how they met and how they managed to end up with the search engine that is being used by millions people very day. My favourite part of the story was how both of them managed to get an investment of 25 million USD from two competing capital venture companies. How they managed to keep the company private for as long as possible, so competition do not find out how well they are doing and they more or less dictated their own rules when preparing to go public and float on the stock market.

The book also covers on how they hired their first CEO, how Doodle, Google News and Gmail came about. A famous Google head chef Charlie Ayers is mentioned in the book as well. And some of the final chapters describe some of the legal cases Google faced, the plans to scan every single book out there, competition from Microsoft, China and much more.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 October 2007
Google is the story of the creation of the best internet online search engine with the most powerful software, flashing speed and mountain high storage capacity.
Many analyst doubted for a long time that the company could generate serious revenues, but its business model (advertising directly linked to each individual search) proved to be a heap of goldmines.
The end is not in sight as the company even entered the genetics field. With its enormous storage capacity and its massive computing power for analyzing vast quantities of data, scientists should be able to search and find specific genes and genetic abnormalities that are causing diseases.

The author also comments on the creation of Gmail, privacy issues and the battles with software rivals (e. g., for the hiring of software engineers).
With and inside the internet space, Google together with Amazon changed the world we live in.
A must read.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2006
In my view this book sits alongside Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson for inspiration and honesty - mistakes and all! It's a must for any budding or armchair entrepreneur and demonstrates the 100% focus required to start up and maintain a multi-billion dollar company, whilst fiercly defending an original ethos. The culture within the Googleplex is discussed at length and it's clear that this was how they recruited and retained their staff. However, although it was not overtly mentioned in the book it was clear that Brin and Page demonstrated a inpeneterable partnership and strong leadership, even Schmidt was an outsider. If this leadership was not present from the beginning the story may have been different - a lesson for many organisations, I think. A brilliant book my Mr Vise, thanks.
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on 25 July 2014
The book is interesting. It couldn't be otherwise since the topic is one of the most popular and profitable companies in the world. The structure is clear and each chapter interesting. I was expecting something different though, something where Google was idolized. I believe there are some aspects that could be described deeper, such as life at Google, but I understand it is not easy to tell the story of a company. I finished the book feeling that something was missing.

Overall is a good book and worth reading
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on 16 March 2015
I was very disappointed with this book, in the main it's pretty badly written and not enjoyable to read which makes it hard-going.

My main frustration was that it repeats most things you already know about Googles history and practices if you're already in the digital/tech industry or have had a slight interest in Googles foundations.

If you're completely new to Googles past, then this book may be more interesting - but it could have still been written much better.
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on 12 September 2010
Although I am only a little way through this book it has already told me so much about Google and the way it became such a power house and one stop shop.

You can clearly see from the book (and success in the real world) that Sergey and Larry are two very bright men and the people that they work with at google are also very bright as well.

Within such an open minded business culture I am looking forward to the future developments that Google give to the world.
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on 24 May 2014
This book is very disappointing - another reviewer uses the word "fanboy" and I agree.
There is little, if any, attempt to provide any significant critical perspective of the founders or of Google itself.
Whole sections of the book in fact read like public relations puff and the parts on the rivalry with Microsoft are very one-sided.
All in all, it's a very disappointing read !!
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