With 226 ratings
By: Douglas Edwards and Audible Studios
Purchased At: Or $10.00 to buy
Comparing Google to an ordinary business is like comparing a rocket to an Edsel. No academic analysis or bystander's account can capture it. Now Doug Edwards, Employee Number 59, offers the first inside view of Google, giving listeners a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company.
Edwards, Google's first director of marketing and brand management, describes it as it happened. We see the first, pioneering steps of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the company's young, idiosyncratic partners; 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); the development of brand identity; the races to develop and implement each new feature; and the many ideas that never came to pass. Above all, Edwards - a former journalist who knows how to write - captures the Google Experience, the rollercoaster ride of being part of a company creating itself in a whole new universe.
I'm Feeling Lucky captures for the first time the unique, self-invented, yet profoundly important culture of the world's most transformative corporation.
ORIGINAL REVIEW: If I have to read, one more time, about how this old guy thought Sergey Brin and Larry Page would look up to his erudite wisdom, I'm gonna lose my spit. I get it, the author was extremely proud about how valuable he thought his wisdom would be, and he was wrong. That said, I stopped reading the book fairly early because the writing style just really irritated me. I'm going to try to return to this book again later, and will update this review if I find anything of value. But until then, maybe you can Google for stories instead.
Thus the book flows along two lines. On the one hand, it provides a striking inside look at Google's early history including milestone events such as their first search deal with AOL and the development of AdWords. But at the same time it's really just the tale of a marketing guy trying to redefine the job based on the technically-driven and data-obsessed engineers that were fundamental to growing Google to the company that it is today.
The book has certainly given me a lot to think about in terms of both my own marketing job and Google as a company. While Doug makes sure to tell all sides of the story and not just the warm and fuzzy stuff, he does seem to have a particular slant here - one last message as Google's voice that he has to deliver. If anything, this feels like Doug's last message to us users - an attempt to explain how Google operates at its core and thus presents a different view of the company given the big decisions it makes that get splashed all over the news. Google isn't quite the information monster and privacy villain that many present it to be. But it is moving solely to the beat of its own drum and its own concept of what they feel is in the best interests of the user.
At the same time, it's an amazing exploration of marketing and how the old concepts may not quite work in the increasingly product-aligned world that we live in. Branding goes beyond just thinking of the company as a whole but building images and ideas around individual product lines, especially in a tech world.
I thought the comparsison and contrast of his previous employment in less stressfully environment was insightfully. Older established companies he had worked for we're not at the cutting edge of technology and were losing the race . They had grown complacent and falling further behind these juggernauts. But he did get two weeks paid vacation and holidays off to be with the family. We don't get a clear answer on where the balance comes in between work and play.
Gourmet food keeps the troops happy and many other perks makes the long hours more palitable. Giving employees time to work on there on projects is a stroke of genius. It gets workers to buy more into the bigger goals of the firm and there own projects as well.
This is a worthwhile read of the life and times of one of the original employees.
I enjoyed the chapters toward the end "The Sell of a new Machine, "Don't Let Marketing Drive", and "Mistakes we Made". These chapters offered some good information that some will certainly find helpful as the author takes you through some of the thought processes and setting up some functions.
My favorite of the "Ten Things We've Found to be True":
1) Focus on the user and all else will follow.
2) It's best to do one thing really, really well.
3) There's always more information out there.
4) The need for information crosses all borders.
5) You don't need a suit to be serious.
Silicon Valley start ups are still an exciting and foreign word to many, so keep learning and exploring. This book does provide some good insight on working at one of the best on the web.
This is certainly not hugely critical of Google, or the people there, nor is it just a puff piece singing their praises. It is a very personal view of his life there, and it would seem that for those six years he had very little life at all outwith Google. It does not offer a huge insight into the people there, Edwards writes about himself a lot, but apart from working at Google there does not seem to be anything terribly remarkable about him. Perhaps his self effacing, gee shucks, approach was the early Google brand.
If you are interested in the early days of Google, then this is a first rate insider’s account, very well done for the Kindle, and written with a real attention for detail and affection for the subject.
Still, it's hard to have sour grapes over a bloke who admits he lucked into it all and is happy just to record what it was like to be there. This is a nice easy read about the time and place that was the dot com boom, from one of the very few companies that survived it all to emerge with the spoils. Why Google, and why not Alta Vista, Hotbot, Yahoo and all the others? You won't find the answer here, except maybe in the title. After all, for every failed project Google have launched, and there must be hundreds, they lucked in with one. It's hard to see Google as being lucky, but this book helps you do it.
The book ends with him leaving and in a away I felt like I was leaving Google with him. Sad not to be in the loop and out on my own.
Putting characters behind those names you see tagged at the end of Google Blog.
In away it really makes you want to work for Google but in another way could you take the stress of working such a company with the cumulative stress of everyone stressing back. The politics sucked as well for our man Dougie.
If Doug had been more into politics would he still be at Google after building his empire to give himself purpose.
I wonder how much he made, does anyone know?
So, "tumbrel" is a Middle English word for an open cart that tilted back and was used for taking prisoners to the guillotine. Is that really the best word to convey the point?
A vous de lire maintenant…
Durch den jahrelangen direkten Kontakt zu den Gründern kann er hier authentische Insider-Informationen bringen. Er beschreibt die Charaktere von Larry Page und Sergej Brin und die turbulente Atmosphäre während der New Economy in Kalifornien. Heute kann man sich kaum vorstellen, dass Google mal ein Underdog war und Fachleute Suchmaschinen für tot erklärten, weil es ja schon Yahoo gebe. Die Anfangszeit von Google war also sehr mühsam. Auch die Technik war eine Herausforderung, denn die vielen Server waren teuer und schwierig unterzubringen. Die Zusammenarbeit mit Geheimdiensten wird auch erwähnt. Der Autor bemüht sich zwar, das als harmlos darzustellen, aber es wird deutlich, dass den Google-Gründern die Macht der verbundenen Information über viele Menschen völlig klar ist.
Der Autor bringt seinen persönlichen Beitrag zum Google-Image überzeugend rüber. Als Marketingprofi weiß er, dass sich reine Technik nicht verkaufen lässt. Wer heute die Außenwirkung von Google wahrnimmt, bekommt ein Stück von Douglas Edwards' Arbeit mit.
Ein spannendes Buch für diejenigen, die sich für Startups, technisches Marketing und die Firma Google interessieren.