In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Intern...more
Corollary to the previous disclosure: When I do sell some stock, you will be able to tell because the price will rise sharply right after I sell it.
Another disclosure: I know several of the people mentioned in the book, a...more
In this case I think that Steven Levy shows his journalism background. He paints a picture of a company obsessed by the numbers but not necessarily willing to understand perceptions. And he does it by a series of parts and chapters based around a specific topic or idea that you could easily imagine...more
I'm not anti-Google, but I do think that having one company in charge of all the information will inexorably lead to that company being EVIL, despite Google's cute little "Don't Be Evil" motto.
That said, I was most troubled in the book during the discussion of privacy, which as a librarian I've taken a blood-oath to defend. (No actual blood was spilled during the taking of this oath. Also, n...more
First there was Search. How did Google Search get to be the best, the fastest, the most reliable? Why did the other search engines at the time not have the vision to do the same? We get that fascinating story in the first chapters. It's not technical, but I think you have to connect with your inner geek to enjoy it. (Go ahead, we bookworms all have some of that in us.)
Google in China! I learned, finally, about Google's venture into China, an intriguing story often...more
Among all the recommended course readings (Vaidhyanathan, Auletta, Battelle, Pariser, Jarvis and more), this is definitely the book you want to read before all others.
Insider stories from Googlers, detailed information about how certain projects came to be or ceased to...more
The book is arranged into a series of topic-based chapters that cover the search engine, online advertising, corporate culture, infrastructure, media, Google's foray into China, and finally, their involvement in US domestic politics. An...more
However, there were a couple big goofs. It took a while to get into the...more
Levy shows how Google's 3 head honchos--Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt--work together a...more
1. Google is the company most likely to invent real Artificial Intelligence. It's an explicit goal and they have the data and computer power to do it. "From the very start, it's founder saw Google as a vehicle to realize the dream of artificial intelligence." Google is the largest manufacturer of computer servers in the world and the...more
My main complaint about the readability is based on the sections of the book that describe how Google makes money from adver...more
The first story is that Google did not monopolize the search engine patent. Instead, Google has many competitors with similar value proposition. Even Yanhong Li, Baidu's founder, had the search engine patent two years' earlier than Google. Other competitors in the US are Goto and others. This fact that the vision is shared by many independent entrepreneurs tells us that great companies start not by monopolizing...more
Steven Levy did a phenomenal job of making a topic, that I new virtually nothing about, personally interesting and relevant. He did an excellent job painting the early atmosphere of Google the start-up company and it's gradually rise to the multi-billion dollar business giant it now is. However, there were two things that prevented this book from being worth 5 stars: 1. There are so many people in this story that it's honestly difficult to keep everybody straight. Levy did a pretty good job of r...more
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“It really came down to this,” McCaffrey later said. “We have a limited budget. Do we want to put that money into the technology, into the infrastructure, into hiring really great people? Or do we want to blow it on a marketing campaign that we can’t measure?” Larry and Sergey told Epstein that his interim stint was over”