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I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
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I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  3,218 Ratings  ·  274 Reviews
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 readers a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company. Edwards, Google’s first director of m ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2011)
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Todd N
Jun 28, 2011 Todd N rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I've been eagerly waiting for this book after reading about it on the ex-Googler mailing list and reading similar stories on the Xoogler blog.

I only met Mr. Edwards once during my 6 or so years at Google. It was at the end of my first week, when I was introduced along with the rest of the "Nooglers" at that week's TGIF. This was the first week that Google had the Nooglers wear beanies with propellors on them, so he ran over at the end of the meeting to see what we all thought about wearing them.
Mark Rice
Feb 14, 2012 Mark Rice rated it really liked it
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 (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 ...more
Amy L. Campbell
Note: Review copy provided via Netgalley.

I am going to assume that a few of the things I will mention in my review have been fixed. However, given the expedited publishing schedule (one of the downsides of epublishing, I suppose), I kind of doubt it.

First off, I'm going to fix the subtitle. "I'm Feeling Lucky: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About My Marketing Mojo and Let the Engineers Experiment." There we go, much more salacious and it even better depicts the contents of the book... which i
Oct 10, 2011 Nicolemauerman rated it liked it
A couple of months ago I finished the book Malled and wasn’t a huge fan. I just hated reading a book where a woman complained about her job the whole time. I was a little hesitant to read I Am Feeling Lucky because I didn’t want the same experience. I found I was pleasantly surprised. Edwards writes about his time spent as the brand manager for the new start-up Google. Basically a bunch of kids running a company who hate marketing, making Edward’s job really tough and stressful. One thought coul ...more
Jul 22, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing
I think you might need to be at least a little interested in computers in order to enjoy what this book has to offer. It is the story of the first 5 years of told from the perspective of employee no 59 – Douglas Edwards. A fascinating story it is too. I’m sure, like me, barely a day passes without seeking some help and guidance from Google – mostly these days though with irritation, as it rarely seems to bring me what I really want.

The story is told from the perspective of ‘the voice
Sep 20, 2014 Joodith rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Everyone who has a computer knows what Google is. I use it at least once a day, and as a regular user I've often wondered how they got started, what and who, came first, how it was all put together and by whom etc. Because of this curiosity I chose to read and review what I hoped would be a light, interesting, informative and amusing tale, especially given the blurb about the book. I can only assume Mr Edwards marketing skills are better than his writing skills (not that it's badly written; it i ...more
May 24, 2015 Nikolay rated it really liked it
The early Google story from the point of view of one of their first marketing people. I remember three key points:

* high pressure for performance, often not sustainable for long periods of time for mortals
* an organization built around outstanding engineering is totally different than one built around other values, some trade-offs started showing in recent years
* a ton of luck, even though they earned most of it; they would've been successful otherwise, too, just an order of magnitude less

Feb 28, 2013 Lain rated it liked it
Really enjoyed this sneak peek behind the scenes at Google. I lived through this era in Silicon Valley, so it was fun to see what was really going on at the Googleplex. There were also some good lessons for a growing entrepreneur like me. I took several pages of notes to use for my business plans.
Nov 23, 2011 Ron rated it really liked it
This was a really fun read that gave a vivid description of what life was like inside Google in the time prior to going public. Great description of the evolution of the advertising models that drove Google's growth.
Dec 06, 2013 Crystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Loved this book!

A very interesting inside look at the early growth of Google.

I particularly appreciate Doug's perspective as he transitions from a traditional business culture to Google's very nontraditional corporate culture.
Ulf Valentin
Sep 01, 2013 Ulf Valentin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Es fängt sehr spannend an und es macht Spaß sich die Google-Welt genauer an zu schauen. Leider wiederholt sich der Autor nach der Hälfte nur noch und es nervt. Habe das Buch nach 3/4 weggelegt - das passiert selten.
Dec 12, 2012 Herve rated it it was amazing
I thought this might be just another book about Google. It is not. The lessons are amazing. And here are examples. A first illustration comes from a conversation between Douglas and Larry Page: “I realize that more often than not you’ve been right about things. I feel like I’m learning a lot and I appreciate your patience as I go through that process.” […] “More often than not?” [Larry] asked me. “When were we ever wrong?” he didn’t smile as he asked his question or arch an eyebrow to signify an ...more
Brian Reed
Oct 06, 2016 Brian Reed rated it really liked it
This is an interesting read especially with the detailed insight on the inside view of Google from one of its earliest employee. The book gives a clear view of Google’s culture of creativity and innovation from the very beginning. It is important to note that the book is more of a historical background story of Google based on a real life experience. This book is fit for any age as its theme revolves around showing people how one of the biggest organizations in the world was improved from a gara ...more
Lord Nouda
4.5 Stars.

I'm Feeling Lucky' is the story of the marketing director who led the charge to humanize what was otherwise a faceless search company that eventually grew to become the foremost industry leader. Google as perceived by the public, with its oft-repeated mantra; 'Don't Be Evil' was due to the effort of one man, who strived to shape user perception through sheer word of mouth, partly because the Google Founders Larry and Sergey were too cheap to spend millions on marketing firms and partl
Liang Gang Yu
Nov 13, 2016 Liang Gang Yu rated it really liked it
This is a surprisingly pleasant read that gave me a look into early google days - from less than 60 employees to IPO. Written by a non-engineer working closely with google core leaders, the book is an unusual retelling of a story about Google core value and startup mentality, and its conflict with complexity from growth, culturally and organizationally.

The author gave lots of words to his own background, struggles to catch up despite giving all, and conflicts with other Googlers. That made this
Anna Masrud
Oct 12, 2014 Anna Masrud rated it really liked it
I had the pleasure of choosing this book to read for a school assignment. Google has been a primary use in my day-to-day life; I've known about it since my teenage years (right around the time Yahoo Search declined in popularity). In fact, I assume everyone knows about Google in some way, shape, or form. From apps on phones and the basic search function to Google Translate, Google Maps, and Google Documents, Google is a widely-used source of tracking down information on the Internet. So of cours ...more
The Viet Nguyen
Oct 17, 2016 The Viet Nguyen rated it it was amazing
Nice Google prehistoric stories
Feb 06, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
This book gets 5 stars because it's such a great story, covering Google from the time it hired its 59th employee (the author) in 1999 until its IPO in 2005, when the author, then wealthy, quit. What makes the story so engaging is that the author is not an engineer, he's a marketing type.

Here's a little snippet from the book showing what he is up against:

--start of snippet--
"I have a good idea," [Google founder] Sergey informed Susan Wojcicki a couple of weeks after I started. "Why don't we take
Nov 05, 2011 Cornmaven rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, non-fiction
This is a fascinating memoir of someone who worked at Google for 5 years, in its early days. Full disclosure first: I love using Google, like Picasa, Gmail, YouTube (some of it), and other Google products. So imagine my dismay to find at the end of reading this that I am pretty much ashamed to support this company.

Edwards' description of Google's founders had me searching for words: immature, schizophrenic, lazy, disingenuous, paranoid (one that Edwards often uses when talking about Larry Page),
Oct 03, 2016 Leo rated it it was amazing
Made me understand better the workings of Google and how to build a tech company.
May 18, 2011 D.w. rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I like books on the tech industry, with a historical perspective of how a company is formed and really starts. I have read a great deal, of these and so snagged a copy of Douglas Edwards book through Amazon Vine's program when it was offered.

Where do I start in this review is also probably a question Mr. Edwards should have thought about himself when he started to write this book. Do be fair, he starts with his hiring at Google and his motivation, and even has a timeline in the back of the book
Gareth Otton
Nov 22, 2014 Gareth Otton rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, technology
This book is the first book I have read about the early years of Google and as expected from a company that has done so much in so little time, it is a truly interesting read. Google's impossible growth from obscurity to one of the largest companies ever created was never going to be dull and this book which chronicles its early years certainly proves that.

One of the things that Google is famous for is the way it treats its staff and its approach to its work. The Google offices have been infamou
Rob Eelkema
Nov 29, 2011 Rob Eelkema rated it it was amazing
This was a well written book and the inside view of the starting of Google. Once I started the book it was hard to put down....I read it on my iPad and the book was over 1100 pages. For some readers, it might be too detailed but, for me, I loved every minute of it.

It brought me back to the early days of TARGUSinfo where your job was "any job that needed to be done". I really enjoy the start up mentality and watching hard effort succeed.

The never share the exact number of stock shares that Doug
Feb 25, 2012 Jim rated it it was ok
Most marketeers manage to hide a mass of insecurities about their profession behind a slick sheen of pretence that they are the strategic heart of any business. Fundamentally, is Apple primarily a fantastic hardware company supported by good branding, or a fantastic brand supported by good hardware? The debate will rage forever, and won't be solved by reading this book. The suspicion is that most great brands built themselves on the back of a quality reputation - Nike, Sony, Coke, Disney - and c ...more
Simon Lipson
Aug 22, 2012 Simon Lipson rated it it was amazing
Douglas Edwards was a by-the-book steady-Eddie marketing guy who took a punt on a small start-up dotcom company run by two idealistic geniuses. Larry Page and Sergey Brin believed internet search had to be relevant, fast and accurate, none of which qualities, they believed, were offered by the search engines of the late 1990s. So, armed only with their unique search algorithm, they set up Google and built a company employing the hottest, youngest, most prolifically gifted tech engineers in the c ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My daughter started using Google before I did. I was using Yahoo to search the internet.

I asked her what it was she liked about Google. She showed it to me and said she liked

the simplicity and the speed.

Google Employee Number 59 was Douglas Edwards. In this book, I learn that he wasn't the typical Googler. He was a Marketer and he got hired by a company that didn't use marketing. He had a family and worked at a place with a lot of young single college grads. The founders of Google would hire
Tony Aubé
Sep 15, 2016 Tony Aubé rated it liked it
Good book to understand the dynamics at Google and the origin of their corporate culture, from 1999 to their IPO in 2004. The book is well written although it starts to feel a little bit too much like a personal rent against Marissa Mayer towards the end it. I'd recommend it as a good compliment to "How Google Works" to get a different perspective.
Wow, this was a LONG one. I listened to it on audio and it was over 16 hours; it's a good thing that the narrator was good or I would have given up on it long ago.

I liked the story overall, but there was nothing astounding about it. This told the story from the perspective of the author, who was a marketing employee at Google. I get the trials of being a non-engineer in an engineering company, as I have been in that situation before. There were many sections that I found extremely interesting, s
Jan 31, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2011 Sheila rated it it was amazing
The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 is a more personal and intimate account of what happened as Google ascended to the top of the Search business. The book, entitled I'm Feeling Lucky by Douglas Edwards is entertaining, insightful and educational in ways I didn't expect.
There are a lot of books out now about Google that are a bit more analytical in nature and though there are bits of analysis discussions here and there throughout this book the author's voice and tale is more about his
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From 1999 to 2005 I was director of consumer marketing and brand management for Google. Before that I was online brand manager for the San Jose Mercury News, communications director for KQED FM in San Francisco, an ad agency copywriter, an admission officer for Brown University, and the Novosibirsk correspondent for the public radio program Marketplace. During that last gig, I got involved in a dr ...more
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“In search," Urs (Hölzle) believed, "the discussion was really, How can we outdistance our current system and make it look laughable? That's the best definition of success: if a new system comes out and everyone says, 'Wow, I can't believe we put up with that old thing because it was so primitive and limited compared to this.” 1 likes
“Google hires really bright, insecure people and then applies sufficient pressure that no matter how hard they work, they're never able to consider themselves successful. Look at all the kids in my group who work absurd hours and still feel they're not keeping up with everyone else.” 0 likes
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