Arvin's Reviews > In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

In the Plex by Steven Levy
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's review
Jun 16, 11

Read in June, 2011

Very interesting book about how Google has always been and still for most part is a different sort of company (in particular, its main goal is NOT directly to make money). Even for people in the tech industry (especially those of us in Silicon Valley), this book provides a lot of interesting anecdotes and details that give a lot of depth and color to the traditional start-up success story of two super-smart iconoclast dreamers building a company that changed the world and continues to do so.

Now I still take all the righteous "Do No Evil" Googley rhetoric with a grain of salt, I nevertheless believe that many people at Google (well basically the engineers) honestly try to be better than any other company in the world, that it sometimes falls short of this goal is just a inevitable consequence of the realities of the large corporations (it is easy to be righteous if you are a random group of five people running an activist blog during your spare time) and the fact that no one can be right and/or pull off the seemingly impossible all of the time (not even Steve Jobs), I find the entire Google China debacle (which the book devotes an entire section to) a good example - as badly as that was handled, I can't think of another company that did a better job (especially not Google's corporate rivals like Yahoo, Microsoft, Viacom, or the telecom companies).
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