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Googled: The End of the World as We Know It
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Googled: The End of the World as We Know It

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  3,117 ratings  ·  290 reviews
There are companies that create waves and those that ride or are drowned by them. This is a ride on the Google wave, and the fullest account of how it formed and crashed into traditional media businesses. With unprecedented access to Google's founders and executives, as well as to those in media who are struggling to keep their heads above water, Ken Auletta reveals how th ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by Penguin Press (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  3,117 ratings  ·  290 reviews

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Mar 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
Such an interesting company, such a terrible book

1. I thought it would be about Google.
2. I thought it would be the inside story of Google.
3. I thought it would add insight, tell us something new.

Well, no.

Auletta doesn't spend much time on the inside story of Google. Fine, I thought, maybe it'll be an insightful analysis looking at Google from the outside. Not that either. Maybe Google's competitors' perspective on Google. Okay, a little of that. But most of his time (or at least time was warped
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
I live my life on the part of the technology curve normally associated with Luddites and the Amish. Finally, after years of hectoring by my friends, I gave in and bought a cell phone. But, for the life of me, I can't remember my cell number, and I have an apparently irresistible tendency to use it to take unwitting photos of my left foot (anyone with a fetish for such photos, I'm sure there's a website for you out there). So I undertook this substantial book about google in the hope that Auletta ...more
Blog on Books
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Like IBM in the 60s, Microsoft in the 80s and Apple in the 90's, there are many books nowadays about the search and online behemoth known simply as Google.

Then there is Ken Auletta's.

Unlike everything that has come before it, Auletta's `Googled' is the ultimate volume by which the search giant's business will be judged - at least for now. With his unique, direct access to its founders, staff, closed-door meetings and more, Auletta has cracked open the true story (or close to it) of a company t
Jan 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
While there wasn't much new here for those who follow tech news closely, having the full history of Google laid out in careful and comprehensive detail was useful - this book tied together so many disparate threads, news that you read in bits and pieces - allowing you to see the big picture of how the changes wrought by Google have upended the world as we know it in a number of ways.

I found it quite readable. The book is excellently sourced, with tons of interviews not only with founders Page a
Ryan Holiday
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Maybe the best book I've read about Google and tech culture. It has made me think - despite many who are using it to herald the decline of Google - to further invest in the company. I think it's interesting how rarely writers call these businessmen out on their conflicts of interest or accurately contextualize their position. It bothers me how little real knowledge most of these tech writers have about the companies they cover.

Auletta seems to think that Google's engineering culture is problemat
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pritam Chattopadhyay
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The world has been Googled. We don’t hunt for info, we “Google” it.

You type a query in the Google search box, as do countless searchers globally, and in about a half second answers appear.

Want to find an episode of a web-series you missed, or a funny video made by some guy? Google’s YouTube, with ninety million unique visitors in March 2009—two-thirds of all Web video traffic—has it.

Want to place an online ad? Google’s DoubleClick is the foremost digital advertising services company.

Want to
Bojan Tunguz
Jun 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have read several books about Google over the years, and this one is certainly the best written of them all. This is not surprising - Ken Auletta is a writer, journalist and media critic for The New Yorker. His writing is of an exceptionally high quality and a pleasure to read. The book is also very well researched, with first-hand accounts from many of the key players at Google and other companies that prominently feature in this story. Many of the stories about Google's early years have been ...more
Mar 05, 2010 rated it liked it
I saw this at the bookstore after I had decided to accept a job at Google and figured I'd give it a shot. Ken Auletta was given an enormous amount of access to Google and its executives over a period of years, so this book has a nice amount of insight from the people at the middle of it all and some behind the scenes stories I hadn't heard before. It is also an honest accounting of Google's effect on various industries, instead of being overwhelmingly positive or negative. The book was only publ ...more
Aug 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Excellent overview of this history of Google and all the major changes we've seen in many industries because of it. Everything from music, tv, books, phone service, mobile platforms. I loved going over all the details of the digital revolution. Very nice portrayal of the facts both the good and the bad on the journey to where they are today. There were so many major shifts over the last 15 years and until it is aggregated you forgot all the major changes and many of the conveniences we take for ...more
Jun 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: real-world
This book starts out well but became a little tedious towards the end. It's best when it discusses Google the company and drifts towards the end when it discusses the future not of just Google but of media and advertising. I found it quite objective on Google and not one-sided. Strangely, I'm not so enamored with them anymore. You have to admire their innovation and creativity but the engineer hubris that looks at information, etc solely from efficiency without any crosscheck on social context o ...more
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Googled begins with several chapters of interesting little known knowledge about Google--obviously a company which nearly everyone of us rely on. The book gives a unique view of the factors and figures behind and impacting our world from the technical aspect and painting a well crafted image of this in context. The book falls s short at it's close how ever when the author seems to descend in to a thesis of sorts atempting to disprove much of what he presents and becoming overtly preachy--perhaps ...more
Daniel M.
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
A pretty decent history of how Google got to be where it is now. Not sure I picked up any particular insights, it just fleshed out a good deal of what I already know. The book DOES have a good deal of coverage of the media markets and how they’re changing over time (and Google’s not-completely-innocent role in changing the market). Eric Schmidt comes across as plain-spoken, Sergey and Larry as fairly nerdly, and the company as large and slightly chaotic… which seems about right from my point-of- ...more
I found the writing a bit messy and difficult to follow at times. The Kindle edition wasn't properly edited. Punctuations and the like wasn't proper all times.

It was an interesting read, all in all, but it wasn't what I expected. It wasn't that heavily focused on Google, but talked about lots of other things, old media, news industry, etcetera, a lot. On the other hand it was connected with Google and their affects on the media, but still, maybe a bit too much.

But, in the end, it was an interes
Jun 13, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Would NOT recommend
I thought I’d really enjoy this book; but instead found it dead boring. It simply doesn’t come to life, despite The Times apparently hailing it as ‘Brilliant’. Auletta may very well be a half-decent journalist, and a conscientious reporter, but I’d not recommend this book to someone who wants a really good read, rather than just the facts.

I gave up at about a third of the way through. There again, as this was a cheap, charity (thrift) shop find, I have at least done some good myself.

Sotiris Makrygiannis
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: internet
Good corporate overview from 1997 to 2007. I want to see the update on the last decade. if you pay attention it explains the hidden strategy of bringing Google services to the market. a good work BUT think about the last chapters on lawyers review, founders review and make your own conclusion if it's softly biased. ...more
Kathleen Diermier
Dec 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Great story of the birth and growth of Google. Especially helpful to a digital immigrant such as myself in explaining the latest developments in tech world and putting them in context
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Hugely useful and interesting biography of Google. Revealing and intriguing.
Jun 17, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2010-11
Last month I read Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta. Over the course of the book, Auletta documents the history of Google from its inception merely as a search tool relying on server space granted by Stanford to the multibillion dollar company we know today that been integral in the upset of traditional media and business models while significantly mediating the way that we interact with the internet and digital media. Auletta's final conclusion is more of a cautious acc ...more
Timeo Williams
Nov 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Despite the fact that this is book is dated by about a decade, it still remains relevant.

In Googled, Auletta goes into detail about the story behind Google, the idea, its early growth, and its post-adolescence stage. It was interesting getting a feel for how this company managed itself. After all, much talk of how cool the perks of working for a Silicon Valley company come from Google, with its free food and 20% project time philosophies.

- I also enjoyed how the CEO role was somewhat split bet
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ken Auletta did an amazing job with Googled. At first it was slow, but soon grabs your attention with what goes on behind the scenes in Google. Not only does it provide insight on Google but you learn more about the ups and downs the company had. This even includes the ideas they made into reality, but were at first thought to be a little risky or completely outrageous. Nonetheless, one learns a lot about the company that ranges from the discussion of the "delete button" on gmail to the so-calle ...more
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
The other day I heard on the radio that a new company called Nozzl will offer automated news feeds for the Web sites of newspapers and magazines. The feeds are automated in the sense that Nozzl will electronically collect announcements from government agencies, notices of real estate auctions and other local bits of information and run them through the feed without benefit of any human intervention. No journalist will choose which information is most relevant or otherwise edit the notices. It's ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Very interesting book about the creation of Google. Ken Auletta writes well and keeps it interesting, avoiding too much technical jargon. Very perceptive on a number of issues that are front and center today. The book was written almost 10 years ago so, while interesting, it's now somewhat dated, and a lot has happened in the tech world since he wrote it. ...more
Yinka Kolawole
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just might read this book again! Interesting how some things worked out for this bunch of people who were not exactly focused on business/money but on providing an excellent search engine. I guess not being too dependent on the business to feed them helped
Pretty impressed with the Google story and will read this book again as I really enjoyed it
Mauro Cunha
I was disappointed. After 500 pages, I could still not say what made Google tick... what made it different from other companies that preceded it. Very poor about products, governance, culture, etc. Too focused on the typical hype of 'change the world' or 'internet impact on newspapers'.
\nAlso, do not touch the Brazilian Portuguese translation.. it is a pain...
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Not bad. It gives a broad overview of how Google became what it is now. It critics the company with all the stories around copyright. I fell like there are probably better book on Google. But after all not bad.
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the first half which focused on Google. I was interested in a history of the company and the first half provided some of that. But the rest of the book was all about disruption and, in particular, the newspaper industry and advertising, which I wasn't as interested in. ...more
Quinn McManus
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. I thought it was the book was well written, and made me want to keep reading. I liked how their was the message not to give up in the book ,and it also shows that you should go outside of the comfort zone box which I think sometimes is very good advice
Kylie Kilmer
May 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
It's ironic that this book discusses how fast technology changes and becomes outdated... much like the statistics and examples in this book. ...more
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Ken Auletta has written Annals of Communications columns and profiles for The New Yorker magazine since 1992. He is the author of eleven books, including five national bestsellers: Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way; Greed And Glory On Wall Street: The Fall of The House of Lehman; The Highwaymen: Warriors of the Information Super Highway; World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies; ...more

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23 likes · 4 comments
“Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.... Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.” 0 likes
“Media companies can be divided into two broad categories: the few who create waves, and the many who ride them - or drown.” 0 likes
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