Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What Would Google Do?” as Want to Read:
What Would Google Do?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What Would Google Do?

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  6,774 Ratings  ·  367 Reviews
An indispensable manual for survival and success that asks the most important question today's leaders, in any industry, can ask themselves: What would Google do?To demonstrate how to emulate Google, Jarvis lays out his laws of what he calls "the new Google century," including such insights as:Think Distributed, Become a Platform, Join the Post-Scarcity, Open-Source, Gift ...more
Hardcover, 257 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by HarperBusiness (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Riku Sayuj
How would Google run the world? How would everything look if every industry, every social activity was "googley"?

Everything would be more open, collaborative and fun, that is how. The book might be masked as an exploration of a successful way of doing things, but in reality it a call for the open-source "gift" economy in which everyone participates to create great value. It makes sense too, for much of it.

Apple posed some problems for the author though. Apparently non-open-source can also work
Ryan Chapman
Nov 03, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ryan by: Ami
Shelves: nonfiction
It may be unfair to give this book a rating since I couldn't finish it. For all I know, my complaints were resolved in the second half. So with that in mind...

It was interesting to read this book soon after a reread of Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody, as both are recent offerings by major publishers on our changing internet culture. However the strengths of Shirky's book and the faults in this one can be traced, I believe, to the two men's backgrounds. Shirky has been a professor at NYU for
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, non-fiction
"Google is an avalanche and it has only just begun to tumble down the mountain."
The world wide web is an amazing phenomena in the way that religion is a phenomena. You may love it, you may hate it or you may be somewhere inbetween. Regardless where you are in that spectrum it is here and like religion it is powerful so we might as well try to learn about it. At first I thought this book was going to be about as exciting as the manual that used to come in the box with a new computer but it's way
Ryan Holiday
There's this example What Would Google Do? where Jarvis talks about how newspapers could respond to Huffington Post setting up a new blogging venture in Chicago. He basically says that they should become their new best friend - forget that they are competition and think long term. They'd get more out of magnanimity than being territorial.

But, he concludes, it doesn't matter because "news organizations don't yet think that way." The thing is, no one does. People, like Marcus Aurelius said, are "m
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What Would Google Do? is not a book about Google. At least not directly. This is a manifesto for the social web. A book arguing for transparency, openness, and collaboration. A book imploring that we think differently; beseeching businesses to hand over control to their clients; to share and innovate; to develop platforms and networks of trust; to encourage discovery and diversity over secrecy and authority; to adopt a mindset of abundance over the scarcity models of the past. Google is position ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will use this book in my future entrepreneurial journalism course, and possibly social media as well - which is saying a lot, because I rarely add new required texts.

If you read Jarvis' blog/follow him on Twitter etc. and are generally well-read when it comes to digital disruption, there isn't much new here - but it's still an excellent, clear summary of the way not just Google but social media and the web more generally are changing many industries, including journalism, media, and education
Aug 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I think this book is about 50 pages too long, I still highly recommend it to anyone trying to understand modern economy and culture. I was afraid that it would be a big bowing down to Google, which I see enough of in my career. It isn't. Instead, it is a series of case studies proving how companies like Google are leading a civil movement against closed-system corporation culture.

I didn't feel like I needed this paradigm applied to so many industries. Jarvis uses the Google template to
Feb 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might be my favorite read so far of 2009 (although I thoroughly enjoyed Outliers and Here Comes Everybody as well). I love discussing creative disruption and this book is full of that. While some of the best ideas aren't Jeff's (Umair Haque and Fred Wilson are heavy influences and mentioned repeatedly in the book) for me it didn't much matter because of the importance and timeliness of the subject matter. If you're entrepreneur you have to read this book.
Dec 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"İtiraf ediyorum: Ben bir riyakarım. Eğer kendi kurallarıma uymuş olsaydım, bu kitabı şu anda okumuyor olacaktınız, en azından bir kitap olarak. Onu linkler ve aramalar aracılığıyla bulup online’da ve ücretsiz okuyor olacaktınız. Siz bu kitapta yapmış olduğum hataları düzeltebiliyor olacaktınız ve ben Google ile ilgili son istatistikleri kitaba ekleyerek onu güncelleyebiliyor olacaktım. Bu kitaptaki fikirler etrafında bir diyalog başlatabilecektik. Bu proje, blogumun okurları sayesinde şu anda o ...more
Chris Cahill
Aug 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Never before have I wanted to burn a book once I finished it.

I bought this at a charity shop to see what an outsider's perspective from 2011 matched with my insider's perspective in 2015. Unfortunately, Jarvis' canonization of the all holy "link" and constant chset-pumping of his own resume make me want to save anyone else from wasting their time with this trash. The only friend I would give this book to would be someone I know to be a true masochist.
Apr 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Posted on my blog at

I recently finished reading the book "What Would Google Do?" by author/blogger/journalist Jeff Jarvis. Jarvis is probably recognized primarily as proprietor of the popular blog I had an interest in this book right from the start because I am fascinated with the approach Google takes to everything they do: Offering premium services for free and finding alternative ways to make their money. A lot of money.

Without giving too much
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't tell you how happy I am to be done with this book. Since I cannot let a book go without finishing it, this one became an obstacle that prevented me from moving on to other books. It was so repetitive and hollow that I wanted to punch the author for wasting my time and money.

The main idea of the book is really interesting and worth delving into, because what Google does is truly great. But Jarvis shouldn't be an author, or, he shouldn't write books. I'm sure he's doing fine writing his bl
Jul 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It should be 3.5 stars out of 5 (or somewhere between 3-4 stars).

In this book, author Jeff Harvis of, discusses the concept of "Googlethink". He takes Google and studies what made today's huge company, an enormously successful organization and how that success can be transferred to other industries.

The book is divided into 2 parts. The first of which is the answer to "What/Why?" as in "What/Why is Google successful?". Jeff discusses the concepts of "Googlethink" and "Googlejuice"
Oct 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is written in two parts. The first outlines the rules for how Google works and is so successful in a digital economy. In essence, he reverse engineers the company. The second part of the book applies these rules to show how different industries can apply these rules to move from being atom-based to being digital, to moving from profiting from scarcity to profiting from abundance.

I find the author's cautious but enthusiastic optimism refreshing. So many times these types of books tend t
Mar 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that the title of this book put me off from the start. Could it be a serious book based on a blatant rip off of WWJD. So I was a bit grumpy to start with, but the author won me over by the end of the book.

Jarvis does a pretty good job of pulling apart some of the things that Google has done and tries to apply it to other industries.

Google is perhaps give a bit too much credit as being the saviour of all businesses. Google got lucky with Adsense - it was a search company without a
Jan 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, audiobook
While the title implies that this is a book about the Internet, this book really covers a much broader topic: This is a book for all types of businesses; restaurants, airlines, real estate companies, computer manufacturers, you name it. Its subject is about figuring out what business a company is really in, and then serving its real customers. Many large companies flail around because they cannot decide on what their real products and services are. The book is about building trust in one's compa ...more
I love this book -- it is why I selected it for Federal News Radio 1500 AM's Federal News Radio Book Club next month.

In the end, this book isn't really about Google. It is about being agile and sharing information and how to operate in a very new and very competitive world.

I think it particularly speaks to government, which could use some new ways of thinking.

Not all of these ideas are brand new, but Jarvis does a good job building and adding to what has been out there... and fleshing out these
Tim Kubiak
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick easy read with a some interesting comparisons of how google and ultimately the internet will open up industries. There were several references to Clue Train Manifesto and many of the positions reminded me of segments of Wikinomics and Naked Conversations but still was worth the time to read.

If nothing else it will force you to look at inefficient business processes and the business of innovation itself.
Jacob Senholt
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, danish
Didn't have many expectations for this book, but it actually ended up giving me quite a few ideas. The last chapter on 'generation g', also brings up some interesting perspectives about the future of the modern world, and especially how technology changes the way we interact and think (resulting in future changes, 'power to the people' etc. as currently evidenced in the Arab Spring risings).
Michael Carnell
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Geeks, new media types, and business folks
Hard to give the one a rating. Jeff Jarvis is a brilliant guy and he has some really good insights into Google. The only problem is he tends to repeat himself in the book. Once his point is made, he makes it over and over again. I would recommend really reading the first third, lightly reading the second third, and skimming the final third.
Lindley Walter-smith
I managed to slog through this for a Coursera course, but it seems badly thought out and embarrassingly fanboyish about Google, Apple (for some reason) and himself (the whole Dell Hell thing), while gliding over any complications.
Dorthe Pedersen
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hørt som lydbog
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe a bit overoptimistic and too enthusiastic about technology but still an interesting read
Rushay Booysen
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book dissect how google and other technology platforms basically transformed everything as we know it.Was a real informative read and alters ones approach to conventional ism
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a stories of era – Google era and it bring some future trends connected with Google Business Model.

I expected more innovation minded approach and more inside stories from Google, but nevertheless I’m satisfied because it gives more market-oriented stories from present and recent past.

I’m the big fan of Google, and this is a book for people like me
Ahmed Al sanhani
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The rise of the Internet has profoundly changed the way business is conducted. Companies must embrace the new transparency this brings and start taking advantage of it by collaborating with their customers as well with each other. Small, nimble companies are on the rise to cater to the new, highly-fragmented market of niches."
Brandon Mullan
May 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just please, make it stop.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Jedna ubratá hviezdiečka ide zrejme na vrub zlému slovenskému prekladu.
Apr 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember the first time I went to Google for a search in high school. I specifically remember being impressed by how simple the home page layout was. This fact about Google has not changed. In an era where companies constantly change their image to gain more market share, Google has focused on simplicity. As Jarvis explains in What Would Google Do, simplicity, a quality product, strong customer relationships, and a company motto of 'Do no evil' have made Google one of the greatest driving forc ...more
Gatot Widayanto
Beberapa hari yang lalu saya mampir di toko buku Times di Pacific Place dan menemukan buku ini edisi paperback ukuran sedang, seperti novel dengan harga lumayan bersahabat, cukup Rp. 85.000,- dipotong diskon 10% karena saya member. Ini sebetulnya cetakan 2009 dan saya heran kenapa saya baru melihatnya karena biasanya buku seperti ini cukup menarik perhatian saya. Benar juga, ternyata saya sangat menikmati membaca buku ini mulai dari awal dan menelusuri beberapa bab di dalamnya. Gaya penyampaiann ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Google Rules 2 6 Oct 22, 2015 04:13AM  
PC Speak: Abney and Associates News - Google's Project Tango whips up new mapping tech 1 2 Feb 26, 2014 04:33PM  
Google books partner program 1 14 Aug 30, 2012 05:49PM  
  • The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture
  • Googled: The End of the World as We Know It
  • The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry)
  • Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
  • Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto
  • Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
  • Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business
  • Google+ for Business: How Google's Social Network Changes Everything
  • The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia
  • I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
  • Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync?
  • The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Time
  • Google Speaks: Secrets of the Worlds Greatest Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page
  • Your Money: The Missing Manual
  • Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science
  • The Google Way: How One Company Is Revolutionizing Management as We Know It
  • The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World
Jeff Jarvis is an American journalist writing for publications such as New York Daily News, the San Francisco Examiner, and The Guardian. In 2006 he became an associate professor at City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, directing its new media program. He is a co-host on This Week in Google, a show on the TWiT Network.

Picture by Robert Scoble
More about Jeff Jarvis...

Share This Book

“Memorization is not as vital a discipline as fulfilling curiosity with research and reasoning.....Internet and Google literacy should be taught to help students vet facts and judge reliability.” 8 likes
“Writing in Library Journal, Ben Vershbow of the Institute for the Future of Book envisioned a digital ecology in which "parts of books will reference parts of other books. Books will be woven toghether out of components in remote databases and servers." Kevin Kelly wrote in The New York times Magagzine: "In the the new world of books, every bit informs another; every page reads all the other pages.” 5 likes
More quotes…