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01/19/2011

Book Review: Googled


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GoogledGoogled: The End of the World As We Know It is one of the best business books I have read. With an extensive knowledge of the tech industry and exceptional writing skills, Ken Auletta takes an in-depth look at a company that has transformed the Internet.

“[A] company that questions everything and believes in acting without permission,” Google “has succeeded like few companies before.” Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin—both having an elite education and an early fascination with computers—are archetypes of the whiz kid turned business creator. Modern-day John D. Rockefellers, Page and Brin “always assumed Google would be a defining company.” Like Facebook, Google is a prime example of how quickly a tech company can achieve dominance in the market.

Googled chronicles the dramatic success of a business that has become an important part of almost everyone’s life. But beyond that, it offers several lessons in managing a rapidly growing company. It explores the role that venture capitalists play in convincing the founders to bring in a CEO; the challenges that the CEO faces in connecting with the corporate culture; the lengthy recruitment interview process; and the role of a corporate coach in internal communication.

Google enters “fields where [it] can scale.” The financial press is full of stories of Google’s influence on newspapers, TV networks, movie studios, advertising agencies, web marketing companies, and even mobile smart phones. Auletta divides companies into two groups: the few who create waves, including Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft, and the many who drown in them. No company can be dominant forever, but Google is likely to be creating waves far into the future.

–Bill Hayes

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