# Highly Recommended 《Bran-New + Hardcover Edition + Examines The Evolution of Google's Philosophy, Business Ethics, Future Plans & Impact On Society, And Internet》Ken Auletta - GOOGLED : The End of the World as We Know It
This International and New York Times bestseller in hardcover edition is a bran-new book and still wrapped with new-book plastic wrapper. The original new book is sold at usual price RM108.19 (Hardcover). Now here Only at RM25. "The fullest account yet of the rise of one of the most profitable, most powerful, and oddest businesses the world has ever seen." -San Francisco Chronicle Just eleven years old, Google has profoundly transformed the way we live and work-we've all been Googled. Esteemed media writer Ken Auletta uses the story of Google's rise to explore the future of media at large. This book is based on the most extensive cooperation ever granted a journalist, including access to closed-door meetings and interviews with industry legends, including Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Marc Andreessen, and media guru "Coach" Bill Campbell. Auletta's unmatched analysis, vivid details, and rich anecdotes illuminate how the Google wave grew, how it threatens to drown media institutions, and where it's taking us next. A revealing, forward-looking examination of the outsize influence Google has had on the changing media Landscape. It examines the evolution of Google as a company, its philosophy, business ethics, future plans and impact on society, the world of business and the Internet. There are companies that create waves and those that ride or are drowned by them. As only he can, bestselling author Ken Auletta takes readers for a ride on the Google wave, telling the story of how it formed and crashed into traditional media businesses from newspapers to books, to television, to movies, to telephones, to advertising, to Microsoft. 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, Auletta reveals how the industry is being disrupted and redefined. Using Google as a stand-in for the digital revolution, Auletta takes readers inside Google's closed-door meetings and paints portraits of Google's notoriously private founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as well as those who work with , and against them. In his narrative, Auletta provides the fullest account ever told of Google's rise, shares the secret sauceof Google's success, and shows why the worlds of new and old media often communicate as if residents of different planets. Google engineers start from an assumption that the old ways of doing things can be improved and made more efficient, an approach that has yielded remarkable results. Google will generate about $20 billion in advertising revenues this year, or more than the combined prime-time ad revenues of CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX. And with its ownership of YouTube and its mobile phone and other initiatives, Google CEO Eric Schmidt tells Auletta his company is poised to become the world's first $100 billion media company. Yet there are many obstacles that threaten Google's future, and opposition from media companies and government regulators may be the least of these. Google faces internal threats, from its burgeoning size to losing focus to hubris. In coming years, Google's faith in mathematical formulas and in slide rule logic will be tested, just as it has been on Wall Street. Distilling the knowledge accrued from a career of covering the media, Auletta will offer insights into what we know, and don't know, about what the future holds for the imperiled industry. For his book, Auletta interviewed one hundred and fifty people related to Google and an equal number of persons unrelated to the company, including top media company executives. Auletta uses Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Purloined Letter to describe the attitude of the executives of the traditional media companies toward Google, and illustrate the belated recognition of Google's power by mainstream media. He suggests that in a similar fashion to the prefect in Poe's story who could not locate the letter although it was in plain sight, it took the media company executives until 2004, when Google issued its initial public offering, to first realise the magnitude of Google's digital power. Auletta uses the term "frenemies" to describe the attitude of the traditional media companies as well as Microsoft toward Google, as they try to cooperate with the company despite their adversarial and mistrustful relationship. 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. 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 written about before in other books and articles, but there are also a substantial number of new, untold accounts. In particular, we get a better idea of who were the important early investors in Google and the order in which they supported the fledgling company. Several not-so-famous high-level operatives are profiled who had a substantial influence on Google's development. However, even though these profiles are not the typical puff-pieces that have come to dominate the popular business press, they are not all that critical and candid either. From the point of view of writing an interesting story this is somewhat to be expected. The triumvirate that runs Google despite their incredible business success is composed of three very geeky individuals that don't necessarily have the most exciting personalities. On the other hand certain other highly visible members of the Google hierarchy perform rather obscure functions in the company that are hard to get too excited about from the outsider's point of view. None of the books about Google that have come out so far provide us with the intriguing stories of what is really going on inside Google - clashing personalities, conflicting projects, dazzling new ideas, development dead ends, etc. This is particularly noticeable when comparing books about Google to books about some other prominent technology companies - Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. Apple in particular, even though infamous for the level of secrecy, has enjoyed a spate of recent books and articles that reveal much more about its product development and internal affairs than any one of the books about Google that are out there. There are a couple more weaknesses of this book from the point of view of content. Google is a company that prides itself above all on its technology, and yet you will find very little in terms of technological details in this book. Even if you are not someone who is intrigued by technology, it would be important to read about some more prominent technological aspects of Google, at least in order to put Google's success in context. Most technology companies don't succeed, and this is particularly true of search engines, and it would be important to understand what are the technical advantages that Google has that keep it so well ahead of all of its competitors. The other big problem that I had with this book is that it provides an inordinate amount of space to other companies and business developments in recent years. In particular, Auletta seems to be very fascinated with the media business and the rapid changes that have been happening to it in recent few years. For instance, the newspaper industry is going through what could be the greatest evolution in its history, and this book tries to give this change a perspective. Google and other internet companies are the key players in this transformation, and it is important to understand how newspapers and Google are influencing each other. However, Auletta doesn't seem to be able to strike the right balance and he dedicates more coverage to the industry that he is undoubtedly more familiar with - newspapers. Overall, despite its flaws, this is very interesting book to read as long as you don't expect to learn too much about Google proper. ------------------------------------------------- Review From The Guardian Google's mix of innocence and arrogance has served it well so far. But this book suggests the future may not be so simple, says John Lanchester No company in history has grown as fast as Google. This is a matter of money – within 400 weeks of its founding, it was earning revenues of $20bn a year – but also of reach. The 1998 start-up has reached deep into the everyday experience of millions, put itself in the centre of the internet culture that is defining the new century, and had a disruptive impact on some industries and a potentially terminal one on others: advertising, television, newspapers, telephony, and publishing. From a technological and economic point of view, Google is one of the wonders of the world. That's not the same thing as saying it is an unequivocal force for good. With most companies, that caveat would be a side issue, but since Google's mission statement is "Don't be evil", and since the founder's letter which accompanied its share prospectus stated an ambition to "make the world a better place" six times in eight pages, people hold it to a higher standard. A good book, David Vise's The Google Story, has already been written about the early years of the company. Now, though, Google has grown so big and so powerful that the moment for simple gee-whizzery is past. Ken Auletta, one of America's best business journalists, has turned his attention on the firm, with particular reference to the challenges it faces. Many of these bear on the tension between the company's good intentions and the actual consequences of what it does. In Googled, Auletta identifies one central, crucial characteristic of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the company's founders. They don't ask for permission: they do the thing they want to do, and rely on the fact that people will understand the point of it afterwards. This goes right back to the earliest days of Google. Search engines don't actually search the internet itself: if they did, the net would grind to a halt under the effect of all the searches being made. This is spectacularly true today, when Google makes three billion searches every day, but it was true even at the beginnings of the net. What Google does instead is make a copy of the entire internet – everything they can get access to – store it on their own servers, and then index it. It is this index that Google searches. In addition, the company keeps a copy of every search ever made, which in turn speeds up subsequent searches. The computer power involved is unimaginably huge. Google won't reveal the figures, so all we know is that it involves millions of bog-standard PCs cabled together. Note the key fact: the basic move in Google's rise to dominance was copying stuff without asking. Don't ask for permission, and rely on the fact that people will love the results when they see them. This model has stood the company in very good stead, but it plainly involves an attitude in which innocence and arrogance are emulsified together. Auletta is very good on this: the complete sincerity of the Googlers' good intentions, blended with their oblivious indifference to other people's perspectives. There are examples of this on virtually every page of Googled. A small but telling one came with Gmail, the company's email programme, which offered users a then-unprecedented gigabyte of free storage. When it first arrived, Gmail had no delete button. All your emails were stored for ever. Larry Page was insistent on the point, and wanted to teach people that there was so much free space that there was now no need to delete anything. But the inability to delete freaked users out, and Google grudgingly put a small delete button on the page. Not a big issue, but one pointing to a cultural gap between engineers who are certain they are right, and customers who persist in wanting what they want. Google is often written about as a ra-ra success story, but Googled is a surprisingly downbeat book. Auletta looks at the company in its pomp, and sees problems and threats everywhere. At one point in 2008, Google was offering 150 products. Only one – targeted advertising – made real money. Some of them cost a huge amount: YouTube, for instance, lost $500m in 2009. For most companies, half a billion dollars is quite a lot to lose – and that hasn't been Google's only problem. The two hottest things on the net over the past few years, Facebook and Twitter, have both been social-networking sites – a trend that Google missed. The company's activities in China, and its public agonising about them, made them look as if they put profits above ethics, but wanted to be admired for feeling uncomfortable about the fact. At the same time, the violation of copyright involved in Google's programme to digitise books has caused a bitter backlash. That was an example of the no-permission policy going badly wrong, because as Brin told Auletta, if they had asked authors and publishers, "we might not have done the project". That's interesting to learn, and it's also interesting that the book-scanning machine used was built by Larry Page himself, as the "20 per cent" project he undertook in the time the company gives engineers to work on their own ideas. It would be nice to see one of these machines, but Google won't reveal anything about them – they never give anything at all away about their own technology. That's an issue. Google's mission is "to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", but that doesn't extend to its own intellectual property, which it guards with ferocity. As its share prospectus says: "Our patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and all of other intellectual property rights are important assets for us... any significant impairment to our intellectual property rights could harm our business or our ability to compete." That's true, but it is hypocritical to pretend that the same isn't true for everybody else. Auletta's superbly reported book is fair and balanced but it offers little to contradict the view that the company has little understanding of the businesses it is trying to disrupt. There is a vivid moment when Brin tells Auletta, apropos Googled, that "people don't buy books" and "you might as well put it online. More people will read it and get excited about it". Auletta points out the failure of early attempts to do that, and then goes on to grill Brin: "Following Google's business model, would he expect authors to generate their income by selling advertising in their books? If there was no advance from a publisher, who would pay to cover the writer's travel expenses? (I made 13 week-long round trips to Google [in California] from New York, rented a car, stayed at hotels, and paid for dinner interviews most nights.) With no publisher, who would edit and copyedit the book, and how would they get paid? Who would pay lawyers to vet it? Who would hire people to market the book so that all those potential online readers could discover it? The usually voluble Brin grew quiet, ready to change the subject." I'll bet he did.
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