A revealing, forward-looking examination of the outsize influence Google has had on the changing media Landscape.
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 sauce? of 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.
Two Googles emerge in this savvy profile of the Internet search octopus. The first is the actual company, with its mixture of business acumen and na ve idealism ("Don't Be Evil" is the corporate slogan); its brilliant engineering feats and grad-students-at-play company culture; its geek founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, two billionaires who imbibe their antiestablishment rectitude straight from Burning Man; its pseudo-altruistic quest to offer all the world's information for free while selling all the world's advertising at a hefty profit. The second Google is a monstrous metaphor for all the creative destruction that the Internet has wrought on the crumbling titans of old media, who find themselves desperately wondering how they will make money off of news, music, video and books now that people can Google up all these things without paying a dime. The first Google makes for a standard-issue tech-industry grunge-to-riches business story, its main entertainment value being Brin's and Page's comical lack of social graces. But New Yorker columnist Auletta (World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies) makes the second Google a starting point for a sharp and probing analysis of the apocalyptic upheavals in the media and entertainment industries.
This book was interesting and informative. Well written and easy to read as the writer keeps the topic exciting.
Google the media titan
This book gives a good historical overview of Google from it's inception at Stanford University through about 2009. It present Google as a slayer of old media and advertising firms, whose downfall was due to their hubris with respect to new media companies. The book does not give a very exhaustive treatment of Google as a technology firm, instead only glossing over the technical details. Granted that Google derives a vast majority of its income from AdSense and AdWords, it would have been nice to see what else is in the vast Google technology portfolio.
Of note, I believe this is the only history of Google where the author was given access to Larry, Sergey, and Eric, so you can trust that the author used primary sources and not just anecdotes from secondary sources.
THE Google Book
This - book - was - awesome.
At first glance I thought this book was going to be a commercial offering on the "it" company today. The cover art and subtitle do not do justice to the rich research and insider accounts you get in this book.
I got this book to find out how Googles business worked, and ended up getting that plus how their whole industry works as well as where the industry is going.
Auletta, like only a few journalists can, got lengthy access to ALL the Google principles, past and present, friend and foe. Auletta takes you from the Stanford classrooms, to the Palo Alto garage, all the way to the Googleplex by telling you stories rather than boring you with a mind numbing chronology.
Auletta is always mindful to tell the other side, but I really couldn't help feeling allied with Google as they and other tech companies advanced a revolutionary front against Sumner Redstone and the decepticons of "the traditional media". The book is worth it if not just for the interviews he got with Googles "frenemies".