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The Google Story by David A. Vise (Author)

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There is an old saying that probably should be updated. "Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door...right after it Google's you to find how to get there." The Google Story:Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Time was as captivating as the story of Google. Arguably, a member of the second wave of technology that took the freedoms discovered in the personal computing revolution, Google helped us understand the power of the information super-highway, and showed us how to use it.

Founded in 1998, Google was born into a market already rich in search engines - Excite, Lycos, Alta Vista, YAHOO! and AOL. "Internet portal" was the catch phrase de jour, and learning how to use the day's latest advancement, as well as how to create profit from it were daily inventions. Google had a secret sauce - page rank, that not only showed the results of a search, but also which hits were most likely to be relevant.

It was very strange reading about a time and place I was a part of, even if on the outskirts, and combining my memories with the historical feel of the book that often allowed me to see Google's story the I would any other ancient story that took place before my birth.

Nearly unimaginable in scope and pace, the exponential growth of knowledge makes yesterday seem like a century ago, and last year an eon in the past. I enjoyed the story, and it will be interesting to see what tomorrow's volume will bring. ( )
  lanewillson | Jan 9, 2014 |
Nice story. Nice to know about their journey to become the best. But the detailed story is not given, only the overview. ( )
  himasnhu_mishra | Jan 25, 2013 |
Google has become a household word - not just the name of a company, but a verb. Anytime my kids have a question that I can't answer, they google it. This book tells the story of how Google came to be the company that it is today. From a graduate student office at Stanford, Sergey Brin and Larry Page developed a new way of searching the Internet that provided results based on a complex algorithm. Although they took an unconventional approach to business, their company exploded. In this book, we are on the front lines, watching as Google grows. From the origin of Google Doodles to the birth of Gmail to the initial public offering, we see the tension between an innovation and growth. It's an interesting story that will make you more aware of all that goes into your Google search. ( )
  porch_reader | Dec 7, 2012 |
This otherwise remarkable short history of Google gets some points deducted for its hubris-laced introduction, which starts off with this opening line:

"Not since Gutenberg invented the modern printing press more than 500 years ago, making books and scientific tomes affordable and widely available to the masses, has any new invention empowered individuals, and transformed access to information, as profoundly as Google."

I almost put the book down right there. I love and use Google almost daily, but seriously? The company was only seven years old at the time this book was published. The arrogance of this statement taints the origin story of one of the global economy's leading companies.

If you can stomach or ignore the introduction, The Google Story is a fine read. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Nov 4, 2012 |
To be honest, I read "I'm Feeling Lucky" (which is a story about working at Google told by a guy who worked in the marketing department at Google) before I wrote a review.. So that is kind of overshadowing "the Google Story". I listened to the Audio version of "the Google Story" and was interested the whole time, but not dying to continue listening every chance I got. ( )
  amilynnhoward | May 12, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vise, David A.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Malseed, MarkAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Griese, FriedrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maniez, FrançoisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rullkötter, BerndTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553383663, Paperback)

Social phenomena happen, and the historians follow. So it goes with Google, the latest star shooting through the universe of trend-setting businesses. This company has even entered our popular lexicon: as many note, "Google" has moved beyond noun to verb, becoming an action which most tech-savvy citizens at the turn of the twenty-first century recognize and in fact do, on a daily basis. It's this wide societal impact that fascinated authors David Vise and Mark Malseed, who came to the book with well-established reputations in investigative reporting. Vise authored the bestselling The Bureau and the Mole, and Malseed contributed significantly to two Bob Woodward books, Bush at War and Plan of Attack. The kind of voluminous research and behind-the-scenes insight in which both writers specialize, and on which their earlier books rested, comes through in The Google Story.

The strength of the book comes from its command of many small details, and its focus on the human side of the Google story, as opposed to the merely academic one. Some may prefer a dryer, more analytic approach to Google's impact on the Internet, like The Search or books that tilt more heavily towards bits and bytes on the spectrum between technology and business, like The Singularity is Near. Those wanting to understand the motivations and personal growth of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt, however, will enjoy this book. Vise and Malseed interviewed over 150 people, including numerous Google employees, Wall Street analysts, Stanford professors, venture capitalists, even Larry Page's Cub Scout leader, and their comprehensiveness shows.

As the narrative unfolds, readers learn how Google grew out of the intellectually fertile and not particularly directed friendship between Page and Brin; how the founders attempted to peddle early versions of their search technology to different Silicon Valley firms for $1 million; how Larry and Sergey celebrated their first investor's check with breakfast at Burger King; how the pair initially housed their company in a Palo Alto office, then eventually moved to a futuristic campus dubbed the "Googleplex"; how the company found its financial footing through keyword-targeted Web ads; how various products like Google News, Froogle, and others were cooked up by an inventive staff; how Brin and Page proved their mettle as tough businessmen through negotiations with AOL Europe and their controversial IPO process, among other instances; and how the company's vision for itself continues to grow, such as geographic expansion to China and cooperation with Craig Venter on the Human Genome Project.

Like the company it profiles, The Google Story is a bit of a wild ride, and fun, too. Its first appendix lists 23 "tips" which readers can use to get more utility out of Google. The second contains the intelligence test which Google Research offers to prospective job applicants, and shows the sometimes zany methods of this most unusual business. Through it all, Vise and Malseed synthesize a variety of fascinating anecdotes and speculation about Google, and readers seeking a first draft of the history of the company will enjoy an easy read. --Peter Han

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:26 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In 1998, Moscow-born Sergey Brin and Midwest-born Larry Page dropped out of graduate school at Stanford University to, in their own words, "change the world" through a search engine that would organize every bit of information on the Web for free. While the company has done exactly that, Google's quest continues as it seeks to add millions of library books, television broadcasts, and more to its searchable database. Readers will learn about the business acumen and computer wizardry that started the company on its astonishing course; the secret network of computers delivering lightning-fast search results; the unorthodox approach that has enabled it to challenge Microsoft's dominance and shake up Wall Street. Even as it rides high, Google wrestles with difficult choices that will enable it to continue expanding while sustaining the guiding vision of its founders' mantra: Do no evil.--From publisher description.… (more)

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