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What Would Google Do?

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Learning from successful organizations

Well-written with disarming clarity, I read this book in small doses so I could think about what he was saying. I like books that make me at least consider something new and this one definitely does this.

Although I read quietly for the most part, I startled...
Well-written with disarming clarity, I read this book in small doses so I could think about what he was saying. I like books that make me at least consider something new and this one definitely does this.

Although I read quietly for the most part, I startled myself when I heard a hearty "I wish" as I read the chapter on Google U. I was so surprised to learn Jeff himself is part of the tenured faculty. I suspect I'd enjoy being in his class. And I would never have guessed he was in academia from the readability of this book. Academia so often prefers to use 1,000 words when 10 would do.

I also wholeheartedly agree with his comment about it is now time for our government to be open, searchable and linkable by default. So much waste would be challenged and reduced, any citizen could do their part with nothing more than common sense, a computer and the internet.

More than anything, this book helped me see the web is a place where I can start small and still have something to contribute. I not only enjoyed the book, it changed some of my thinking in ways I never expected.

posted by Aradanryl on February 14, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

What would Jeff Jarvis do?

In this book Jeff Jarvis attempts to dissect why Google has become the fastest growing company in the history of the planet. He studies their laws and ethos and then applies it to other industries, showing how they can `googlify' themselves for the post internet world. ...
In this book Jeff Jarvis attempts to dissect why Google has become the fastest growing company in the history of the planet. He studies their laws and ethos and then applies it to other industries, showing how they can `googlify' themselves for the post internet world. To many extents this book succeeds, except for a couple of major failings.

I regularly listen to Jeff on Leo Laporte's Twit (This Week in Tech) network which is worth seeking out if you're not aware of it, where he shows he is the right author for this book. He has years of experience in the entertainment and internet industry and has a deep understanding of Google's methods.

I had high hopes for this title, that I would walk away enlightened, with new business ideas. I did. However I'm not as sure of them as I perhaps should be. You see Jeff explains why `everything should be searchable and linkable', why `you can't beat free', why `atoms are the old method, internet is the new'. So why is Jeff publishing this as a book, not a free, advert supported eBook or a website? Money, that's why. He says it himself in the book. So if you can't practice what you preach (and it's very preachy), why should I believe your other advice Jeff? Is your book not available free online because that method doesn't work? Because it isn't viable?

Jeff talks about web content and how the mass of niches will beat the old system - being able to find what you want rather than being told. Which is accurate, but he largely ignores the argument of quality over quantity, that the mass of niches will only work if great content is produced and wins out. For the most part he ignores that the reason Google succeeds is because they make great quality products for free. How many people can afford to do that? Not Jeff, he's got my money.

Lastly, he talks about the power of the masses, the bloggers, how customer services (CS) is everything. How a company should spend it's money on CS, not advertising, let your fans be your adverts. Fine point. But if that happened, Google, who's revenue stream is advertising, would die a horrible death.

There is much to like about this book. It really does give a good snapshot of how marketing and the internet is changing and should be read by every CEO to understand the power great products and good customer service. Just don't expect it to change your business models, yet.

posted by iamdavebowers on April 9, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2010

    Jimenez

    Jeff Jarvis offers his insight on how businesses should run according to his 40 rules based on how Google became so successful. He explains how companies are still thinking in the old ways of hiding things from the customers and that nowadays those things won't work well with people who can now pull up Google and search it. Jarvis talks about how businesses need to be more open like Google in order to survive and make better products. Although Jarvis elaborates on how to be more like Google he goes on and on about the same thing and ultimately it gets boring and this is what bring the book down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    What would Jeff Jarvis do?

    In this book Jeff Jarvis attempts to dissect why Google has become the fastest growing company in the history of the planet. He studies their laws and ethos and then applies it to other industries, showing how they can `googlify' themselves for the post internet world. To many extents this book succeeds, except for a couple of major failings.

    I regularly listen to Jeff on Leo Laporte's Twit (This Week in Tech) network which is worth seeking out if you're not aware of it, where he shows he is the right author for this book. He has years of experience in the entertainment and internet industry and has a deep understanding of Google's methods.

    I had high hopes for this title, that I would walk away enlightened, with new business ideas. I did. However I'm not as sure of them as I perhaps should be. You see Jeff explains why `everything should be searchable and linkable', why `you can't beat free', why `atoms are the old method, internet is the new'. So why is Jeff publishing this as a book, not a free, advert supported eBook or a website? Money, that's why. He says it himself in the book. So if you can't practice what you preach (and it's very preachy), why should I believe your other advice Jeff? Is your book not available free online because that method doesn't work? Because it isn't viable?

    Jeff talks about web content and how the mass of niches will beat the old system - being able to find what you want rather than being told. Which is accurate, but he largely ignores the argument of quality over quantity, that the mass of niches will only work if great content is produced and wins out. For the most part he ignores that the reason Google succeeds is because they make great quality products for free. How many people can afford to do that? Not Jeff, he's got my money.

    Lastly, he talks about the power of the masses, the bloggers, how customer services (CS) is everything. How a company should spend it's money on CS, not advertising, let your fans be your adverts. Fine point. But if that happened, Google, who's revenue stream is advertising, would die a horrible death.

    There is much to like about this book. It really does give a good snapshot of how marketing and the internet is changing and should be read by every CEO to understand the power great products and good customer service. Just don't expect it to change your business models, yet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Learning from successful organizations

    Well-written with disarming clarity, I read this book in small doses so I could think about what he was saying. I like books that make me at least consider something new and this one definitely does this. <BR/><BR/>Although I read quietly for the most part, I startled myself when I heard a hearty "I wish" as I read the chapter on Google U. I was so surprised to learn Jeff himself is part of the tenured faculty. I suspect I'd enjoy being in his class. And I would never have guessed he was in academia from the readability of this book. Academia so often prefers to use 1,000 words when 10 would do.<BR/><BR/>I also wholeheartedly agree with his comment about it is now time for our government to be open, searchable and linkable by default. So much waste would be challenged and reduced, any citizen could do their part with nothing more than common sense, a computer and the internet. <BR/><BR/>More than anything, this book helped me see the web is a place where I can start small and still have something to contribute. I not only enjoyed the book, it changed some of my thinking in ways I never expected.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    WWGD

    WWGD - What would Google Do - is a book about the new ways that internet is changing our lives, and how the best to benefit from it. Despite its title, this is not a book about Google, at least not in a sense that it makes any effort to deeply analyze and try to explain in nonobvious terms the source of Google's success. Recently I came across a picture online which depicts a small store somewhere in India that without any shame or sense of propriety named itslef "Google." Google has indeed become a global fenomenon and one of the strongest brands in the world, and it is not surprising to find people trying to profit from being associated with it in any way imaginable. After reading this book, one can't help feel that the use of Google was a similar ploy on the part of the author. The book is filled with case studies and examples of where an online company supposedly benefited from emulating a "Google" model of doing things, even when that connection is tenuous at best. Oftentimes, as in the case of Facebook for instance, this is downright ridiculous: Facebook is lauded for opening up its application development system, while in fact Facebook is a paragon of the "old" way of approaching content on the internet - a closed garden, not an open platform. Although there are indeed many problems with the way that many old online companies were doing business, it is far from clear that the Google model is a panacea that fits every company and internet technology business model equally well. In fact, to this day Google has been unequivocally successful at doing exactly one thing - search.

    The book also suffers from not having a clear focus. There are many interesting and novel ides thrown around, but it is unclear what ties them all together. The writing style is fairly accessible and if you want to read something from one of the insides of the new online media world, this would be as good a read as they come. But don't expect to get any concrete ideas about either the inside scoop on how Google works or for your next business venture. One gets a sense that the author has absorbed way too much jargon and hype in order for this to happen.

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  • Posted November 8, 2010

    Getting started on a business? Check this out!

    Using Google's success, Jarvis creates rules for people in the business world. By using his strategies and taking it into your own business, internet and even in the real world, you will be guaranteed success. Thus being said, one of the rules stated is that if you give your costumers the power to help improve your product they will be more interested in promoting it. Jarvis makes it clear that we are in an era where society is greatly evolved around the internet. For example, if Google says something poorly about your company, thousands, even millions of people will think poorly about your company. In all, anyone interested in how the internet has become such an huge impact on companies and businesses and how they are now going to better from it or anyone looking to start their own business, definitely take a look at this book!

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  • Posted November 8, 2010

    2/5 stars (C+)

    I enjoyed this book, although I felt that Jarvis was extremely repetitive and explained things that were unnecessary. I found myself bored while reading this book several times, and almost forcing an interest of the book. I thought Jarvis was creative with his analogies of Google, and how monumental the search engine has become to this generation, although I did find some of his points to be contradictory. Jarvis maintained a strong theme of the importance of the website, but attempted to aim at the re-evaluation of one's perspective of the world. The book was mainly focused on the benefits of Google, rather than obtaining a new approach on life.

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  • Posted November 2, 2010

    mr jay

    Jarvis begins by analyzing modern culture and the effects that the internet has had. Google is the most successful and fast-growing company of our day, and has had a huge effect on how people think and live. He then breaks down the company's structure, and extracts "rules" that other industries should follow in order to be successful. Jarvis also explores innovative ideas for the future, examines many current businesses, and concentrates the reader's thought-process to match that of the creators of Google.

    The message that Jarvis portrays is that our society is shaped around and reliant on the internet. I do agree with him, and see it even in my own life. My internet home page is, in fact, Google, and I have found the internet to be more of a necessity than a luxury. My favorite part of the book was Jarvis' innovative ideas for the future, rather than his theories of how an industry can thrive. I find business to be very boring, and because that was all that this book was about, it was not my favorite read.

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  • Posted March 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Insightful analysis of the Google goliath

    Google is the world's most widely used search engine. Its users conduct hundreds of millions of searches daily, many pursuing links from corporate ads. Each time you click on a company's paid link, Google makes money. Already one of the best-known corporations on the planet, Google continues to grow tremendously as it sets the paradigm for booming Internet commerce. Author Jeff Jarvis explains what makes Google and other successful Web companies tick, and what your company can learn from its strategic concepts. He explains how to use a set of Internet business axioms he dubs the "Google Rules." getAbstract finds (with little searching) that Jarvis provides an essential corporate road map for this era of radical change.

    To learn more about this book, check out the following link: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/12005/what-would-google-do.html

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Jeff Jarvis has done a great job of presenting a thought-provoking premise: What would Google do? ... even if he has to credit Google with transformations and transitions which were truly catalyzed by the broader impact of the Internet.

    Jeff Jarvis has done a great job of presenting a thought-provoking premise: What would Google do? ... even if he has to credit Google with transformations and transitions which were truly catalyzed by the broader impact of the Internet. No, Al Gore did not invent Google.

    "What would Google do?" is at its best describing Google culture, vision and world-view; it is much less valuable when the adjunct professor in Jarvis tries to ascribe too much to the already large impact wrought by Google. Unlike Google, which clearly knows what it is and is not -- the great assembler and provider of, in co-founder Sergey Brin's term, "elegant organization," -- Jarvis tries to claim everything else for Google, as well. Jarvis seems only slightly more impressed with Google then he is with himself and his (too) often cited blog, Buzzmachine.

    Important world views of abundance v. scarcity; freedom v. restriction; empowerment v. control, which Jarvis gives to Google, are in fact, benefits and opportunities presented by the Internet that are available to all of our endeavours in this digital age. Asking yourself where you/your organization sits on these various polarities is a uniquely urgent question. Its implications, in fact, are more important to society then to individual organizations. Think: education, health care, poverty, climate and terrorism, for starters.

    There are great lessons for businesses, nonprofits and governments in "What would Google do? ... and certainly, as we start the second decade of our new millenium ... there could be far worse models to benchmark than Google. However, two core questions which the book poses -- what business are you in? and are you genuinely pleasing your customers? -- are asked by any great enterprise. In fact, it is excellence in asking/answering these two questions, that are at the core of the success of the company Jarvis cites as the "Un-Google" -- Apple. Thus, Apple is the worm in Jarvis' all-things-to-Google premise

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    The Big Rich by Bryan Burrough

    The author of Barbarians at the Gate has written another spell binding history, this time of the rise of the oil wealth in Texas. The characters are fascinating and Burrough manages to tell the story so that they come alive. A great read!

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  • Posted July 6, 2009

    Great book to read!

    Very interesting.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    WWGD is a must read for any serious entrepreneur and their team

    I loved the premise, and found the approach to be jarring in the most positive way. If you want to really push the envelope with a business for the 21st Century, you owe it to yourself to read this, and now.

    We've now bought several copies, all our senior team have read it, and we've created several projects as a direct result of the issues explored.

    I especially like the "how does it apply to other businesses" back half of the book.

    We're using it to help take us public, and re-structure two of our four divisions at Parmasters, and likely the other two will follow suit shortly.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    A Look Ahead...

    Jarvis captures much of what Google has accomplished to-date, but more importantly, he lays out (in an understandable style) the thought processes behind their success, and the implications for the future (both inside & out of the world of technology). Weaving in other early Internet success stores (Facebook, for example), he links the "distributed platform" concept with the concept of "elegant organization."

    Anyone interested in how all of these companies (with Google at the forefront) are likely to impact each of our lives (now & in the future) will find this to be a fascinating read (not to mention a quick & easy read, for all of us who are pressed for time).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    Collaborate and Simplify

    In today's world of digital human interaction, branding of one's self is not only manageable, but perhaps necessary. Jeff Jarvis, provides both a compelling argument for why this is so as well as some easy to follow insight into how the reader can and should capitalize on today's technology to optimize both their own individual brand and that of their organization.

    Using Web 2.0 platforms effectively can reap wonderful rewards. Not using Web 2.0 might be just as detrimental as using it ineffectively.

    In addition, Mr. Jarvis also awakens one's mind to the importance of really paying attention to what one's critic are saying. Even more important, if you are a company, you had better be listening to - or reading - what your angry customers are saying and reacting promptly and appropriately.
    The pen may be mightier than the sword, but today, the keyboard is the mightiest of them all.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "Give us control, we will use it, and you will win."

    What Would Google Do? is Jeff Jarvis's marvelous analysis of how the internet(not just google)is changing the world and shows what all businesses not just internet businesses should do to become successful. Such strategies like your worst customer is your best friend, be a platform, and how to make successful mistakes. If there is a major theme I would take away from this book is that if you give your customers control they will use it and you will come out ahead. To put it simply if you give your customers power to give suggestions and the ability to use and help improve your product and service they will become more interested in your product and promote your product. I personally found this book to be a wonderful thought provoking novel that constantly had me thinking about each chapter. The only dislike I could think of this book was that Jarvis tends to ramble slightly throughout the book but if you stay with him he will bring you back to point. Everyone I think should read this book, its a very intelligent book that kept me entertained and opened my eyes to a different perspective of the world around me.

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    Posted March 13, 2010

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