Googled: The End of the World as We Know It

Overview


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 ...

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Overview


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.

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Editorial Reviews

Michiko Kakutani
Googled depicts the company as a brilliant, game-changing behemoth that can be socially inept, and both naive and arrogant in its dealings with the world. The book, more fair-minded reportage than a polemic, leaves us with a telling portrait of a paradigm-altering company, which in 11 years has utterly transformed the business and media landscape, but which also suffers at times from the sort of myopia that comes from determinedly left-brain thinking—that is, a scientific-engineering driven point of view that prizes data, efficiency and growth while often overlooking more human and political concerns like privacy and copyright.
—The New York Times
Nicholson Baker
…absorbing, shaggy…I read the book in three huge gulps and learned a lot—about Google's "cold war" with Facebook, about Google's tussles with Viacom, about Google's role in the "Yahoo-Microsoft melee" and about Google's gradual estrangement from its former ally, Apple…what Auletta mainly does is talk shop with C.E.O.'s, and that is the great strength of the book. Auletta seems to have interviewed every media chief in North America, and most of them are unhappy, one way or another, with what Google has become.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Auletta offers a comprehensive history of Google's meteoric rise, profiling its creators, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the initial team members, previous commentators on the organization, and Google's various competitors over the years. Jim Bond captures Auletta's tone admirably, tonally balancing fact and opinion within the book. Despite some vocal wavering, Bond commands our attention and sustains interest with pacing and emphasis that enable listeners to absorb the information effortlessly along with the significance of certain moments and individuals. A Penguin Press hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 24). (Nov.)
Library Journal
A corporate upstart just over a decade old, Google has wormed its way into our lives, our vocabulary, and even the hallowed halls of academe, with Internet dominance and multibillion-dollar advertising revenues that make it one of the largest media entities of all time. New Yorker media critic Auletta (Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way), who spent several years researching Google and interviewing hundreds of company and industry players, delivers the real scoop on how this Internet giant fits into the larger media landscape. His fascinating examination illuminates Google's world from just about every conceivable angle: competitive, legal, regulatory, cultural, and ethical. He wraps up with an assessment of where the behemoth might be headed but provides enough insight to allow readers to draw their own conclusions about Google and whether its emergence really does spell the end of the world as we know it. VERDICT While the Google phenomenon has spawned dozens of books, Auletta's years of research and firsthand access to insiders, critics, competitors, and commentators give readers a well-rounded perspective on the company and how it fits into the wider milieu.[See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/09.]—Carol J. Elsen, Univ. of Wisconsin Lib., Whitewater
Kirkus Reviews
The New Yorker's "Annals of Communication" columnist Auletta (Media Man: Ted Turner's Improbably Empire, 2004, etc.) goes behind the digital revolution to detail the past decade of astonishing growth at Google. The greatest fear of Microsoft's Bill Gates-"someone in a garage who is devising something completely new"-was realized in Stanford graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who parlayed their breakthrough search engine into an all-purpose threat to newspapers, books, television, movies, phones, advertising and even Microsoft. Page and Brin believe that their enlightened business practice of putting end users first reflects the firm's motto, "Don't be evil." Their tendency as engineers-to dismiss what cannot be objectively measured-has helped them undercut traditional advertising firms incapable of pinpointing the effectiveness of campaigns. It has also left them sometimes so hilariously deficient in emotional intelligence that, Auletta writes, they "naively believe that most mysteries, including the mysteries of human behavior, are unlocked with data." CEO Eric Schmidt has balanced their desire to move nimbly against the larger world's fears about privacy, copyright and antitrust issues. In a high-tech, high-wire act, Google has combined in-house initiatives and daring acquisitions, producing one innovation after another and aiming to become a $100 billion media company (more than twice the size of Time Warner, the Walt Disney Co. or News Corp.)-and battling legal moves from alarmed old-media rivals. While praising its innovations, Auletta criticizes the company for not living up to its ideals in, for instance, China, where it agreed to censor sites to assure access in theauthoritarian-controlled nation. Though not a vivid stylist, Auletta uncovers some endlessly colorful material and assesses its prospects critically but fairly-Google will thrive, he thinks, but they'd better guard against naivete and complacency. New York launch event. Tie-in to author's lecture schedule
Publishers Weekly
Auletta offers a comprehensive history of Google's meteoric rise, profiling its creators, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the initial team members, previous commentators on the organization, and Google's various competitors over the years. Jim Bond captures Auletta's tone admirably, tonally balancing fact and opinion within the book. Despite some vocal wavering, Bond commands our attention and sustains interest with pacing and emphasis that enable listeners to absorb the information effortlessly along with the significance of certain moments and individuals. A Penguin Press hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 24). (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441861009
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Format: Other
  • Edition description: Playaway Edition
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Auletta has written the Annals of Communications column for The New Yorker since 1992. He is the author of eight books, including THREE BLIND MICE: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way; GREED AND GLORY ON WALL STREET: The Fall of The House of Lehman; and WORLD WAR 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies. In naming him America's premier media critic, the Columbia Journalism Review said, "no other reporter has covered the new communications revolution as thoroughly as has Auletta." He lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Part 1 Different Planets

Chapter 1 Messing with the Magic 3

Part 2 The Google Story

Chapter 2 Starting in a Garage 27

Chapter 3 Buzz but Few Dollars (1999-2000) 46

Chapter 4 Prepping the Google Rocket (2001-2002) 66

Chapter 5 Innocence or Arrogance? (2002-2003) 94

Chapter 6 Google Goes Public (2004) 105

Chapter 7 The New Evil Empire? (2004-2005) 121

Part 3 Google Versus the Bears

Chapter 8 Chasing the Fox (2005-2006) 143

Chapter 9 War on Multiple Fronts (2007) 169

Chapter 10 Waking the Government Bear 186

Chapter 11 Google Enters Adolescence (2007-2008) 199

Chapter 12 Is "Old" Media Drowning? (2008) 228

Chapter 13 Compete or Collaborate? 242

Chapter 14 Happy Birthday (2008-2009) 262

Part 4 Googled

Chapter 15 Googled 281

Chapter 16 Where Is the Wave Taking Old Media? 296

Chapter 17 Where Is the Wave Taking Google? 322

Afterword 337

25 Business Maxims 345

Acknowledgments 371

Notes 373

Index 407

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Clear Examination of Google and Its Impact on Information Businesses

    This book effectively combines a biography of sorts that focuses on Google as a company, and on its impact on media specifically and the world more generally. Throughout its pages, Auletta offers readers stories from inside the company, and these stories effectively illustrate the culture of Google. In addition, Mr. Auletta effectively captures the personalities of the founders and other leaders of this company, which provides valuable insight in how Google has come to be the corporate powerhouse that it is. Auletta's book is a critical look at Google's rise of power, its business practices, and its powerful ambitions. It is a must read for anyone who wants to experience a portrait of a truly "disruptive" company that is still making waves in the world of modern media.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2010

    :] googledd.!!

    i really enjoyed reading this book, its very helpful for an economics class. It tells allot about how the company got started and some of the obstacles it had to face while getting to be at the point where it is now, the book contains allot of good information that not many people know, when i read the first chapter i was hooked and couldn't stop reading, it's absolutely amazingly well written.! :]

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Googled By Ken Auletta

    Ken Auletta has written a phenomenal book about Google. From the founding to the lawsuits as publishers screamed against Google Books, Ken Auletta has told it all. This thrilling yet informative book starts out with the two co-founders, Larry and Sergey meeting at Stanford. The two immediately bonded and went on to found one of the most successful companies ever to walk the planet. Auletta goes on to tell the tale of the corporation. As is often stated in Auletta's book, "The internet makes information available. Google makes information accessible. He makes a compelling and innovative story which tells the tale of the company that revolutionized the world of search. Google.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    A BOOK FOR OUR TIME

    Mr. Auletta's reputation and seat at the New Yorker give him unprecedented access to his subjects. His skill as an interviewer generates answers that permit him insights missing elsewhere in the oft trod ground of the growing Google empire. The rapid development of Google and the unusual personalities and relationship between its two founders are the driving force of 3/4 of the book. In Part 4 that carries the title of the book GOOGLED, the author marshals his years of media reporting and writes with nuance as he looks into the next chapters of our increasingly Googled world. There is more than imagination at work here. There are the educated insights of a reporter challenged by his subject.
    Peter M. Herford 20 Feb 2010

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