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In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

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In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives Cover

ISBN13: 9781416596585
ISBN10: 1416596585
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Written with full cooperation from top management, including cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, this is the inside story behind Google, the most successful and most admired technology company of our time, told by one of our best technology writers.

Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters—the Googleplex—to show how Google works.

While they were still students at Stanford, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin revolutionized Internet search. They followed this brilliant innovation with another, as two of Google’s earliest employees found a way to do what no one else had: make billions of dollars from Internet advertising. With this cash cow, Google was able to expand dramatically and take on other transformative projects: more efficient data centers, open-source cell phones, free Internet video (YouTube), cloud computing, digitizing books, and much more.

The key to Google’s success in all these businesses, Levy reveals, is its engineering mind-set and adoption of such Internet values as speed, openness, experimentation, and risk taking. After its unapologetically elitist approach to hiring, Google pampers its engineers—free food and dry cleaning, on-site doctors and masseuses—and gives them all the resources they need to succeed. Even today, with a workforce of more than 23,000, Larry Page signs off on every hire.

But has Google lost its innovative edge? With its newest initiative, social networking, Google is chasing a successful competitor for the first time. Some employees are leaving the company for smaller, nimbler start-ups. Can the company that famously decided not to be evil still compete?

No other book has ever turned Google inside out as Levy does with In the Plex.

Review:

"The contradictions of the Internet search behemoth are teased apart in this engaging, slightly starry-eyed business history. Wired magazine writer Levy (Hackers) insightfully recaps Google's groundbreaking search engine and fabulously profitable online ad — brokering business, and elucidates the cutting-edge research and hard-nosed cost-efficiencies underlying them. He also regales readers with the 'Googley' corporate culture of hip techno-capitalism: the elitist focus on braininess, the campus game rooms, the countercultural rectitude of billionaire founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin (which can read more like puerile arrogance as they roller-blade into meetings with business-suited squares). Levy's narrative updates a familiar portrait of the company, with breathless accounts of recent innovations. He offers a smart analysis of the tensions between Google's '‘Don't Be Evil'' slogan and its censorship of its Chinese Web site and the privacy implications of its drive to sponge up all information — but he accepts Google's blinkered conception of e-ethics and its demands for huge tax breaks with too much complacency. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Written with full cooperation from top management at Google, this is the story behind the most successful and admired technology company of our time.

About the Author

Steven Levy is a senior writer at Wired, and was formerly senior editor and chief technology correspondent for Newsweek. He is the author of several books, including Hackers, Insanely Great, and The Perfect Thing. A native of Philadelphia, Levy lives in New York City with his wife, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Teresa Carpenter, and their son. Visit him at StevenLevy.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

writermala, April 20, 2012 (view all comments by writermala)
This book is an eye-opener. Like most people I took Google and its products for granted. Their ingenuity and the battles they had to wage to make these products available justifies the billions of revenue they generate.

Larry and Sergey just had to be told something couldn't be done to ask, "Why Not?"

As the author concludes we indeed owe a thanks to Larry, Sergey and all of the engineers who produced and improved this technological and cultural marvel - Google!
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CheeseIsGood, January 26, 2012 (view all comments by CheeseIsGood)
Great analysis of the structure, culture, and evolving life of Google. Levy is granted a close view of the inner workings of the company and knows its history well. Although he is generally positive, he is no sycophant- his journalistic style seems to be mostly unbiased.

After reading this book, I feel somehow like I squandered my own montessori school start and should be running my own multi-national company. Shame & despair...

Definitely worth reading for anyone technical- no CS degree required here. You'll gain a great insight to the daily news stories about Google- especially now with the acquisition of Motorola and alliance with Intel.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416596585
Author:
Levy, Steven
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Corporate & Business History - General
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
Business-History and Biography
Subject:
Corporate History
Subject:
Google, information age, internet age, searchability, Googleplex, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, innovation age, internet advertising, Google IPO, YouTube acquisition, social network, social media, Facebook, Apple
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20110431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.12 in

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Related Subjects

Business » Business Profiles
Business » General
Business » History and Biographies
Business » Writing
Computers and Internet » Internet » General
Computers and Internet » Internet » Information
Computers and Internet » Internet » Web Publishing
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Technology

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives Used Hardcover
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$12.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416596585 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The contradictions of the Internet search behemoth are teased apart in this engaging, slightly starry-eyed business history. Wired magazine writer Levy (Hackers) insightfully recaps Google's groundbreaking search engine and fabulously profitable online ad — brokering business, and elucidates the cutting-edge research and hard-nosed cost-efficiencies underlying them. He also regales readers with the 'Googley' corporate culture of hip techno-capitalism: the elitist focus on braininess, the campus game rooms, the countercultural rectitude of billionaire founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin (which can read more like puerile arrogance as they roller-blade into meetings with business-suited squares). Levy's narrative updates a familiar portrait of the company, with breathless accounts of recent innovations. He offers a smart analysis of the tensions between Google's '‘Don't Be Evil'' slogan and its censorship of its Chinese Web site and the privacy implications of its drive to sponge up all information — but he accepts Google's blinkered conception of e-ethics and its demands for huge tax breaks with too much complacency. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Written with full cooperation from top management at Google, this is the story behind the most successful and admired technology company of our time.
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