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In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Livesby Steven Levy
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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 'Ã¢Â€Â˜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.
An investigation of the growing trend among major companies, including Fortune 100 giants, to promote mindful activities like meditation and yoga in the workplace, and its often surprising effects on productivity, strategy, and employees mental health.
A New York Times reporter reveals what business leaders around the country are already discovering: Meditation may be the key to fostering a happier, more productive workplace.
For the past few years, mindfulness has begun to transform the American workplace. Many of our largest companies, such as General Mills, Ford, Target, and Google, have built extensive programs to foster mindful practices among their workers. Mindful Work is the first book to explain how all sorts of businesses and any kind of worker can benefit from meditation, yoga, and other mindful techniques. As a business reporter for the New York Times who has also practiced meditation for two decades, David Gelles is uniquely qualified to chart the growing nexus between these two realms. As he proves, mindfulness lowers stress, increases mental focus, and alleviates depression among workers. He also offers real-world examples of how mindfulness has benefited companies that have adopted it — from the millions of dollars Aetna has saved in health-care costs to the ways Patagonia has combined leadership in its market with a pervasively mindful outlook.
Gelles's revelatory book picks up where bestsellers like Thrive and 10% Happier leave off, by detailing how mindfulness works in and for the companies that adopt it, revealing the profound impact mindfulness can have on the world of work. Mindful Work goes beyond other books on the subject by providing evidence for the practical benefits of mindfulness and showing readers how to become more mindful themselves.
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.
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