Synopses & Reviews
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.
Praise for More Awesome Than Money
“The courageous and ingenious actions of these four NYU students and the Diaspora hackers who come in their wake will make you want to stand up and cheer. In an age of self-absorbed tweeting and friending, these young people are our Rocky Balboas and Martin Luther Kings. This book is proof that we are no longer customers of social networks, but rather the merchandise. The advertisers are the true customers, and our private thoughts, desires, and needs are exploited, sold, and bartered among them like trading cards—long after weve hit the delete button. The tragic death of the talented programmer Ilya Zhitomirskiy stands as testimony to our own inertia about the commercial forces that seek to control us. Im glad I met this young man on these pages, and I'm glad that the deeply talented Jim Dwyer—who also wrote the best book on 9-11 you'll ever read—brought him and his friends to us with such stirring clarity. Its a superb work, and a great read.”
—James McBride, author of The Good Lord Bird and The Color of Water, winner of the National Book Award
“Jim Dwyers More Awesome Than Money is the story of four young men who dared to go up against the (new) machine—in this case, Facebook. By turns funny, poignant, scary, heartbreaking, and hopeful, More Awesome Than Money includes everything you need to know about how your personal information is being manipulated on the Internet, and what to do about it.”
—Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd
“Books have been written about those who struck it rich in Silicon Valley. The four young idealists in this engrossing book did not. Their dreams of creating a more noble social network failed. Their names will not shadow Mark Zuckerberg. They may not be deemed ‘cool. In the deft hands of author Jim Dwyer, they are ‘cool, and complicated. We follow them down the rabbit hole as they, like other forgotten names, travel from euphoria, to doubt, to dissension, to dissolution. Readers of this suspenseful narrative will not soon forget the mountaintop-to-valley drama they endured, the classic business and human mistakes they made, nor the nobility of what they hoped to do.”
—Ken Auletta, author of Googled and Greed and Glory on Wall Street
“Failure is all to common for startups, but this is the best-told story of failure Ive read. I was rooting for the improbable the whole way. It perfectly captures the texture of Silicon Valleys humanity and dreams better than any success story could.”
—Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired, and author of What Technology Wants
“This latest book in the genre is smarter and more brutally honest than most. . . . Dwyer uses his considerable journalistic talents to make the dynamics between the founders compelling.”—New York Times Book Review
“[Dwyers] fly-on-the-wall style of reporting brings vivid detail to his narrative. You can feel the excitement and anxiety among the Diaspora four. . . .” —Wall Street Journal
“[A] lively account…[that] finds heroism and success, betrayal and even, ultimately, tragedy in the hurtling pursuit of a cause.”—Washington Post
“Dwyers account . . . is a thrilling read, astoundingly detailed and researched, alternately suspenseful and heartbreaking.”—Daily Beast
“[A] lively account of Diasporas creation as an alternative to the Silicon Valley megaliths. Like any account of the memorable early days of a revolution, Dwyers reporting finds heroism and success, betrayal and even, ultimately, tragedy in the hurtling pursuit of a cause.”—Denver Post
“A thoroughly compelling account recommended for those interested in general technology books and business narratives. This book is a welcome addition to the literature on start-ups, particularly for its focus on notions of privacy in the digital era and how entrepreneurs are working to address these critical needs.”—Library Journal
“This is a greatly informative book.”—Booklist
Praise for 102 MINUTES
“A masterpiece.”—Kevin Baker, The New York Times
“A heartstopping, meticulous account.”—The New York Times Book Review
Auletta provides the fullest account ever told of Google's rise, shares the secret of Google's success, and shows why the worlds of new and old media often communicate as if residents of different planets.
"The fullest account yet of the rise of one of the most profitable, most powerful, and oddest businesses the world has ever seen."
-San Francisco Chronicle
Just eleven years old, Google has profoundly transformed the way we live and work-we've all been Googled. Esteemed media writer Ken Auletta uses the story of Google's rise to explore the future of media at large. This book is based on the most extensive cooperation ever granted a journalist, including access to closed-door meetings and interviews with industry legends, including Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Marc Andreessen, and media guru "Coach" Bill Campbell. Auletta's unmatched analysis, vivid details, and rich anecdotes illuminate how the Google wave grew, how it threatens to drown media institutions, and where it's taking us next.
David versus Goliath in Silicon Valleyan epic attempt to take back the Internet
Their idea was simple. Four NYU undergrads wanted to build a social network that would allow users to control their personal data, instead of surrendering it to big businesses like Facebook. They called it Diaspora. In days, they raised $200,000, and reporters, venture capitalists, and the digital communitys most legendary figures
were soon monitoring their progress. Max dreamed of being a CEO. Ilya was the idealist. Dan coded like a pro, and Rafi tried to keep them all on track. But as the months passed and the money ran out, the Diaspora Four fell victim to errors, bad decisions, and their own hubris. In November 2011, Ilya committed suicide.
Diaspora has been tech news since day one, but the story reaches far beyond Silicon Valley to the now urgent issues about the future of the Internet. With the cooperation of the surviving partners, New York Times bestselling author Jim Dwyer tells a riveting story of four ambitious and naÏve young men who tried to rebottle the genie of personal privacyand paid the ultimate price.
About the Author
Ken Auletta has written the “Annals of Communications” column and profiles for The New Yorker since 1992. He is the author of eight books, including Three Blind Mice, Greed and Glory on Wall Street, and World War 3.0. 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.