Book Review: "The Google Story"

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Friday, May 12, 2006
Book Review: 'The Google Story'
"Blue-chip venture capital firms, Yahoo!, AltaVista, and many other major search engines and technology companies approached by Stanford University turned down the chance to buy Google's search system for $1 million. Their refusals forced Stanford Ph.D students Sergey Brin and Larry Page to reluctantly drop out of school and start the firm. By the summer of 2005, each of the founders had a net worth of more that $10 billion."

I finished reading "The Google Story" by David Vise, a book that takes readers inside the creation and growth of Google, and enjoyed it very much. The book isn't like the traditional Internet marketing books that I read and review, but rather it did help me to understand how Google came into existence and why the search giant is the hottest leading business, media, and technology success of our time.

The Google Story covered such stories as to how Larry Page and Sergey Brin met, the days leading up to Google's billion dollar IPO, and everything in between. Other highlights included Google's future plans for expanding into the field of biology and genetics and a section on how Matt Cutts became known as the "Porn Cookie Guy".

I have to admit that my favorite section of the entire book was when I learned that Larry, Sergey, and Stanford University were shopping the Google search technology to Yahoo!, but were turned down. To think, Yahoo! had an opportunity to own Google search technology for a million dollars and passed, only to spend hundreds of millions in the future attempting to now compete against it. It's all so fascinating.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I would recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about Google and how they came into existence. While the book won't help marketers to rank better in the search results, it will help them to better understand the company who's stock is worth more than Disney's and General Motor's combined, who's staff eats for free in a dining room that used to be run by a former chef for the Grateful Dead, who's employees travel their colorful Silicon Valley work campus on scooters and inline skates, and who's mantra is simply "Don't Be Evil".


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  1. Hey Karl... Have you read The Search by Battelle? If so, how would you compare it to The Google Story?
    By Anonymous Anonymous on May 16, 2006
  2. Actually, I haven't read "The Search", but it's definitely on my list of books to pick up, along with a few Seth Godin's books.

    Have you read the book? If so, would you recommend reading it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
    By Anonymous Anonymous on May 16, 2006
  3. From what it sounds like, "The Google Story" seems very similar, but "The Search" also touches on other search engines and the evolution of the internet.

    I definitely recommend "The Search" and Godin's books as well.
    By Anonymous Anonymous on May 16, 2006
  4. Thanks Disco. I'll be sure to pick them up.
    By Anonymous Anonymous on May 17, 2006
  5. Correction!!
    Charlie Ayers wasn't a chef at Grateful Dead, he had only helped one of his friend once, who worked there. This thing has been clarified in the book. :-)
    By Anonymous Anonymous on July 17, 2006
  6. Hey Sandeep -

    You are indeed correct. Charlie was not the actual chef for the grateful dead, but rather his friend was. He was asked to step-in once when his friend's team was short-handed.

    Looking back at it now, I bet saying "I was once the head chef at Google" carries more weight than saying "I once cooked for the Grateful Dead". It's a completely different world now that Google exists. Less Dead-Heads and more Googlers! What do you think?

    Thanks for the comment!
    By Anonymous Anonymous on July 17, 2006
  7. Yes being a head cook at Google carries more weight-age than cooking for grateful dead. Reason is simple: That's actually how we came to know about Charlie. Frankly it carries more weight-age to me, as being in India I had never heard of Grateful dead till I read about it in the book. ;-)
    By Anonymous Anonymous on July 18, 2006
  8. That makes sense.

    And by the way... your not missing out on to much by not knowing who the Grateful Dead are. Just my opinion though.
    By Anonymous Anonymous on July 18, 2006

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