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IN THE PLEX: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

Dense, driven examination of the pioneering search engine that changed the face of the Internet.Thoroughly versed in technology reporting, Wired senior writer Levy (The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness, 2006, etc.) deliberates at great length about online behemoth Google and creatively documents the company's genesis from a "feisty start-up to a market ... Read full review

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The book itself gave a good in-detail idea about Google process, Ideas, structure. As someone who uses several Google products and always follows the company news, I found the book very enjoyable and also found that there is a lots of things I didn't know about Google.
He clearly had a good relation with Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt and other important Googlers and had access whenever he needed it since there are plenty of direct quotes from them.
I was very interesting and entertaining although some sections felt boring due to a lot of unimportant details but as a conclusion Steven Levy did a great job of describing Google's DNA and the thought process.
 

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Excellent book, with a thorough and comprehensive story of the way Google was born and raised. the chapters on the early days are really interesting and give a good glimpse into how the company - and many silicon valley startups - are born. I found the book's explanations of Google's technology, and how its advertising and search businesses evolved was very enlightening. It's much easier to understand the real goals of Google as a creator of the world's most sophisticated machine intelligence and self learning network. if you enjoy technology books you'll really enjoy reading this. 

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Excellent!!
As one of Google's biggest Fan boys this book us one of a kind! Finally a book that gets inside the mind of the most advanced companies on the planet!

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Great book. Full insights about Google.

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I have enjoyed following Steven Levy on G+ and thought his book on the Mac, Insanely Great, was a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at a revolution that was slightly before my time. I'm also a big fan of Google, so this I knew to expect a great book. No disappointments here! Levy paints a wonderful picture of Google's early days and of the culture. I can see why some call it "starry-eyed", yet I thought the author was evenhanded, particularly talking about what happened in China.
One particularly interesting thing is that the book provides several snapshots of Marissa Meyer's career at Google. For example, it talks about her work with the "fast-track" Googlers and provides some foreshadowing of her own eventual graduation to the Yahoo! CEO position. So this book is not only essential for anyone who wants to understand Google, it also provides a lot of fodder for what Yahoo! will likely do going forward as well.
 

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This is a great book if you're a technology nerd. The book does a great job of explaining Google and how it has become the internet giant that it is today. I definitely recommend this book for anyone that is a fan of Google or tech companies.

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I rate 5 of 5 stars to the Audible audio book "Into the Plex" by Steven Levy. The book is a historical look at Google. Levy spent a considerable amount of time on the inside of Google gathering history, legend, lore and tales from the start of Google to the completion of the book. I work in the Silicon Valley and have been keenly aware of Google, but, like most, I'd hear news stories that sounded pretty odd (hence making the news) and not really having a big picture of what they were doing. The news casts give us a few "trees", this book provided the "forest" context for the news-worthy events. This story filled alot of voids in my knowledge of Google. If you are into technology, this book is recommended and very interesting! 

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Q. What did you think of this book?
A. Parts of it were very tedious, to me, but I'm glad I read it. I'm not a very technically savvy person, rather I'm a former psychology student, so I had much
to learn. Levy helped fill some of the gaps in my knowledge of how Google, and the web itself, actually works.
Q. What parts were tedious to you?
A. Well, the chapter on Google's business in China, for one, though this may be the most important chapter for people with an interest in China, which I don't have. Also, at times, Levy seemed to be glorifying the people at Google. I mean, he rarely said a negative word about any of them, only maybe that Larry was "ambitious," that's as far as he would go. It was like, he didn't want to burn his sources, and thus seemed to arise a potential conflict of interest. This repeated exaltation of Google's "heroes" was tedious after a while.
Q. So you feel he was a biased observer and writer?
A. Sometimes, but to be fair, toward the end of the book, Levy did note that Google's rapid growth, as a corporation, in terms of employees and capitalization, had made it the "big boy" on the block. New start-ups, and older corporations, like book publishers, all feared Google. He notes that some of Google's actions would lead to questions about their motto: "Do no evil." Nonetheless, the book is based largely on insider interviews he had with the Google principals, and these were granted, most likely, because the informants did not expect Levy to reveal much bad about them.
Q. So what did you learn?
A. I learned about "cloud computing," such as Google's Document service; about their largely ineffective forays into web television and social networking (Orkut); about precisely how Google Print started, with Larry taking digital photos of books held up page by page; about Android, which I knew nothing about but the name; and quite a bit more.
Q. So the book is worth reading, even though you found it tedious in parts?
A. Yes, I would say so. Levy was able to get his mitts around what seemed like the whole of a large corporation and give a sense of its many facets. This makes the book somewhat unique, but he does cite other authors on Google in his end notes. The documentation at the end is detailed and the book includes an index for specific reading.
 

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