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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.
User Review - Flag as inappropriate
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.
Review: In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our LivesUser Review - Ritesh Pase - Goodreads
Throughout the reading of this book, I kept feeling that if I change the name Google with Amazon, the story would still make perfect sense. I guess it only goes to show that successful enterprises are ... Read full review
Review: In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our LivesUser Review - Anix - Goodreads
Great read if you want to learn more about the founders, and the overlap in company strategy with Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook. I think the book does a good job in highlighting the strengths ... Read full review
Review: In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our LivesUser Review - Endre Bakken Stovner - Goodreads
Interesting story. A bit of everything; people, products, history, technology and ethical conundrums. Did not go into detail about what led to Google's success (except the initial brilliant idea), but ... Read full review
Review: In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our LivesUser Review - Mike - Goodreads
The google origin story from Stanford U to world domination. Favorite so far has been Hatching Twitter. The chronology is great, but the juicy anecdotes are lacking. Lots about Marissa Meyer ... Read full review
Review: In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our LivesUser Review - Vojtech - Goodreads
At times this book is perhaps too heavy on names and facts, but otherwise it is probably the best and most complete history of Google you can read. I would recommend it to you if you are really ... Read full review
Review: In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our LivesUser Review - Abilash Amarasekaran - Goodreads
It shows the other side of Google and what they want to achieve. As crazy as it is I like the idea that they are data driven people Read full review
Review: In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our LivesUser Review - Jedo Enriquez - Goodreads
Expectedly insightful, unexpectedly poignant Read full review
Review: In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our LivesUser Review - Justin Istenes - Goodreads
Interesting and introspective read on the founding, growth and the processes of Google. Read full review
4 stars - 187