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June 2011. Where is Google going?

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Well written and very informative, highly recommend.

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Interesting take on the effects of being googled, from the business perspective. This book can be seen as a continuation of Auletta's earlier book "Three Blind Mice" about the television broadcasters, in terms of the impact of technology changes on the media industry.

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This book is...a reminder about services and advancements that led to help create what Google is, and does, Google
has affected and inspired others: competitors, and will introduce people that are not with Google the company, but relate to it...This book can inspire "thinking outside of the box"! 

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A little long but I enjoyed all 12 hours on audio cd's. I recently finished" the accidental billionaires" and found a similarity between all the founders of both companies - Face Book and Goggle. Their passion and ultra commitment to accomplishing a goal or quest was bigger then just making money. Both books reminded me of a statement I read along time ago ' a high percentage of new millionaires did not have the sense to know what was common knowledge - ' that is' that their idea could not work. Interesting reading. 

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Auletta is an amazingly gifted journalist and knows how put together a hell of good story. It helps in this case that he was granted unprecedented access to the Google team and their day-to-day workings at the Googleplex. I'm really shocked by the level of access he was granted to important meetings and officials-over 150 interviews with Googlers, including 11 with CEO Eric Schmidt and several with founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. That's impressive.
The book shares much in common with Randall Stross's excellent Planet Google: One Company's Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know. Both books recount the history of Google from its early origins to present. And both survey a great deal of ground in terms of the challenges that Google faces as it matures and the policy issues that are relevant to the company (privacy, free speech, copyright law, etc).
What makes Auletta's book unique is the way we taps his extensive "old media" world contacts and integrates such a diverse cast of characters into the narrative -- Mel Karmazin (former Viacom, now Sirius XM), Bob Iger (Disney), Howard Stringer (Sony), Martin Sorrrell (WPP), Irwin Gotlieb (Group M), and even the Internet's "inventor"-Al Gore! Auletta interviews them or recounts stories about their interactions with Google to show the growing tensions being created by this disruptive company and its highly disruptive technologies. There are some terrifically entertaining anecdotes in the book, but the bottom line is clear: Google has made a lot of enemies in a very short time.
Indeed, the book is as much about the decline of old media as it is about Google's ascendancy. What Auletta has done so brilliantly here is to tell their stories together and ask how much old media's recent woes can be blamed on Google and digital disintermediation in general. "If Google is destroying or weakening old business models," Auletta argues, "it is because the Internet inevitably destroys old ways of doing things, spurs `creative destruction.' This does not mean that Google is not ambitious to grow, and will not grow at the expense of others. But the rewards, and the pain, are unavoidable," he concludes. Google is essentially just the tip of a giant wave of digital disintermediation that is tearing through the media landscape, Auletta argues. But because it is the biggest and most visible part of this wave, it invites greater scrutiny and scorn.
[See my complete review over at the Technology Liberation Front: ]

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