In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

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Written with full cooperation from top management, including cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, this is the inside story behind Google, the most successful and most admired technology company of our time, told by one of our best technology writers.

Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters—the Googleplex—to show how Google works.

While they were still students at Stanford, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin revolutionized Internet search. They followed this brilliant innovation with another, as two of Google’s earliest employees found a way to do what no one else had: make billions of dollars from Internet advertising. With this cash cow, Google was able to expand dramatically and take on other transformative projects: more efficient data centers, open-source cell phones, free Internet video (YouTube), cloud computing, digitizing books, and much more.

The key to Google’s success in all these businesses, Levy reveals, is its engineering mind-set and adoption of such Internet values as speed, openness, experimentation, and risk taking. After its unapologetically elitist approach to hiring, Google pampers its engineers—free food and dry cleaning, on-site doctors and masseuses—and gives them all the resources they need to succeed. Even today, with a workforce of more than 23,000, Larry Page signs off on every hire.

But has Google lost its innovative edge? With its newest initiative, social networking, Google is chasing a successful competitor for the first time. Some employees are leaving the company for smaller, nimbler start-ups. Can the company that famously decided not to be evil still compete?

No other book has ever turned Google inside out as Levy does with In the Plex.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Apr 12, 2011
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9781416596714
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Business
Business & Economics / Corporate & Business History
Business & Economics / E-Commerce / General
Business & Economics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Seasoned Google execs Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg provide an insider's guide to Google-from the business history and corporate strategy to developing a new managment philosophy and creating a workplace culture where innovation and creativity thrive.

Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google over a decade ago as proven technology executives. At the time, the company was already well-known for doing things differently, reflecting the visionary-and frequently contrarian-principles of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. If Eric and Jonathan were going to succeed, they realized they would have to relearn everything they thought they knew about management and business.

Today, Google is a global icon that regularly pushes the boundaries of innovation in a variety of fields. How Google Works is an entertaining, page-turning primer containing lessons that Eric and Jonathan learned as they helped build the company. The authors explain how technology has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers, and that the only way to succeed in this ever-changing landscape is to create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom Eric and Jonathan dub "smart creatives."

Covering topics including corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption, the authors illustrate management maxims ("Consensus requires dissension," "Exile knaves but fight for divas," "Think 10X, not 10%") with numerous insider anecdotes from Google's history, many of which are shared here for the first time.

In an era when everything is speeding up, the best way for businesses to succeed is to attract smart-creative people and give them an environment where they can thrive at scale. How Google Works explains how to do just that.

The definitive, bestselling account of the company that changed the way we work and live.

Moscow-born Sergey Brin and Midwest-born Larry Page dropped out of graduate school at Stanford University to, as they said, “change the world” through a powerful search engine that would organize every bit of information on the Web for free. The Google Story takes you deep inside the company’s wild ride from an idea that struggled for funding in 1998 to a firm that today rakes in billions in profits. Based on scrupulous research and extraordinary access to Google, this fast-moving narrative reveals how an unorthodox management style and a culture of innovation enabled a search-engine giant to shake up Madison Avenue, clash with governments that accuse it of being a monopoly, deploy self-driving cars to forever change how we travel, and launch high-flying Internet balloons. Unafraid of controversy, Google is surging ahead with artificial intelligence that could cure diseases but also displace millions of people from their jobs, testing the founders’ guiding mantra: DON’T BE EVIL.

Praise for The Google Story

“[The authors] do a fine job of recounting Google’s rapid rise and explaining its search business.”—The New York Times

“An intriguing insider view of the Google culture.”—Harvard Business Review

“An interesting read on a powerhouse company . . . If you haven’t read anything about one of today’s most influential companies, you should. If you don’t read The Google Story, you’re missing a few extra treats.”—USA Today

“Fascinating . . . meticulous . . . never bogs down.”—Houston Chronicle
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