@@@@ (4 out of 5)
Ken Auletta monitors the media for the New Yorker magazine, and his writing frequently brings new perspective our understanding of the changes that are upending the world’s information sources at an alarming rate. “Googled” brings us face to face with several of the remarkable individuals who are reshaping the media — in ways that are little understood outside of the field. Focusing on Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the two Stanford computer wizards who launched Google barely more than a decade ago, and on several of their key colleagues, notably Eric Schmidt, the company’s CEO, Auletta takes us behind the scenes at this extraordinary company. Read this book, and you’ll understand why Google’s stock price stays in the stratosphere, why media executives from newspapers to films to television are terrified by the company — and why the Chinese government recently felt it necessary to rein it in.
Like any good book, “Googled” puts its subject matter in perspective. We learn, for example, that despite the proliferation of familiar products from Google, nearly all its revenue comes from a single source: online advertising. And we come to understand that the reasons Google is able to maintain such a stranglehold on online advertising are straightforward: they had the presence of mind to buy the leading online advertising agency early enough in the game to get away with it, and they are amassing a gargantuan storehouse of consumer data that may be unmatchable by anyone else. This book is well worth reading.