Im Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59.

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What came across quite early on was the author's feeling of inadequacy, insecurity, and puzzlement, due to the way it all seemed more of a commune inhabited by happy, clappy, shiny people, rather than the type of business he was used to, with all the usual formalities and hierarchy. I got the feeling that he always felt like a fish out of water during his time at Google. I had hoped to come away with an insider's knowledge of what makes Google tick, but I felt I got a lot of words which didn't really say that much.

I suppose what I wanted was the "human face" of Google instead of a load of jargon and technical information some of which appears in a glossary at the end ; I struggled to maintain my interest and as a result was quite disappointed. I wasn't looking for a scandalous expose filled with gossip, but something much lighter and entertaining.

Maybe those who are more "geeky" than I will appreciate it more. Thanks to Amazon for an advanced copy to review. Jun 18, Michael rated it it was amazing. I think you might need to be at least a little interested in computers in order to enjoy what this book has to offer. It is the story of the first 5 years of Google.

A fascinating story it is too. Douglas Edwards was a newspaper marketer around the time of the. Though back in that was pretty much just the search engine home page. For instance, Sergey arrived to interview Douglas wearing roller hockey gear: gym shorts, t-shirt and inline skates. That casualness, which pervaded the office environment, never touched the business side of things. But it sounded like a great place to work. Free food, cordon bleu chef, free drinks, things to play with, trips away with the whole company. The hours were long and the work hard with the engineers frequently sleeping at the office.

Stuff like how they crammed about 10 times the density of servers into the space they were renting on the server farm — just because they were paying by the square foot and electricity was thrown in as part of the package. Then towards the end of that five years there were some internal battles, life became less comfortable and eventually Douglas was asked to leave — though it seems his share options made him enough to retire.

A great read. View 1 comment. Oct 10, Nicolemauerman rated it liked it. I just hated reading a book where a woman complained about her job the whole time. I found I was pleasantly surprised. Edwards writes about his time spent as the brand manager for the new start-up Google. Edwards was at times really funny.

When he had to explain the technical aspects of a Google program I found my eyes glazing over. This book seemed really long. I felt like it was a never ending book marathon. Dec 12, Herve rated it it was amazing. I thought this might be just another book about Google. It is not. The lessons are amazing.

And here are examples. He simply wanted to know when he had been wrong so he could feed that information into the algorithm that ran his model of the universe. He left in , so his account of the Google story is extremely rich and shows how exceptional it was. It was another reason Google valued intelligence over experience. Stay flexible. Embrace data. Be efficient and economical in the extreme. Not a dramatic change, but a change. The main lesson I keep from part I is that Google did many things in the opposite way that business books or experienced managers would tell you.

Always doubtful, always skeptical with obvious truths. In particular anything which is not engineering or which cannot be backed by data. Hardware engineer Will Whitted had been fifty-four when he started, and he saw no gap between his thought process and that of his younger colleagues.

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To be slow and overly-conservative, and it got them in trouble. It was starting to make me feel like a crotchety geezer yelling at kids to get off his lawn. Sure we had upset people with MentalPlex, but at least some us conceded their kvetching might have had cause. With Deja, we were clearly on the side of the angels. The public just did not get it. Even when we worked our asses off, spent our own cash, and tried to do something good for them, they bellowed and ranted, bitched and moaned. Since users were being so unreasonable, we could safely ignore their complaints.

That suited our founders just fine — they always get with their guts anyway. The truth was so obvious that they felt no need for the niceties of polite society when bringing their ideas to life. Why slow down to explain when the value of what they were doing was so self-evident that people would eventually see it for themselves?

From launching a better search engine in an overcrowded field to running unscreened text in Adwords, the success of controversial ideas gave momentum to the conviction that initial public opinion was often irrelevant. Fewer than half a dozen major players offered stable, well-tested systems. Interested in an untested CRM product still in development with one tiny client? I decided to head him off at the pass by talking to Larry myself. When I informed the other vendors, they thought I was either corrupt or an idiot.

It has taken us four years and twelve hundred customers. I had thought that due diligence meant finding the product most people relied on, then putting pressure on the vendor to cut the price. It never occurred to me to talk to Larry not to do that. We had different tolerances for risk and different ideas about what two smart people working alone could accomplish in a complex technical area — and that is why I spent seven years working in mainstream media while Larry found a partner and founded his own company.

The willingness to suffer a few quickly eradicated indignities opened up enormous gates to international audience growth.

I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59, by Douglas Edwards - akohyhepijeg.tk

It was a reminder that perfecting the polish was not as important as giving people access to the product behind it. The results we returned and the speed with which we returned them were ultimately all that mattered. Larry wanted Google to be a force for good, which meant we would never conduct marketing stunts like sweepstakes, coupons and contests, which only worked because people were stupid.

We need to do good. We need to do things that matter on a large scale. When I asked for examples, he mentioned microcredit in Bangladesh … and talked about changing business systems to make them environmentally friendly while saving money. He also talked about distributed computing, drug discovery and making the Internet faster. We should be known for making stuff that people can use, he said, not just for providing information.


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Information is too restrictive. A Google product will work better. Then they talk about personal information, sensors, storage, cameras, and user-generated data. Not once did the subject of making money come up. But when I walked out of his office I believed that for the first time in my life, I had been in the presence of a true visionary. Google learnt a lesson: the prototype had been put together not for a specific project but just because it was found interesting.


  • I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards.
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The real value is that people will do things that everyone thinks are a waste of time. Google itself was a canonical example. No other company had thought search was important. I would wind things down. Now I was leaving a big company as a small-startup guy. I And I like to think that, in some small way, I helped advance the human condition. Or at least that I did more good than harm.

Jul 22, Wendy Liu rated it it was ok Shelves: memoirs , silicon-valley-etc. Fairly informative, though, if you're looking for an early history of Google up until the IPO from the perspective of someone who worked in marketing and is generally positive about the company. Not recommended for anyone seeking broader critiques of the tech industry.

Dec 19, Nikolay rated it really liked it. The early Google story from the point of view of one of their first marketing people. Loved this book! A very interesting inside look at the early growth of Google. I particularly appreciate Doug's perspective as he transitions from a traditional business culture to Google's very nontraditional corporate culture.

Nov 23, Ron rated it really liked it. This was a really fun read that gave a vivid description of what life was like inside Google in the time prior to going public. Great description of the evolution of the advertising models that drove Google's growth. Feb 28, Lain rated it liked it. Really enjoyed this sneak peek behind the scenes at Google.

I lived through this era in Silicon Valley, so it was fun to see what was really going on at the Googleplex. There were also some good lessons for a growing entrepreneur like me. I took several pages of notes to use for my business plans.

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Oct 14, Tim rated it really liked it. He writes his memories of the corporate atmosphere, and the personnel that helped grow and develop one of the fastest growing technology company. The book is written in the view not directly involved in the computer science engineering of Google and is not filled down with technical details of how the technical company works. Edwards was hired in as a brand manager in a small marketing department. The founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were computer engineers that placed the same computer programming principles to running a company as they did creating the computer code that is Google.

They did not want to do the same marketing that every company has done in the past. Edwards had to forget everything he had learned in corporate marketing and create a brand using new and unproven processes. Many times, during the book Edwards is at odds with the founders, but the company kept growing at phenomenal speeds. We can do anything our self and do it better.

This attitude does harm them a couple of times. Edwards describes massage rooms, free meals, video game sessions, and weekly meetings that shared every financial detail of the company with every employee of the company. The early management style was a free-for-all of ideas and projects. You were hired and told to find a problem and fix it. Share your results with everyone and move on to the next project. I enjoyed his writing style.

Edwards effectively created a culture you could relate with. I worried for his job in parts, then worried that his family would fall apart because he was always working. The first part of the book I had the impression he hated the job because of the pressures and insecurities. The second and third parts describes how he worked so hard to help create a success that he worked himself right out of his job. I am glad he included a linear timeline in the book. His chapters was not always in a straight timeline..

The projects described often overlapped so one chapter it is , the back to the jump forward to I have read many books about the development of corporations, this one is slightly different. It seems like a tell all by a disgruntled employee, but one who still loves and respects the company and the people in it.

Aug 30, Jileen rated it really liked it. I figure there are three main points of interest for this book I would love an engineer to read this book and tell me their thoughts on it! It is fascinating to read the jouney of a startup Silicon Valley search company that litera I figure there are three main points of interest for this book It is fascinating to read the jouney of a startup Silicon Valley search company that literally became a verb in the dictionary. I remember the dot.

I remember Yahoo and Ask Jeeves This serious and profound stuff is leavened by hilarious stories of software engineers dousing each other with "bazooka-sized water guns" and getting outrageously drunk on corporate ski trips, all structured around the uplifting tale of Google's precipitous ascent. Edwards was made redundant six months after the firm's stock went public. He's not bitter; quite the reverse. But he might have written a more interesting book if he was. Topics Biography books The Observer. Google reviews.

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Doug Edwards on Being 'Google Employee Number 59' (Media Beat 2 of 3)

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