Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

May 22, 2012

Ken Auletta is not one of my favorite authors but his book Googled:The End of the World as We Know It was superbly fair and balanced although after reading it twice it offers very little to contradict the view that Google has little understanding of the businesses it is trying to disrupt.Aulette has spent a great deal of time with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin,as well as former CEO Eric Schmidt, who joined the company in 2001, some say to bring “adult supervision” to Google also interviewed many big names on the publishing side, as well as venture capitalists, board members and academic experts.The book is truly a fascinating read,a story whose ending has yet to be told.There is that vivid moment when Sergey Brin tells Ken Auletta, apropos Googled, that “people don’t buy books” and “you might as well put it online.More people will read it and get excited about it”.Ken  Auletta points out the failure of early attempts to do that, and then goes on to grill Brin.Google is a company run out of its corporate Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California, touts its motto of “Do no evil.” I hope they stick to that.

1
Hard copy of Googled by Ken Auletta
2
Part Two focused in The Google Story

Auletta documents the amazing amount of data Google accumulates about its users like you and me which is stored in millions of computers and servers strategically placed in data centers around the world and which Google will not disclose how many or where they are processing searches, collecting and digesting data in a scalable architecture that made cloud computing not only possible but a reality for Google.We all recall FBI chief Robert Mueller paying a visit to Google offices and other high tech Silicon Valley companies to see how they can assist the government in improving Internet surveillance although there was no word yet on how those conversations went. I, Contador Harrison am not a Google fanboy and will never be but I think that there is a flaw in this logic.Google is only indexing information that is available freely on the internet, anyways and only makes it more accessible to wider audience without charging the audience or the author.I am one those who are thankful for it and I feel that Google like any other successful company protects it intellectual property, but it also supports may open source programs.

3
The author also dwelt on Google’s IPO
4
Google’s rise hasn’t been without challenges as author noted
5
Googled was a fascinating chapter

I don’t understand why a business model cannot be built-up with the author selling advertising space, even if it is not 100% error free there is still an audience for it. I think this is the future because it eliminates the middle men once and for all.To be frank,I did not like the author’s logic and the whining sounds similar to those which we have seen from recording industry.I think the Google is giving more power to the people and that’s not evil. However, I do give credit to Ken Auletta who seem that he has been able to situate Google’s rise in the context of transformations in communication, distribution, publishing and broadcasting. If your’re interested in learning more about Google’s decision to digitize millions of books then this is a must read!

The back cover
The back cover

Contador Harrison