In the Plex
How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
Publication Date: May 17, 2011
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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 (until Google's IPO nobody other than Google management had any idea how lucrative the company's ad business was), 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? It stumbled badly in China Levy discloses what went wrong and how Brin disagreed with his peers on the China strategy and now 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.
About the AuthorOver the course of twenty-two years of teaching, Steven Levy has taught every grade level from kindergarten through college. He has been recognized as the 1992-93 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and honored as the Outstanding General Elementary Teacher by the Walt Disney Company ion 1994-95. Levy has also received the John F. Kennedy prize for the teaching of history, and his project Lexingtons, USA, was chosen by the American School Board Association as one of the hundred best curriculum ideas in the nation.
Narrator L.J. Ganser has performed voiceovers for over 100 radio and TV commercials and has appeared in episodes of The Guiding Light, As the World Turns, and Another World. He is also active on stage, appearing in many New York and regional theater productions including Pump Boys and Dinettes, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Cloud 9.