15+ Things Learned From Google’s Story

April 4, 2010 by: Shari

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

As a fan of New Yorker writer Ken Auletta, I was doubly motivated to read his new book about Google, the Internet revolution, and what’s happening with traditional media in the digital age.

Here are 15 things that resonated with me from Google’s Story:

1. First called BackRub, the site was officially named Google, as a common misspelling of “googol” — 10 to 100th power: Fit with building a large-scale search engine.

2. Hybrid companies combine making money with building community [via Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in a Hybrid Environment].

3. Larry Page [in 2002]: “If you can solve search, that ¬†means you can answer any question. Which means you can do basically anything.”

4. Eric Schmidt: “There is a systemic change going on in how people spend their time.” Google is one of the companies making that happen.

5. Content is how consumers spend their time.

6. Larry Page & Sergey Brin are utopians who believe deeply that “if people have better information, they will live better lives.”

7. The audience is telling you what they want.

8. Marc Andreesen: “We are no closer to a computer that thinks like a person than we were 50 years ago.”

9. If computers will not think like us, will we thing like computers? i.e., consciousness flattened, trained to follow  . . . link by link.

10. Nicholas Carr: As tools become more sophisticated and online profiles more refined, the Internet will become a constant feeback loop, playing back our preferences.

11. Moore’s Law: “We’re going to double the performance of [. . .] every 18 months, and let’s get organized to do it.” It’s causal.

12. Sergey Brin: Number One privacy issue on the Net is “stuff that is untrue about people on the Internet.”

13. People complained that Google treated search as an “engineering problem” and that the company lacked a “social gene.” [Is this why we have Google Buzz?]

14. Unless old media companies want to fight their customers, they will have no alternative but to figure new choices, i.e. how to ride the wave.

15. Innovator’s Dilemma: Well-managed companies that flounder by defending old business models and not changing fast enough.

PLUS THIS from Bill Campbell: “Sometimes you have to guess. Let’s get five things and see what works. If two work, you hit a home run. If three work, you double your stock.”


Ken Auletta’s official site

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