This and the many more reviews I’ve been posting lately originally appeared in a now long defunct livejournal.
This book is two things – first, it is a detailed and interesting look at how searching online has changed over the last ten years, and how the refinement of the process has made the internet the usable tool it is today. It’s a pretty basic idea, really, if you can’t find shit, the internet is basically useless.
Secondly, the book is a look at what makes Google* so special. If Batelle is to believed what makes Google different is: (a) a belief in the ability of science to fix any problem and (b) a healthy culture of renewal and change that comes out of the conflicts and developments that happen when you have a no fucking around business plan coupled with a supposed mission to “not be evil” while being willing to be pragmatic (i.e. making a deals with China). I guess its an interesting book if you’re in internet companies, but I cannot for the life of me remember why I thought I had to read this.
Recommended for the enthusiast.
* Huh, word doesn’t recognize google as a word? Interesting.