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Planet Google


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About the Author

Randall Stross
is the author of the New York Times column "Digital Domain" and of several books, including The Microsoft Way and eBoys. He lives in Menlo Park, California.


Stross ("Digital Domain" columnist, New York Times; The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World) here gives us an outstanding business history of Google from its humble beginnings through the dot-com era to current times. Although the term Google often elicits good vibes from individuals of all ages, genders, and lifestyles worldwide, Stross shows how Google's current goals are not entirely altruistic. In fact, Google is a formidable business enterprise that uses its vast advertising revenues to achieve market share and to attain advantage over competitors, such as Facebook, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. Google's underlying strength lies in the proprietary software algorithm behind its search engine that becomes smarter when users click to web page results. Google is venturing in many new directions to accomplish the founders' goal of organizing the planet's information, but its initiatives are usually hit or miss, and its current emphasis is on automated processes that are easily "scalable" rather than investments that rely on human capital. Stross explains all of this in a balanced portrait, including criticisms concerning copyright, privacy, and other ethical issues. Therefore, his book is recommended for all business collections, both public and academic.--Caroline Geck, MLS, MBA, Somerset, NJ Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"A computer enthusiast who wants to Google Google couldn't find a more dedicated guide than Stross....Stross's access to the company pays off nicely for both Google's fans and people who read books on paper." -- Time
"[An] even-handed and highly readable history of the company." -- Wall Street Journal
"Stross tells the epic info-opera of Google simply and swiftly. He provides elegant microhistories of familiar subjects...and sprinkles just about every page with unexpected tech facts." -- New York magazine
"In this spellbinding behind-the-scenes look at Google, Stross provides an intimate portrait of the company's ambitious aim to 'organize the world's information.'...The narrative reads like a suspense novel." -- Publishers Weekly
"A vigorous history/analysis/appraisal of the 21st century's most notable company." -- Fortune

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