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Sunday, November 27, 2011

I am Feeling Lucky- The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59

After Google, I find myself impatient with the way the world works.

Says Doug about problems that are solvable yet are not getting solved.

Douglas was the first Dough in Google- employee number 59 who joined this small start up as a big-company guy. When he left Google, he left a big company as a small-startup guy.

The story of Doug’s journey begins at his lively interview with the founders. Sergey was known to give a task to all those he interviewed- tell me something that I do not know yet. It was his way of getting a spark of an idea, or eliciting thoughts from people talking of subjects that he did not know of.

Doug’s first task was to get a thorough grounding in search technology including complicated terms like page rank, crawling and indexing.

In his first week, Doug asked for Google’s strategic plan. But much to his surprise- it all existed in the heads of Larry and Sergey who were never in a mood to discuss it.
The first important lesson that Doug learnt was on the day of his proposal presentation. He started off saying- our competitors are approaching Google’s level of quality, so we need to rely on branding to differentiate us from others.

Larry said quietly- if we can’t win on quality, we shouldn’t win at all.

That was the moment when unlearning for Dough perhaps began.

Sergey insisted against Doug’s arguments that Google logo could be dynamic and not a constant. So whether there was turkey logo for Thanksgiving or a bouncing heart applet for Valentine’s Day Google Doodles became a big hit. If Doug had his way, there would be no Google Doodles!

In this story written by an insider, Douglas takes us through the journey of Google from a start up in a garage to a formidable organization that floated IPO’s in a span of 6 short years.

He talks of everything including the seemingly minor clean up of the search page and not allowing pop ups to the very important hosting of news content in the wake of 9/11.

Reading an insider’s perspective does give a different feel to the story that I know already. To that extent, there was nothing new or different in the story. But like an epic that gets retold several times, this story also takes a different form each time it is narrated.

Title- I am Feeling Lucky

Author- Douglas Edwards

Price- Rs 550

Publisher- Penguin


Cuckoo said...

Impressed at how MANY books you've been reading. Good job!

eCBSE said...

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