The author starts the book with a short biography of Sergey Brin and Larry Page from their family roots and education to their marriage, professional life and partnership to found Google.
Eric Schmidt is described as the CEO who had the business and managerial experience to lead the company while Sergey and Larry were still young and needing help to develop a successful business model.
After introducing Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, the book focuses on the history of Google, from the research project at Stanford University that it was, to its development as a powerful and successful search engine whose brand became a verb, synonym of web search.
The evolution of Google is analyzed from its early life as a startup to its exponential growth that included multiple controversies and an expansion into diverse products beyond the scope of a search engine.
Jane Lowe talks about how Google was involved in different controversies but she also highlights the "good deeds" of Google in different spheres, from renewable energy to protects the environment to educational philanthropic initiatives.
After analyzing the past and present of Google, the book devotes special attention to the next chapters for the company, trying to foresee potential projects that could help Google to maintain its top position in technology and innovation. Some examples discussed are artificial intelligence, YouTube and the Google phone using the Android platform.
Finally, the book tries to put Google in the context of competition with other technology superpowers such as Amazon, eBay, Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo! in what the author defines as "the Internet Civil War".
"because we need to be the kind of company that is willing to make mistakes. Because if we're not making mistakes, then we're not taking risks. And if we're not taking risks, we won't get to the next level." (Chapter 5, section 5.5)
I asked myself: "When was the last time I took a risk and what is the next risk that I am willing to take?" I thought about the fear of rejection. I decided to reach out to one of my contacts who is running a business and offer an A/B experiment for her website for free. A simple variation that if it produces positive statistical results given a hypothesis, it would become a website optimization. If the variation does not produce positive statistical results, it would become knowledge about what NOT to do. Regardless of the acceptance decision of this person about performing the A/B test for free that I am offering, I am a winner because I am taking a risk. The risk is that I could receive a no as an answer, but that is okay. This action is not even a mistake. It is simply taking risks and exposing myself to the possibility of receiving a no as an answer.
Created: 2018-09-21 04:56:53 Last updated: 2018-09-21 04:56:53
"If they just stand still, they're going to very quickly lose their position... but beyond that, there's the risk that as an institution you can forget how to innovate, which can be deadly, because new competitors can come along and you won't be able to catch up with them because you've forgotten how to innovate. It's crucial that a company maintains a continual culture of innovation." (Chapter 8, section 8.5)
I am not a company but I sell my services as a programmer to a company and the question is, how do I innovate? Is my knowledge the same that I had when I started to work for my current employer? One way for me to innovate is by learning more, continuously. Following that direction, I am reading Safari Books Online extensively.
Created: 2018-09-24 05:58:34 Last updated: 2018-10-29 01:35:53
"8.11. THE BATTLE FOR BRAINPOWER
Kai-Fu Lee, a Chinese-born computer scientist, got caught in Google/Microsoft crossfire as the two companies battled for his services. Lee was Microsoft's vice president of interactive services when, in 2005, he was lured away to establish Google China. Microsoft sued Google, saying that Lee was in violation of a one-year noncompete-clause agreement he had signed with Microsoft. The courts allowed Lee to go to work for Google but prevented him from participating in projects that overlapped with Microsoft's until the case was settled. Microsoft and Google settled out of court, and Lee stayed with Google in China." (Chapter 8, section 8.11)
I am constantly and extensively reading Safari Books Online and practicing as much as possible of what I read with hopes of becoming the kind of brainpower that great high-technology companies would battle to have working for them.
Created: 2019-01-13 12:39:35 Last updated: 2019-01-13 12:39:35
"The very nature of propaganda and influence is that people tend to be unaware of how they are being worked over." (Beginning of Chapter 12)
The word "unaware" caused a strong impact on me. It made me think about how my subconscious could be influenced, guided, or even worse than that, MANIPULATED by the advertising and propaganda that I am exposed to. I decided to "put my mind in a bubble" where I limit my exposure to undesired propaganda. I decided to drastically filter the online content that I allow myself to see and "my bubble" is now the CBC Radio One.
Created: 2018-09-24 23:04:43 Last updated: 2019-01-23 20:27:41