Googled | Ken Auletta

Summary of: Googled: The End of the World as We Know It
By: Ken Auletta

Introduction

Delve into the fascinating world of Google, a modern business success story that has taken the world by storm. The book ‘Googled: The End of the World as We Know It’ by Ken Auletta chronicles the journey of this tech giant, from its humble beginnings in a rented garage to its global dominance today. Learn about the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who wanted to revolutionize the search engine industry. Discover how Google has redefined advertising through its AdWords platform and evolved into a versatile and powerful company that constantly questions and reshapes the boundaries of technology and media.

The Google Revolution

Founded by two young entrepreneurs in 1998, Google’s revenues grew from $3.2 billion to $21.8 billion in 2008, largely from advertising. The company acquired YouTube and DoubleClick, launched Android, Chrome, and Gmail, and became a profit machine due to site simplicity and search engine power. Adored by technophiles and entrepreneurs, reviled by privacy activists and traditional media owners, Google is the vortex of a media revolution.

The Birth of Google

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, while studying at Stanford University, developed a strong drive to create a better search engine. They left college, worked from a garage, and named their search engine PageRank. Unlike existing search engines that did not prioritize results, Page and Brin found a way to rank search results by usefulness, establishing Google’s core value. They launched Google without a business model and offered free searches, envisioning it as an “anti-Microsoft” company that aims to empower computer users by providing a high-quality product for free.

The Evolution of Google’s Ad Business

Google’s rise to being the world’s go-to search engine and information source didn’t happen overnight. Despite co-founders Page and Brin’s initial reluctance to include advertising, they eventually found a way to monetize their user’s searching and ranking capabilities, thanks to AdWords. Google’s approach to advertising relies heavily on engineering and metrics, which allows advertisers to track how many clicks their ads receive and how many responders make purchases. However, this analytical science now threatens traditional media’s once-stable business. It’s a known fact that Google changed the advertising game forever, and it won’t be stopping anytime soon.

The Unique Rise of Google

Google’s founders, Page and Brin, forged their path with a healthy disregard for traditional business etiquette, yet managed to secure $25 million in venture capital in 1999. Their unconventional style extended to micromanaging their staff and constant experimentation, as evidenced by their 2000 flop with AdWords. However, their steadfast belief in not advertising in a disruptive manner, along with the introduction of AdSense, fueled Google’s financial success. With income secured, Google invested in more technology and employees, becoming known for its rigorous hiring practices and generous benefits. Despite the need for more modern management, Brin and Page’s vision remained steadfast in organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible.

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