Title: I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
Author: Douglas Edwards
Pages: 390 (hardcover)
Summary: Google had a crazy path from start-up to technology giant and I’m a sucker for tech start-ups, so this book was very appealing to my inner nerd. It is told, however, from a marketing department employee who joined Google early in its development, but always seemed to be just sort of along for the ride. While Edwards certainly contributed to Google brand significantly, he approaches the story of Google’s development while he was there with an approach more similar to a fly on the wall and only sometimes talks about his own adventures.As someone who hadn’t followed Google’s rise to power very closely and simply adored the search capability when I found it (and Gmail when I was introduced to that) it was very interesting to read about the very eccentric personalities of the original idea makers. While reading this book I was constantly intimidated by the brilliance of the people working at Google, and as someone who has seen multiple recent grads get rejected from Google’s hiring crusade, it was almost reassuring.This book tells the tale of Google from a small 60 person start-up to a giant tech company that just went public, but I sometimes found myself lost in a see of short stories. Edwards approaches this 6 year story as a collection of short episodes and often jumps to events years before or after the current story to explain some dynamic of the current telling. This meant that I rarely knew where exactly I was in the timeline of the book, but it didn’t really worry me that much. What I enjoyed about this book was the fascinating insight into what a successful start-up model is, the very entertaining stories about some now very important people, and a better understanding of what Google’s goals really were throughout this whole development.If you like tech at all, especially if you think the quirky but brilliant techies that are currently taking over the world are people you’d like to hang with, I’d recommend picking up this book. I found it getting a little long in the middle, but once I got past 2/3 I rushed to the end because I had finally figured out the style and was content floating along the quantum jumping timeline.
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