Googled: The End of the World as We Know It
By Ken Auletta
Penguin Press, 2009. 384 pgs. Nonfiction
Google is one of the most powerful companies and brands in business today. This book describes how it got there. Founded by two college friends, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google quickly came to dominate the online search market though it was years before they were actually able to monetize their product and start making money. Closely tied to Google’s history is the history of the Internet and media. Google’s seemingly effortless rise corresponds with the increasingly desperate fall of print or broadcast media. Auletta presents the opinions of many key players in this high stakes struggle to inform and entertain the world and make money while doing it.
Googled is an interesting look at the wave Google has created. They are so frequently featured in the news, sometimes as the villain and sometimes as the hero, that it is difficult to decide to love them or hate them. Auletta presents an even report without giving too much credit to the company’s obvious desire to improve the world, nor too much blame for their failure to incorporate copyright law into their business plans. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in current media trends and how the Internet and Google has changed our world.