Two books scheduled for release in the coming months are promising to give us a glimpse inside Google — one from the perspective of a journalist and the other from a former employee.
The first, “In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives,” is by Wired writer Steven Levy and due out in April. “I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59,” by Douglas Edwards is due out in July.
The teaser for Levy’s book says: “Written with full cooperation from top management at Google, this is the story behind the most successful and admired technology company of our time.”
Edwards was director of consumer marketing and brand management for Google from 1999 to 2005, and earlier this month confirmed the book was finished on the Xooglers blog, also promising to “dig out some of the material that didn’t fit and post it here. That’s right, for no cost whatsoever, you can read stories that were too weak to make it into in a book that’s already a hundred pages too long.”
The teaser for Edwards book says:
Comparing Google to an ordinary business is like comparing a rocket to an Edsel. No academic analysis or bystander’s account can capture it. Now Doug Edwards, Employee Number 59, offers the first inside view of Google, giving readers a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company. Edwards, Google’s first director of marketing and brand management, describes it as it happened. We see the first, pioneering steps of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the company’s young, idiosyncratic partners; the evolution of the company’s famously nonhierarchical structure (where every employee finds a problem to tackle or a feature to create and works independently); the development of brand identity; the races to develop and implement each new feature; and the many ideas that never came to pass. Above all, Edwards–a former journalist who knows how to write–captures the “Google Experience,” the rollercoaster ride of being part of a company creating itself in a whole new universe.
I’m Feeling Lucky captures for the first time the unique, self-invented, yet profoundly important culture of the world’s most transformative corporation.