The Search: How Google and its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture by John Battelle
The rise of Google is one of the most amazing stories of our time. Jumping into the search industry long after Yahoo!, AltaVista, Lycos, and other competitors, Google offered a radical new approach to search, redefined the idea of viral marketing, and in just seven years became the largest IPO in the history of Silicon Valley. Google's enormous impact straddles the worlds of technology, marketing, finance, media, culture, dating, job-hunting, and just about every other sphere of human interest. And no one is better qualified to explain this entire phenomenon than John Battelle, the acclaimed Silicon Valley journalist who co-founded Wired and founded The Industry Standard. In this fascinating narrative of the past, present, and future of search, Battelle draws on more than 350 interviews with executives at Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and other companies, including Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin and CEO, Eric Schmidt. Battelle explores how search technology works, the amazing power of targeted advertising as a business model, and the frenzy of the Google IPO when the company tried to rewrite the rules of Wall Street and declared, "don't be evil" as one of its core goals. Battelle is equally enlightening about the cultural impact of the search industry. Every day, billions of searches reveal the wants, needs, fears, and obsessions of humankind - an unprecedented record that Battelle calls the database of intentions. What will Google and other companies do with all that information? Will the government regulate the search business? And what happens to privacy when every word ever written about someone is permanently archived and searchable in a fraction of a second? For anyone who wants to understand how Google succeeded and what its success means for all of us, "The Search" is indispensable.