In Googled, esteemed media writer and critic Ken Auletta uses the story of Google’s rise to explore the inner workings of the company and the future of the media at large. Although Google has often been secretive, this book is based on the most extensive cooperation ever granted a journalist, including access to closed-door meetings and interviews with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, CEO Eric Schmidt, and some 150 present and former employees.
Inside the Google campus, Auletta finds a culture driven by brilliant engineers in which even the most basic ways of doing things are questioned. His reporting shines light on how Google has been so hugely successful—and why it could slip. On one hand, Auletta reveals how the company has innovated, from Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Earth to YouTube, search, and other seminal programs. On the other, he charts its conflicts: the tension between massive growth and its mandate of “Don’t be evil”; the limitations of a belief that mathematical algorithms always provide correct answers; and the collisions of Google engineers who want more data with citizens worried about privacy.
More than a comprehensive study of media’s most powerful digital company, Googled is also a lesson in new media truths. Pairing Auletta’s unmatched analysis with vivid details and rich anecdotes, it shows how the Google wave grew, how it threatens to drown media institutions once considered impregnable—and where it is now taking us all.