Attempts by mere mortals to understand Google’s march towards Total World Domination has been hindered by its legendary secrecy. At trade events, Google reps make sure not to tell the audience anything that isn’t already announced, and all employees (my friends tell me) are under strict orders not to divulge real numbers.
Naturally this secretive juggernaut attracts journalists and other authors like moths to a flame. One book is out this month, two are due in 2010, and I’ve been corresponding with the author for a fourth.
First out of the chute is my coworker Randy Stross, whose new book Planet Google went on sale today. In addition to the audiobook versions of PG, Randy is also the author of six other books, including his biography of Thomas Edison published only 18 months ago.
Planet Google has already won favorable reviews by Fortune and the Wall Street Journal. Subtitled “One Company’s Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know,” Publisher’s Weekly describes it this way:
In this spellbinding behind-the-scenes look at Google, New York Times columnist Stross (The Microsoft Way) provides an intimate portrait of the company’s massively ambitious aim to “organize the world’s information.” Drawing on extensive interviews with top management and the author’s astonishingly open access to the famed Googleplex, Stross leads readers through Google’s evolution from its humble beginnings as the decidedly nonbusiness-oriented brainchild of Stanford Ph.D. students Sergey Brin and Larry Page, through the company’s early growing pains and multiple acquisitions, on to its current position as global digital behemoth.For Bay Area readers, Randy is doing a 1-hour talk on his book next week (Sept 30) here at SJSU. The one hour talk will begin at noon Tuesday, and will be held on the second floor of the MLK Library. Parking is available at street parking meters or at the 4th street municipal garage.
Update Sept 29: For readers that miss that talk, he’ll be presenting his book at the Google Author Series (inside the Googleplex) on Oct. 7 but the talk is only for Googlers (Google employees). He will present again in Menlo Park on Oct. 15.