This book sheds light on many events in the industry, which shaped current form of internet and online marketing. As Google is a dominant force of its domain, it is very interesting to see insight accounts of the events that are still very fresh in the memory of every marketer 😉
Some of the most curious points from the book:
- Google Analytics (my very much loved Google Analytics! 😉 had a rather interesting history. Google needed to help its advertisers to make better decisions and to evaluate the effectiveness of their campaigns. The system that Google had at that point was clunky and difficult to use. so Google looked for something to buy. The criteria for the purchase was an easy to use analytics that would be beneficial for marketers and allow marketers to make better desisions. Google bought Urchin. Originally, Google did not plan to provide the analytics completely free of charge (it was planning to charge $500 per month for the service with discounts for AdWords customers), but the payment system was not ready… Instead of waiting for the payment system to be built, Google decided to help its advertisers and released Google Analytics for free. Even with provision of additional capacity in the expectation of increased demand, the popularity of Google Analytics exceeded all expectations and Google servers crushed. It became known as the most successful disaster.
- Hiring project managers: Google founders would not approved hiring of many professional project managers that were needed in the organization; they did not feel that these people fit into Google… The solution was to hire computer Science graduates and train them to become project managers…
- At one point, Google founders tried to setup a very flat organizational structure for engineers. The structure organized several people into groups, but did not assigned managers assuming that the managers were not needed. During the discussions of the structure, engineers themselves said that they actually wanted to be managed. Larry Page wanted to know why, and the reasons were to have somebody from whom engineers could learn, and when discussions reached an impasse, they needed someone who could break the ties.
The book is a fantastic overview of Google’s journey through triumphs and mistakes, through China and social media, through experience of digitizing books and legal jungles. Highly recommend 🙂