A revealing, forward-looking examination of the outsize influence Google has had on the changing media landscape.
There are companies that create waves and those that ride or are drowned by them. Bestselling author Ken Auletta takes readers for a ride on the Google wave, telling the story of how it formed and crashed into traditional media businesses - from newspapers to books, to television, to movies, to telephones, to advertising, to Microsoft. With unprecedented access to Google's founders and executives, as well as to those in the media who are struggling to keep their heads above water, Auletta reveals how the industry is being disrupted and redefined.
Using Google as a stand-in for the digital revolution, Auletta takes readers inside Google's closed-door meetings, introducing Google's notoriously private founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as well as those who work with - and against - them. In his narrative, Auletta provides the fullest account ever told of Google's rise, shares the 'secret sauce' of Google's success, and shows why the worlds of 'new' and 'old' media often communicate as if residents of different planets.
Google engineers start from an assumption that the old ways of doing things can be improved and made more efficient, an approach that has yielded remarkable results - Google will generate about $20 billion in advertising revenues this year. And with its ownership of YouTube and its mobile phone and other initiatives, Google CEO Eric Schmidt tells Auletta his company is poised to become the world's first $100 billion media company. Yet there are many obstacles that threaten Google's future, and opposition from media companies and government regulators may be the least of these. Google faces internal threats, from its burgeoning size to losing focus to hubris. In the coming years, Google's faith in mathematical formulas and in slide rule logic will be tested to the limit.
Distilling the knowledge accrued from a career covering the media, Auletta offers insights into what we know, and don't know, about what the future holds for the imperiled industry.show more