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“Eye-opening, thought-provoking, and enlightening.” —USA Today “An indispensable guide to the business logic of the networked era.” —Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody “A stimulating exercise in thinking really, really big.” —San Jose Mercury News What Would Google Do? is an indispensable manual for survival and success in today’s internet-driven marketplace. By “revers “Eye-opening, thought-provoking, and enlightening.” —USA Today “An indispensable guide to the business logic of the networked era.” —Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody “A stimulating exercise in thinking really, really big.” —San Jose Mercury News What Would Google Do? is an indispensable manual for survival and success in today’s internet-driven marketplace. By “reverse engineering the fastest growing company in the history of the world,” author Jeff Jarvis, proprietor of Buzzmachine.com, one of the Web’s most widely respected media blogs, offers indispensible strategies for solving the toughest new problems facing businesses today. With a new afterword from the author, What Would Google Do? is the business book that every leader or potential leader in every industry must read.


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“Eye-opening, thought-provoking, and enlightening.” —USA Today “An indispensable guide to the business logic of the networked era.” —Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody “A stimulating exercise in thinking really, really big.” —San Jose Mercury News What Would Google Do? is an indispensable manual for survival and success in today’s internet-driven marketplace. By “revers “Eye-opening, thought-provoking, and enlightening.” —USA Today “An indispensable guide to the business logic of the networked era.” —Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody “A stimulating exercise in thinking really, really big.” —San Jose Mercury News What Would Google Do? is an indispensable manual for survival and success in today’s internet-driven marketplace. By “reverse engineering the fastest growing company in the history of the world,” author Jeff Jarvis, proprietor of Buzzmachine.com, one of the Web’s most widely respected media blogs, offers indispensible strategies for solving the toughest new problems facing businesses today. With a new afterword from the author, What Would Google Do? is the business book that every leader or potential leader in every industry must read.

30 review for What Would Google Do?

  1. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    How would Google run the world? How would everything look if every industry, every social activity was "googley"? Everything would be more open, collaborative and fun, that is how. The book might be masked as an exploration of a successful way of doing things, but in reality it a call for the open-source "gift" economy in which everyone participates to create great value. It makes sense too, for much of it. Apple posed some problems for the author though. Apparently non-open-source can also work How would Google run the world? How would everything look if every industry, every social activity was "googley"? Everything would be more open, collaborative and fun, that is how. The book might be masked as an exploration of a successful way of doing things, but in reality it a call for the open-source "gift" economy in which everyone participates to create great value. It makes sense too, for much of it. Apple posed some problems for the author though. Apparently non-open-source can also work spectacularly. In any case, let us try out this world. It seems like a a good place to take risks.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Chapman

    It may be unfair to give this book a rating since I couldn't finish it. For all I know, my complaints were resolved in the second half. So with that in mind... It was interesting to read this book soon after a reread of Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody, as both are recent offerings by major publishers on our changing internet culture. However the strengths of Shirky's book and the faults in this one can be traced, I believe, to the two men's backgrounds. Shirky has been a professor at NYU for It may be unfair to give this book a rating since I couldn't finish it. For all I know, my complaints were resolved in the second half. So with that in mind... It was interesting to read this book soon after a reread of Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody, as both are recent offerings by major publishers on our changing internet culture. However the strengths of Shirky's book and the faults in this one can be traced, I believe, to the two men's backgrounds. Shirky has been a professor at NYU for about six years, and writes as an academic approaching a mass audience. Shirky's book is dutifully chockablock with interviews, statistics, and endnotes. Jarvis is one of the founders of Entertainment Weekly and, later, the blogger behind Buzzmachine.com and internet case study "Dell Hell" (mentioned in both books). He's coming from writing for a mass audience to, well, writing for a mass audience. But he's coming from writing blog entries to composing a book. Herein lies the problem. While on paper the thesis is intriguing--Since Google is now one of the world's biggest companies, what if we applied their practices and ethos to other industries?--the execution lacks any evidence of sustained research or in-depth interviews. What we have then is the author's preliminary conceptions of Google repeated ad nauseum, without challenge or expansion, over the course of the book. As he takes on different industries, such as transportation or, yes, publishing, he jumps to pie-in-the-sky proposals with anecdotal evidence for justification: his prescription for the airline industry is to mimic RyanAir's wishes to make tickets free in exchange for revenues earned via in-flight gambling. The author seems to believe that we will agree with his arguments purely on the basis that they exist instead of the usual persuasions of rhetoric. I'm very interested in what the critical reception to the book will be, especially from other tech journalists and bloggers. Even in my department at work (online marketing in publishing), this book has been defended and excoriated in equal measure.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Holiday

    There's this example What Would Google Do? where Jarvis talks about how newspapers could respond to Huffington Post setting up a new blogging venture in Chicago. He basically says that they should become their new best friend - forget that they are competition and think long term. They'd get more out of magnanimity than being territorial. But, he concludes, it doesn't matter because "news organizations don't yet think that way." The thing is, no one does. People, like Marcus Aurelius said, are "m There's this example What Would Google Do? where Jarvis talks about how newspapers could respond to Huffington Post setting up a new blogging venture in Chicago. He basically says that they should become their new best friend - forget that they are competition and think long term. They'd get more out of magnanimity than being territorial. But, he concludes, it doesn't matter because "news organizations don't yet think that way." The thing is, no one does. People, like Marcus Aurelius said, are "meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly." We shouldn't be surprised when they act that way. The benefits of being open minded, collaborative, honest, and helpful are not new. We've been extolling those virtues since Aesop. Or on Google's business end, being scalable, keeping overhead low, treating your customers like partners, pocketing less value than you create. Those are the basic, bedrock fundamentals of business. My point is that we already know all that stuff is good. Awareness isn't the problem. Children know that you shouldn't be evil. We don't need to praise it anymore. What we should be discussing is how to practice it. The book itself falls into the gap between knowing and doing. Jeff misses a very teachable lesson at the juncture where he is mature enough to admit that it's sort of contradictory to take the most old school way of publishing his idea - advance from a major publishing house, syndicate part of the book in a magazine right at the release date, etc. His words: Sorry. Dogs got to eat. Right. Welcome to reality. Where we all live. Where some entertainment companies would probably do innovative things but are tied to crazy artists. Or, companies controlled by petty bosses or signed leases or long term contracts or institutional inertia. The problem isn't that they haven't asked the right rhetorical question. If doing what Google does was easy, they'd have already done it. Since it's hard, they haven't. This book and books like it lack concreteness. What would Google do is a great question. It's a wonderful title for a book. But it's not well served by 250 pages of proof that it's the right one to ask. We know this. Our collective wisdom knows this. So what specifically makes Google able to ignore the barriers that trip other people up? How do they keep the instinct to be surly, meddling, dishonest and jealous from taking over? How can people put the brakes on a direction they know is conflict with their long term goals? In other words, we're trying to solve organizational problem with psychological treatments and it's never going to work. WWGD? has all sort of great examples of good - as in not evil - decisions that Google and other companies have made. What is doesn't have is much introspection as to how they fought the resistance towards making it. I'd really like to read a book that doesn't think the solution lies in more talking. If you were to suggest one of the ideas in the book where you work nobody would tell you it was stupid - they'd just say "it's not realistic." THAT is where we need pages. Not to say Jeff's book isn't good (it is), it's just not what it could be. It's lame to treat all this as some revelation because it's not. It should be a starting off point.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Patrik Hallberg

    This is a great book, don't get me wrong I have no clue why I started reading this book in 2013 and just finished it now in 2019, 6 years later. On the contrary, I wish I would have read it in 2009 when it was published and used in my work since then and maybe even invested in Google back then. What strikes me however is how valid this book still is and how it connects with many other books I have read during 2019 or is currently reading. Jarvis goes through many different areas and sectors and tr This is a great book, don't get me wrong I have no clue why I started reading this book in 2013 and just finished it now in 2019, 6 years later. On the contrary, I wish I would have read it in 2009 when it was published and used in my work since then and maybe even invested in Google back then. What strikes me however is how valid this book still is and how it connects with many other books I have read during 2019 or is currently reading. Jarvis goes through many different areas and sectors and tries to explain how these sectors would look if they were run by Google. It's a fascinating read. The section about climate is very telling. Most people talking about climate like Greta Thunberg or Al Gore attack it from the perspective of regulations, Google attacks it from the perspective of innovation and investments. Instead of raising the cost of pollution, lower the cost of renewable energy. Greta and Al talk about what we shouldn't do and Google talks about what we can do. It's the contrast I guess between an activist and an engineer. The sentence that resonated the most with me is the following in the chapter about education Google U: Opening education "We need to separate youth from education. Education lasts forever. Youth is the time for exploration, maturation and socialization."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    "Google is an avalanche and it has only just begun to tumble down the mountain." The world wide web is an amazing phenomena in the way that religion is a phenomena. You may love it, you may hate it or you may be somewhere inbetween. Regardless where you are in that spectrum it is here and like religion it is powerful so we might as well try to learn about it. At first I thought this book was going to be about as exciting as the manual that used to come in the box with a new computer but it's way "Google is an avalanche and it has only just begun to tumble down the mountain." The world wide web is an amazing phenomena in the way that religion is a phenomena. You may love it, you may hate it or you may be somewhere inbetween. Regardless where you are in that spectrum it is here and like religion it is powerful so we might as well try to learn about it. At first I thought this book was going to be about as exciting as the manual that used to come in the box with a new computer but it's way more interesting than a manual or a reference book. It explains how Google became so powerful then gives you the basic steps for using Google or some of the other Platforms to improve your business, (if you have or want to have a business). The key is the distribution that you can achieve through the platform Google. Platform and Distribution are the two key words in the book. I think it was because I had read the book The Facebook Effect that I found this book useful. Seeing how Facebook evolved helped me to follow the ideas presented in What Would Google Do? And believe me there are a gazillion ideas in this book. Because its copyright date is 2009, some of the predictions made are now old hat. Like being able to put more time on your parking meter by using your telephone. Makes we wonder if parking meters and one day even coins will be extinct. Jeff Jarvis has written a guide book to the internet that I found intriguing. What has Google Done? It has brought simplicity, openness, a respect for the small and it brought us the G Generation. From my experience as a teacher and a grandmother I see that it has literally brought a world of knowledge to our livingrooms. I wish that my father had been alive to use Google. He used to spend his spare time researching at the local library using tiny roles of microfiche.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natali

    Although I think this book is about 50 pages too long, I still highly recommend it to anyone trying to understand modern economy and culture. I was afraid that it would be a big bowing down to Google, which I see enough of in my career. It isn't. Instead, it is a series of case studies proving how companies like Google are leading a civil movement against closed-system corporation culture. I didn't feel like I needed this paradigm applied to so many industries. Jarvis uses the Google template to Although I think this book is about 50 pages too long, I still highly recommend it to anyone trying to understand modern economy and culture. I was afraid that it would be a big bowing down to Google, which I see enough of in my career. It isn't. Instead, it is a series of case studies proving how companies like Google are leading a civil movement against closed-system corporation culture. I didn't feel like I needed this paradigm applied to so many industries. Jarvis uses the Google template to discuss real estate, insurance, public relations, law, media, journalism, and more. Towards the end it becomes slightly formulaic but it does help if you want to apply this line of thinking to your own business. For my thoughts on how it applies to my own industry, see my blog post.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris Cahill

    Never before have I wanted to burn a book once I finished it. I bought this at a charity shop to see what an outsider's perspective from 2011 matched with my insider's perspective in 2015. Unfortunately, Jarvis' canonization of the all holy "link" and constant chset-pumping of his own resume make me want to save anyone else from wasting their time with this trash. The only friend I would give this book to would be someone I know to be a true masochist. Never before have I wanted to burn a book once I finished it. I bought this at a charity shop to see what an outsider's perspective from 2011 matched with my insider's perspective in 2015. Unfortunately, Jarvis' canonization of the all holy "link" and constant chset-pumping of his own resume make me want to save anyone else from wasting their time with this trash. The only friend I would give this book to would be someone I know to be a true masochist.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    I will use this book in my future entrepreneurial journalism course, and possibly social media as well - which is saying a lot, because I rarely add new required texts. If you read Jarvis' blog/follow him on Twitter etc. and are generally well-read when it comes to digital disruption, there isn't much new here - but it's still an excellent, clear summary of the way not just Google but social media and the web more generally are changing many industries, including journalism, media, and education I will use this book in my future entrepreneurial journalism course, and possibly social media as well - which is saying a lot, because I rarely add new required texts. If you read Jarvis' blog/follow him on Twitter etc. and are generally well-read when it comes to digital disruption, there isn't much new here - but it's still an excellent, clear summary of the way not just Google but social media and the web more generally are changing many industries, including journalism, media, and education. I think it will be particularly useful for introducing students to these concepts, much like Clay Shirky's "Here Comes Everybody." Some of his critics say Jarvis pushes his argument too far, is too wholeheartedly a Google fanboy - but to that I say...yeah, but so what? I think we need some of that in a world in which far too many people are exactly the opposite - STILL unwilling to see the change smacking them in the face. You don't have to agree with every word to believe that books like these and Shirky's serve a very useful purpose. We need our evangelists for the new age. The one part I struggle with is with the Googlification of education. I am all for disruption in education in principle, and I wholeheartedly agree that even if I wasn't, tough luck - it's coming. But my experience as an educator who works with a lot of non-elite, first generation college students is such that we have a long way to go to marshal the forces of the web and disruption to provide greater access to high quality education to all. Why? Because we can Googlfy education and learning more easily that we can Googlfy motivation and grit, and at the end of the day, no learning goes on without those two things. Maybe motivation and grit will flower in an era of greater abundance, but I worry. I like his point that most of our education system is still too highly focused on conformity and memorization; and that maybe that push for sameness that saturates the entire system is what turns kids off to learning - by the time I get them in college, maybe it is all but too late. I love this quote: "There is an abundance of talent and a limitless will to create, but they have been tamped down by an educational system that rewarded only a few against, and discouraged by a critical system that anointed a closed creative class." Yes. But. I teach classes in which there are never quizzes or tests (no memorization - who needs it in a Google age?) and creativity and innovation are encouraged, even demanded - we build things and make stuff. We play with new social media tools, make cool multimedia projects on topics entirely of their choice, and/or we build media startups. And I have some success with that - but frankly it is a relatively small handful of students who actively participate, even do the required work. You can bring them to the Googley classroom but you can't make all of them drink.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deniz

    I can't tell you how happy I am to be done with this book. Since I cannot let a book go without finishing it, this one became an obstacle that prevented me from moving on to other books. It was so repetitive and hollow that I wanted to punch the author for wasting my time and money. The main idea of the book is really interesting and worth delving into, because what Google does is truly great. But Jarvis shouldn't be an author, or, he shouldn't write books. I'm sure he's doing fine writing his bl I can't tell you how happy I am to be done with this book. Since I cannot let a book go without finishing it, this one became an obstacle that prevented me from moving on to other books. It was so repetitive and hollow that I wanted to punch the author for wasting my time and money. The main idea of the book is really interesting and worth delving into, because what Google does is truly great. But Jarvis shouldn't be an author, or, he shouldn't write books. I'm sure he's doing fine writing his blog and all, but the book was a pain to read. First of all, two thirds of the websites and products mentioned in the book has some ties with Jarvis, whether it's a startup he's involved with, or an institution he's been teaching. He doesn't sound very sincere, he uses the book to market things that will benefit him. He always intervenes whenever the narration gets fluent by saying "(blah blah blah) is a company I invested in. The other, I'm on the board of directors. And this one is my son's company." Dude, I'm not here to listen to the list of companies you've worked for. Then the last half of the book turns out to be very unnecessary because it just repeats the first half under the pretense of interpreting the ideas into reality (which doesn't happen). The last half basically reads "yada yada yada". I'm so super glad I'm done. All of the brilliant ideas in this book, you probably know already.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    This might be my favorite read so far of 2009 (although I thoroughly enjoyed Outliers and Here Comes Everybody as well). I love discussing creative disruption and this book is full of that. While some of the best ideas aren't Jeff's (Umair Haque and Fred Wilson are heavy influences and mentioned repeatedly in the book) for me it didn't much matter because of the importance and timeliness of the subject matter. If you're entrepreneur you have to read this book. This might be my favorite read so far of 2009 (although I thoroughly enjoyed Outliers and Here Comes Everybody as well). I love discussing creative disruption and this book is full of that. While some of the best ideas aren't Jeff's (Umair Haque and Fred Wilson are heavy influences and mentioned repeatedly in the book) for me it didn't much matter because of the importance and timeliness of the subject matter. If you're entrepreneur you have to read this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Google is the biggest company of our generation. “Hey google” is the easiest way to get an answer whether you're on your phone or computer. In 2009 Jeff Jarvis wrote a book exploring the principles that made google a success and how those could be applied to other businesses. Jarvis explored how other industries could be “Googlefied.” Jarvis looks at all the major industries from Airlines to Soda manufactures and asks how they can be more like Google. He provides ideas and insights for a wide ra Google is the biggest company of our generation. “Hey google” is the easiest way to get an answer whether you're on your phone or computer. In 2009 Jeff Jarvis wrote a book exploring the principles that made google a success and how those could be applied to other businesses. Jarvis explored how other industries could be “Googlefied.” Jarvis looks at all the major industries from Airlines to Soda manufactures and asks how they can be more like Google. He provides ideas and insights for a wide range of interests. The reason I rated this book 4 stars instead of five is because its information is out of date. The book was published in 2009. A lot of the problems with the book come from the age of it. The business information is out of date. It was interesting to read the predictions for the company. There were many things that Jarvis got right. There were also things he got wrong. A few of the business that were benchmarks of success in 2009 have since fallen out of favor. Some of the cutting-edge technology in 2009 is old news and other technology that was expected to be popular ended up not getting enough traction to take off. Even without being updated the book provides insights for entrepreneurs looking for what makes a business like google successful.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Antonia Munteanu

    I think it is a good start to better understand how Google works. It is not a black hole where all our information goes, behind it were people that made the decisions on how to simulate artificial intelligence. My granny was using Google and was always seeing it like a wise friend. This book give her an understanding on what it is behind the click, each commercial that you get depending on gender and so on. I did not read any similar books so this makes it hard to rate it by comparison. Hope thi I think it is a good start to better understand how Google works. It is not a black hole where all our information goes, behind it were people that made the decisions on how to simulate artificial intelligence. My granny was using Google and was always seeing it like a wise friend. This book give her an understanding on what it is behind the click, each commercial that you get depending on gender and so on. I did not read any similar books so this makes it hard to rate it by comparison. Hope this helps.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Posted on my blog at http://blog.liftdevelopment.com: I recently finished reading the book "What Would Google Do?" by author/blogger/journalist Jeff Jarvis. Jarvis is probably recognized primarily as proprietor of the popular blog Buzzmachine.com. I had an interest in this book right from the start because I am fascinated with the approach Google takes to everything they do: Offering premium services for free and finding alternative ways to make their money. A lot of money. Without giving too much Posted on my blog at http://blog.liftdevelopment.com: I recently finished reading the book "What Would Google Do?" by author/blogger/journalist Jeff Jarvis. Jarvis is probably recognized primarily as proprietor of the popular blog Buzzmachine.com. I had an interest in this book right from the start because I am fascinated with the approach Google takes to everything they do: Offering premium services for free and finding alternative ways to make their money. A lot of money. Without giving too much of the book away, Jarvis first dives into the "Google Rules." These are concepts which he feels Google (and other successful web companies) follow which make them successful in the growing world of social media and instant search. One of the firsthand stories that really summed up the status of marketing and customer relations in the Googlefied world today was Jarvis' own example of typing "Dell sucks" on his blog after a bad customer service experience. The buzz from that single post grew and grew, and it eventually reached the front page of Google for the keyword "dell," at which point Jarvis got a call from Dell and they tried to make it all better. Dell has since changed their approach to service and actually uses Twitter to keep a finger on the pulse of their customer base. Marketing has become less of a bullhorn and more of a conversation. The concept that I really took away from this book was the idea of being a platform. Google is a platform. Facebook is a platform. Twitter is a platform. We as users of the web can create our own online brand using these tools. Businesses can do the same. Give people control to create and improve...and they will. From my own standpoint, so much of my business is Google-based. Get up in the morning, check my Google-hosted Gmail, read my favorite blogs on Google Reader, browse news topics from the past 24 hours on Google search, etc. The platform is alive and well. As for making money, Jarvis argues that the idea of a "side-door" is where it's at in the Web 2.0 world. If your platform itself is not free or at-cost, someone can easily come in and undercut you. However, if you are running free services and able to create a side-method for income (think Google's ad-words/ad-sense concepts), your user base will be much greater and your income will instead be generated from marketers. The last half of the book was Jarvis' attempt to apply Google concepts to other business types: media, advertising, retail, utilities, manufacturing, airlines, real estate, money, welfare, etc. Some of these were really interesting, and some were kind of "out there" in my mind. But Google is an "out there" company and I guess that's why they're so successful. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in the direction of business in a Web 2.0 world.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad

    It should be 3.5 stars out of 5 (or somewhere between 3-4 stars). In this book, author Jeff Harvis of BuzzMachine.com, discusses the concept of "Googlethink". He takes Google and studies what made today's huge company, an enormously successful organization and how that success can be transferred to other industries. The book is divided into 2 parts. The first of which is the answer to "What/Why?" as in "What/Why is Google successful?". Jeff discusses the concepts of "Googlethink" and "Googlejuice" It should be 3.5 stars out of 5 (or somewhere between 3-4 stars). In this book, author Jeff Harvis of BuzzMachine.com, discusses the concept of "Googlethink". He takes Google and studies what made today's huge company, an enormously successful organization and how that success can be transferred to other industries. The book is divided into 2 parts. The first of which is the answer to "What/Why?" as in "What/Why is Google successful?". Jeff discusses the concepts of "Googlethink" and "Googlejuice". He also suggests that Google is a platform for success. Being a "platform" for other people to improve on and adopting the collaborative open-source mindset is what got it to be where it is today. He also explains and touches on his personal first rule which shows the relationship between Control and Trust. A few other ideas are also explored. In the second part, Jeff provides some examples of the various services/products in our world that can truly benefit from the Googlethink way of doing things. Airlines, cola companies, hospitals, restaurants, media, etc. can all adopt the Google mindset of openness and collaboration which will ultimately transform these services into platforms of success by keeping customers and users involved. Although some ideas seem far-fetched. It's the idea that counts. An enjoyable read, especially the second part of the book which answers the title's question.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Howard

    This book is written in two parts. The first outlines the rules for how Google works and is so successful in a digital economy. In essence, he reverse engineers the company. The second part of the book applies these rules to show how different industries can apply these rules to move from being atom-based to being digital, to moving from profiting from scarcity to profiting from abundance. I find the author's cautious but enthusiastic optimism refreshing. So many times these types of books tend t This book is written in two parts. The first outlines the rules for how Google works and is so successful in a digital economy. In essence, he reverse engineers the company. The second part of the book applies these rules to show how different industries can apply these rules to move from being atom-based to being digital, to moving from profiting from scarcity to profiting from abundance. I find the author's cautious but enthusiastic optimism refreshing. So many times these types of books tend to be glowing praises of the new without any kind of reflection on what new issues are raised by the changes discussed. On the other hand, some authors are near Luddites who cringe in fear of the future and long for the fantasy of the "good old days." Jarvis is excited about the future that Google has ushered in, but he doesn't ignore the issues but welcomes them. In fact, in writing the book he discussed much of what is in it on his blog at buzzmachine.com which greatly influenced his writing and conclusions. And at the end he dedicates a chapter to two industries that he feels are largely immune to the new business model he outlines in the rest of the book (but he still finds ways that the ideas could apply). So, if you want to learn about how the new economy of bits and abundance works (and could work for many industries that haven't gotten there yet), this book is well worth your time!

  16. 4 out of 5

    David

    I have to admit that the title of this book put me off from the start. Could it be a serious book based on a blatant rip off of WWJD. So I was a bit grumpy to start with, but the author won me over by the end of the book. Jarvis does a pretty good job of pulling apart some of the things that Google has done and tries to apply it to other industries. Google is perhaps give a bit too much credit as being the saviour of all businesses. Google got lucky with Adsense - it was a search company without a I have to admit that the title of this book put me off from the start. Could it be a serious book based on a blatant rip off of WWJD. So I was a bit grumpy to start with, but the author won me over by the end of the book. Jarvis does a pretty good job of pulling apart some of the things that Google has done and tries to apply it to other industries. Google is perhaps give a bit too much credit as being the saviour of all businesses. Google got lucky with Adsense - it was a search company without any income until Adsense and Adwords was created. That was a stroke of genius that has made the company immensely rich. Going from that to youtube, google maps and gmail - and including them as brilliant innovations that will make google more $$$ is a bit of a stretch I think. Google still feels a little like a one product company to me. Time will tell which of their spaghetti on the wall sticks. For those who don't know much about the history of Google, or haven't read The Search or The Long Tail for eg then this book is a good place to start and indeed complement them quite well.

  17. 5 out of 5

    David

    While the title implies that this is a book about the Internet, this book really covers a much broader topic: This is a book for all types of businesses; restaurants, airlines, real estate companies, computer manufacturers, you name it. Its subject is about figuring out what business a company is really in, and then serving its real customers. Many large companies flail around because they cannot decide on what their real products and services are. The book is about building trust in one's compa While the title implies that this is a book about the Internet, this book really covers a much broader topic: This is a book for all types of businesses; restaurants, airlines, real estate companies, computer manufacturers, you name it. Its subject is about figuring out what business a company is really in, and then serving its real customers. Many large companies flail around because they cannot decide on what their real products and services are. The book is about building trust in one's company by trusting one's customers. The motto for the book might be, "Your worst customer is your best friend." In this age of blogs and online customer reviews, it is in a company's best interest to treat its customers well, and to be honest and open.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Everything in this book is at least 10 years old and in the world of the Internet that is an eternity. Pretty much everything he is saying that is so revolutionary in this book has been standard business practice for many many years and is obvious. He says the word blog about 1000 times in the first few chapters and I couldn’t take it anymore. I quit reading it after two chapters. The story about Dell and they’re supposed turn around is BS because even though they went out and fixed problems for Everything in this book is at least 10 years old and in the world of the Internet that is an eternity. Pretty much everything he is saying that is so revolutionary in this book has been standard business practice for many many years and is obvious. He says the word blog about 1000 times in the first few chapters and I couldn’t take it anymore. I quit reading it after two chapters. The story about Dell and they’re supposed turn around is BS because even though they went out and fixed problems for bloggers who wrote about them that didn’t change the fact that their products still sucked. You had to write a blog in order to get customer service and that just causes more problems. This book is no longer relevant and you shouldn’t waste your time reading it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    I love this book -- it is why I selected it for Federal News Radio 1500 AM's Federal News Radio Book Club next month. In the end, this book isn't really about Google. It is about being agile and sharing information and how to operate in a very new and very competitive world. I think it particularly speaks to government, which could use some new ways of thinking. Not all of these ideas are brand new, but Jarvis does a good job building and adding to what has been out there... and fleshing out these I love this book -- it is why I selected it for Federal News Radio 1500 AM's Federal News Radio Book Club next month. In the end, this book isn't really about Google. It is about being agile and sharing information and how to operate in a very new and very competitive world. I think it particularly speaks to government, which could use some new ways of thinking. Not all of these ideas are brand new, but Jarvis does a good job building and adding to what has been out there... and fleshing out these ideas.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jinsong Zhang

    A good one to read, and like many of Jeff's ideas. Quotable quotes: Do what you do best and link to the rest When you complain make sure you are giving a gift At Google, we are the God, and our data is the bible But could hardly agree that life is a beta. Life is never something one can come back to fix. Rather it is a road taken or not taken: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference(Robert Frost). A good one to read, and like many of Jeff's ideas. Quotable quotes: Do what you do best and link to the rest When you complain make sure you are giving a gift At Google, we are the God, and our data is the bible But could hardly agree that life is a beta. Life is never something one can come back to fix. Rather it is a road taken or not taken: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference(Robert Frost).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tim Kubiak

    A quick easy read with a some interesting comparisons of how google and ultimately the internet will open up industries. There were several references to Clue Train Manifesto and many of the positions reminded me of segments of Wikinomics and Naked Conversations but still was worth the time to read. If nothing else it will force you to look at inefficient business processes and the business of innovation itself.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael Carnell

    Hard to give the one a rating. Jeff Jarvis is a brilliant guy and he has some really good insights into Google. The only problem is he tends to repeat himself in the book. Once his point is made, he makes it over and over again. I would recommend really reading the first third, lightly reading the second third, and skimming the final third.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Senholt

    Didn't have many expectations for this book, but it actually ended up giving me quite a few ideas. The last chapter on 'generation g', also brings up some interesting perspectives about the future of the modern world, and especially how technology changes the way we interact and think (resulting in future changes, 'power to the people' etc. as currently evidenced in the Arab Spring risings). Didn't have many expectations for this book, but it actually ended up giving me quite a few ideas. The last chapter on 'generation g', also brings up some interesting perspectives about the future of the modern world, and especially how technology changes the way we interact and think (resulting in future changes, 'power to the people' etc. as currently evidenced in the Arab Spring risings).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lindley Walter-smith

    I managed to slog through this for a Coursera course, but it seems badly thought out and embarrassingly fanboyish about Google, Apple (for some reason) and himself (the whole Dell Hell thing), while gliding over any complications.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dirk

    Maybe a bit overoptimistic and too enthusiastic about technology but still an interesting read

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rushay Booysen

    This book dissect how google and other technology platforms basically transformed everything as we know it.Was a real informative read and alters ones approach to conventional ism

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Excellent. I feel like we all think we know how Google works. Simple, smart and “do no evil”. I learned a lot with this and it was very readable – this is what I am looking for when I read non-fiction. I learn a lot from reading scientific papers but they can be too taxing as they’re usually ostentatious and dryly written. Fiction tends to be easier to follow but I tend to learn less. Google, like Amazon, found opportunity in very low profit margins. The internet as a platform is huge, so as long Excellent. I feel like we all think we know how Google works. Simple, smart and “do no evil”. I learned a lot with this and it was very readable – this is what I am looking for when I read non-fiction. I learn a lot from reading scientific papers but they can be too taxing as they’re usually ostentatious and dryly written. Fiction tends to be easier to follow but I tend to learn less. Google, like Amazon, found opportunity in very low profit margins. The internet as a platform is huge, so as long as you achieve scale, who cares that your profit margin per person is low? They went so low that everyone wanted to use them, and eventually, once they’d achieved scale, there were no competitors. They knew what type of business they were. They remained a simple, powerful, no nonsense, search engine. Competitors like Yahoo wasted resources on trying to be content providers and shoved this into the search engine. I would add to this that whilst Google has expanded, its search engine remains pretty much the same as it was 20 years ago. Google provides a service and then gets the hell out of your way. Google treats its audience as distributors. Nowadays, companies like Facebook do this too. An aside mentioned in the book is that as there can be more content online than on broadcast television, it means there can be more stars. Back in the day, you had few places to consume content, whether it be soap operas, comedies or cooking shows. This meant that there were fewer celebrities, but that each celebrity received, on average, a larger percentage of the viewership. I would add to this the flip side that this previous paradigm meant that you could not become successful hosting a niche show, as you would be outcompeted by the shows with much larger demographics. A great example of this is probably mixed martial arts, which could not break through to the masses with massive competitors from other sports, especially boxing. With the internet, fans all over the globe were able to come together and more easily consume the content. It was tough to watch an event in Japan if was not on TV anywhere else and if exporting it was prohibitively expensive. Despite all of this, I do not like how much Alphabet (parent of Google) is policing YouTube and potentially how it might be doing this to give preferential search rankings to some sites. This isn't really discussed in this book but this was written in 2009. I'd like to see an Amazon version of this, so let me know if one turns up... Rambling done.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Animekh Misra

    Occasionally funny, this book is oriented towards business and corporate heads who wish to transform their business. The books urges you to take bold decisions (like Google would), and radically change your company. That is easier said than done. This book is only assumptions of what could be, and sadly, missing any sort of thorough study on what is. This is what made the book unreadable for me. After losing interest over a few chapters, my interest regained after Mark Zuckerberg's story of his Ha Occasionally funny, this book is oriented towards business and corporate heads who wish to transform their business. The books urges you to take bold decisions (like Google would), and radically change your company. That is easier said than done. This book is only assumptions of what could be, and sadly, missing any sort of thorough study on what is. This is what made the book unreadable for me. After losing interest over a few chapters, my interest regained after Mark Zuckerberg's story of his Harvard art course. And my interest was short lived. A fascinating fact is that "Google diluted our brands.". I agree and disagree with this notion. I disagree because when I look for something in Google, and I do find it in a website, I usually do note down the website to avoid browsing Google again if I need similar content. For example. I found NetCarShow.com in Google, and now I don't Google for car wallpapers. "Abundance breeds quality." True. Very true. "Life is a beta." This whole section is interesting and important, which should be taken into serious consideration. In the section 'GoogleCollins: Killing the book to save it', the author has put some interesting insights on the limitations of book- how "frozen in time" they are. "...once written they tend not to teach authors". This book, I feel, is all rainbows and unicorns. You can skip paragraphs or two and still find yourself sky-high from ground reality. Below are some mentionable quotes from the book: - Don’t tell them what your brand means. Ask them what it means. - Jarvis’ First Law: “Th ere is an inverse relationship between control and trust.”

  29. 4 out of 5

    Keeganbutler

    The book What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis, is a book analyzing the current marketplace, with the introduction of the internet and google. It breaks down how google became successful. It references how other companies became successful as well. The main message of the book is to let the customers have the power, and don’t hide things from them. Google was one of the first companies to do this, and set in motion this new form of thinking. Old companies, who have stuck with their old philosophy The book What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis, is a book analyzing the current marketplace, with the introduction of the internet and google. It breaks down how google became successful. It references how other companies became successful as well. The main message of the book is to let the customers have the power, and don’t hide things from them. Google was one of the first companies to do this, and set in motion this new form of thinking. Old companies, who have stuck with their old philosophy of controlling what the consumers can and can’t see and get, have waned because of this. Jeff does a great job of providing analysis and evidence to back up all of his claims that he makes throughout the book. The book isn’t a hard read necessarily, however it is very analytical, and provides lots of numbers and statistics. If you can not handle reading pages upon pages of analysis, then please don’t put yourself through reading this book. If you can get through a book like that, however, than I’d recommend reading it if you want to read a book about the analysis of the current marketplace. It has the potential to be very helpful in providing help for businesses. If that’s what you are looking for, go ahead and read it, you may end up using some of its philosophies.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alex Shaikh

    Seriously the author Jeff Jarvis is in love with Google like I am but Jeff is more like obsessed with Google. If Google was a person, Jeff will be the stalker. I believe this is a profound book about changes in the business world created by continued advancement of the information age. The book as I read it, really is not about Google, per se. Instead it is a thoughtful discussion as to how all kinds of businesses will be impacted by the forces on which Google has so brilliantly capitalized. Ove Seriously the author Jeff Jarvis is in love with Google like I am but Jeff is more like obsessed with Google. If Google was a person, Jeff will be the stalker. I believe this is a profound book about changes in the business world created by continued advancement of the information age. The book as I read it, really is not about Google, per se. Instead it is a thoughtful discussion as to how all kinds of businesses will be impacted by the forces on which Google has so brilliantly capitalized. Overall, "WWGD?" was a well thought out book that was easy to read. It probably would work best with people high school age and higher. A basic understanding of social media and the internet is necessary to fully appreciate "WWGD?". A complete novice would most likely be a bit lost with some of the terms and phrases used throughout the book. The main takeaway is for companies to join conversations online and develop relationships with their customers. Ultimately, Jeff really just wants businesses to focus on the customers instead of themselves.

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