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I'm Feeling Lucky
Cover of I'm Feeling Lucky
I'm Feeling Lucky
The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
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A marketing director's story of working at a startup called Google in the early days of the tech boom: "Vivid inside stories . . . Engrossing" (Ken Auletta).

Douglas Edwards wasn't an engineer or a twentysomething fresh out of school when he received a job offer from a small but growing search engine company at the tail end of the 1990s. But founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin needed staff to develop the brand identity of their brainchild, and Edwards fit the bill with his journalistic background at the San Jose Mercury News, the newspaper of Silicon Valley.

It was a change of pace for Edwards, to say the least, and put him in a unique position to interact with and observe the staff as Google began its rocket ride to the top. In entertaining, self-deprecating style, he tells his story of participating in this moment of business and technology history, giving readers a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company. Edwards, Google's first director of marketing and brand management, describes the idiosyncratic Page and Brin, the evolution of the famously nonhierarchical structure in which every employee finds a problem to tackle and works independently, the races to develop and implement each new feature, and the many ideas that never came to pass. I'm Feeling Lucky reveals what it's like to be "indeed lucky, sort of an accidental millionaire, a reluctant bystander in a sea of computer geniuses who changed the world. This is a rare look at what happened inside the building of the most important company of our time" (Seth Godin, author of Linchpin).

"An affectionate, compulsively readable recounting of the early years (1999–2005) of Google . . . This lively, thoughtful business memoir is more entertaining than it really has any right to be, and should be required reading for startup aficionados." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Edwards recounts Google's stumbles and rise with verve and humor and a generosity of spirit. He kept me turning the pages of this engrossing tale." —Ken Auletta, author of Greed and Glory on Wall Street

"Funny, revealing, and instructive, with an insider's perspective I hadn't seen anywhere before. I thought I had followed the Google story closely, but I realized how much I'd missed after reading—and enjoying—this book." —James Fallows, author of China Airborne

A marketing director's story of working at a startup called Google in the early days of the tech boom: "Vivid inside stories . . . Engrossing" (Ken Auletta).

Douglas Edwards wasn't an engineer or a twentysomething fresh out of school when he received a job offer from a small but growing search engine company at the tail end of the 1990s. But founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin needed staff to develop the brand identity of their brainchild, and Edwards fit the bill with his journalistic background at the San Jose Mercury News, the newspaper of Silicon Valley.

It was a change of pace for Edwards, to say the least, and put him in a unique position to interact with and observe the staff as Google began its rocket ride to the top. In entertaining, self-deprecating style, he tells his story of participating in this moment of business and technology history, giving readers a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company. Edwards, Google's first director of marketing and brand management, describes the idiosyncratic Page and Brin, the evolution of the famously nonhierarchical structure in which every employee finds a problem to tackle and works independently, the races to develop and implement each new feature, and the many ideas that never came to pass. I'm Feeling Lucky reveals what it's like to be "indeed lucky, sort of an accidental millionaire, a reluctant bystander in a sea of computer geniuses who changed the world. This is a rare look at what happened inside the building of the most important company of our time" (Seth Godin, author of Linchpin).

"An affectionate, compulsively readable recounting of the early years (1999–2005) of Google . . . This lively, thoughtful business memoir is more entertaining than it really has any right to be, and should be required reading for startup aficionados." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Edwards recounts Google's stumbles and rise with verve and humor and a generosity of spirit. He kept me turning the pages of this engrossing tale." —Ken Auletta, author of Greed and Glory on Wall Street

"Funny, revealing, and instructive, with an insider's perspective I hadn't seen anywhere before. I thought I had followed the Google story closely, but I realized how much I'd missed after reading—and enjoying—this book." —James Fallows, author of China Airborne

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About the Author-
  • Doug Edwards was the director of consumer marketing and brand management at Google from 1999 to 2005 and was responsible for setting the tone and direction of the company's communications with its users. Prior to joining Google, Edwards was the online brand group manager for the San Jose Mercury News, where he conceived and led development of the technology news site siliconvalley.com.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 11, 2011
    An affectionate, compulsively readable recounting of the early years (1999–2005) of Google from Edwards, its first marketing executive. Accustomed to a traditional corporate environment, Edwards found himself over his head when he came on board at Google, stymied by the hierarchy-free flat company that boasted about 50 employees (working at desks consisting of large wooden doors mounted on metal sawhorses) whose engine was doing 11 million searches a day, barely a blip against Yahoo, AOL, and MSN. The author describes the meteoric rise of a company where all assumptions were challenged, where every problem was viewed as solvable and skirmishes sprang from convictions, not ego, and where an idiosyncratic corporate culture (in-house massages and doctors, bacchanalian parties) reigned from its earliest days. The book's real strength is its evenhandedness; though the author notes the weaknesses of Google 1.0, the occasional mishandling of its own relationships with openness and disclosure, and founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin's overweening confidence in their convictions—he also speaks with great warmth and respect about the evolution of a legendary company. This lively, thoughtful business memoir is more entertaining than it really has any right to be, and should be required reading for startup aficionados.

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    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
Douglas Edwards
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