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The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture

By John Battelle
What does the world want? According to John Battelle, a company that answers that question -- in all its shades of meaning -- can unlock the most intractable riddles of both business and culture. And for the past few years, that's exactly what Google has been doing.

Jumping into the game long after Yahoo, Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, and other pioneers, Google offered a radical new approach to search, redefined the idea of viral marketing, survived the dotcom crash, and pulled off the largest and most talked about initial public offering in the history of Silicon Valley.

But "The Search" offers much more than the inside story of Google's triumph. It's also a big-picture book about the past, present, and future of search technology, and the enormous impact it is starting to have on marketing, media, pop culture, dating, job hunting, international law, civil liberties, and just about every other sphere of human interest.

More than any of its rivals, Google has become the gateway to instant knowledge. Hundreds of millions of people use it to satisfy their wants, needs, fears, and obsessions, creating an enormous artifact that Battelle calls "the Database of Intentions." Somewhere in Google's archives, for instance, you can find the agonized research of a gay man with AIDS, the silent plotting of a would-be bombmaker, and the anxiety of a woman checking out her blind date. Combined with the databases of thousands of other search-driven businesses, large and small, it all adds up to a goldmine of information that powerful organizations (including the government) will want to get their hands on.

No one is better qualified to explain this entire phenomenon than Battelle, who cofounded "Wired" and founded "The Industry Standard." Perhaps more than any other journalist, he has devoted his career to finding the holy grail of technology -- something as transformational as the Macintosh was in the mid- 1980s. And he has finally found it in search.

Battelle draws on more than 350 interviews with major players from Silicon Valley to Seattle to Wall Street, including Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as competitors like Louis Monier, who invented AltaVista, and Neil Moncrief, a soft-spoken Georgian whose business Google built, destroyed, and built again.

Battelle lucidly reveals how search technology actually works, explores the amazing power of targeted advertising, and reports on the frenzy of the Google IPO, when the company tried to rewrite the rules of Wall Street and declared "don't be evil" as its corporate motto.

For anyone who wants to understand how Google really succeeded -- and the implications of a world in which every click can be preserved forever -- THE SEARCH is an eye-opening and indispensable read.

"Battelle has written a brilliant business book, but he's also done something more... All searchers should read it."
-Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute

"This book ought to be called 'The Answer.' As usual, John Battelle delivers insightful, thought-provoking, and essential reading."
-Seth Godin, author of "All Marketers Are Liars" and "Purple Cow"

"Nobody, and I mean nobody, has thought longer, harder, or smarter about Google and the search business than John Battelle."
-John Heilemann, author of "Pride Before the Fall"

"A must read for anyone endeavoring to understand one of the most important trends of this generation.'"
-Mary Meeker, Managing Director, Internet Analyst, Morgan Stanley

"Battelle has... figured out why "search" is so damned important to the future of everything digital. Even more impressive, he's actually managed to turn the subject into a compelling analog story.
-John Huey, editorial director, Time inc.

"A terrific book."
--L. Gordon Crovitz, Dow Jones


NEWS & OPINION: Kevin Kelly's Cool Books - Part I

Posted January 17, 2006, 1:36 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
Kevin Kelly of Whole Earth Catalog and Wired fame, has a blog that so lives up to its name called Cool Tools. He highlights all sorts of things that can help make your life easier ranging from silicone spatulas to longer term car rentals in Europe. Kevin says he is going to be devoting the week to books: While I gather more and more of my conceptual trends from blogs, and still remain an unabashed magazine junkie, there is nothing like a book to frame and surface the deeper news. Read more

NEWS & OPINION: Richard Pachter's Best Business Books of 2005

Posted January 13, 2006, 3:03 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
I know we are getting into the New Year, but I thought I would share one more best of list. You have seen me quote Richard Pachter before. He writes reviews for the Miami Herald. Read more

NEWS & OPINION: getAbstract's Best Books of 2005

Posted December 9, 2005, 2:44 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
getAbstract has a list of their favorite business books for 2005: Irrational Exuberance by Robert Schiller Scenarios by Kees van der Heijden The One Thing You Need to Know by Marcus Buckingham The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman Blue Ocean Strategy by Renee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim The People's Tycoon by Steven Watts And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out) by Paul Bluestein Winners Never Cheat by Jon Huntsman The German Economy by Horst Siebert Wedding of the Waters by Peter Bernstein Icon Steve Jobs by Jeffery Young and William Simon Brand Hijack by Alex Wipperfurth How to Grow Leaders by John Adair Trillion-Dollar Moms by Bonnie W. Read more

NEWS & OPINION: FT Finalists Share Favorite Books

Posted November 22, 2005, 8:00 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
We shared with you yesterday the winner of the FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. Today, Financial Times has a follow-up piece asking all of the finalists what business books they like: John Battelle (The Search) - Moneyball by Michael Lewis; "I read it early, and knew it was going to be a very big book - it had all the elements: strong characters, a great narrative driving the book, a wonderful topic - at least in the US - and the wonderful element of a counterintuitive hook that seemed, upon quick reflection, to be obvious" Pietra Rivoli (Travels of a T-shirt in The Global Economy) - Women Workers and the Industrial Revolution by Ivy Pinchbeck; "It was written almost 75 years ago, but it is still the best work on the topic of industrialization. Unfortunately, such a book could never be written today. Read more

NEWS & OPINION: The Search

Posted September 23, 2005, 4:20 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
It is very seldom that a book comes out with as much buzz as this book currently has. The book is called The Search. But what is neat is the buzz seems legit. Read more


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About the Hardcover

Publisher Not available
Publish date 09/23/2005
Pages 311
ISBN-13 9781591840886
ISBN-10 1591840880
Language English

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