Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book #31 - In the Plex

419mago3QtL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_I grabbed this book on a recommendation, and found it fascinating. In fact, I’d recommend In the Plex to many business people, especially start-ups, to understand how Google views the world and running a business.

Steven Levy is a great writer, and I enjoy his style. He goes through some of the background of the founders (Page and Brin) as well as some of the beginnings of the company. The book really starts by looking at some of the management trainees, and how they are going around the world to learn about different things, before going backwards in time.

I like that the book jumps around a bit, talking about different sections of how Google operates, and how they philosophically view the world. On one hand they are very transparent on open about many things, with a goal of bringing information to the world. On the other hand they are very secretive about some things.

At the beginning of the book, I was curious. A third of the way through, I started to regret never studying harder in college and applying to Google. By the end, I knew it wasn’t the culture for me, but I did think that there were some good ideas in the book about managing people. Take care of them, give them freedom, trust, and build in some passion for what they enjoy. In some ways, this book has a lot of the same ideas that Drive has in it.

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