A new book by John Battelle titled The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture should provide an interesting read and some insight into this ever growing company. The review on Wired.com sounds promising so I’ll probably add it to my wishlist.
The last book like this I read was supposed to have been on the startup of Netscape, called Competing on Internet Time. However, I found this book to be a real dissapointment as the dubious premise the author took was that everything that Netscape did was in reaction to Microsoft. I can’t count the number of times the author kept using the tired phrase ‘…locked in a life and death struggle with Microsoft’. The fact is, at the time Microsoft had no clue about the Internet and where happily flogging away on the virtues of video on demand over cable (remember the blinding success that turned out to be).
Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure was a fascinating look at how real innovation (in this case in the early days of pen based computing) can be choked to death by ‘partnering’ with Microsoft.
I still think that my favorite book on technology companies was Tracy Kidder’s The Soul of a New Machine. This is a book that I picked up an read many years ago and continue to re-read it now and again.