Book Review: The Google Story by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed

With The Google Story David A. Vise and Mark Malseed write a non-fiction book that takes the reader "inside the hottest business, media and technology success of our time. The story of Google begins when one of the co-founders Larry Page arrogantly tells his doctoral adviser at Stanford University that he plans on downloading the Internet into his personal computer. He adds that he thinks it won't be that difficult.

This remarks leads him and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, also a doctoral candidate at Stanford, to begin working together "mining" data and looking for the best possible search engine to make their analysis of data simpler and easier. Soon they become disenchanted from available search engines such as Yahoo, Altavista, and Excite and begin to work on developing their own.

Vise and Malseed tell the Google story with near reverence. They describe the philosophy of the Google founders "don't be evil" and "have a healthy disregard for the impossible" as if the company can do no wrong. Their descriptions are interesting and well-written. The book reads quickly. However Vise and Malseed fail to recognize that as Google grows it is naturally changing from the Grateful Deadhead-dormroom atmosphere from which it developed into a corporate model with more in common with so-called evil computer giant Microsoft.

Despite this near disciple-like devotion to Page, Brin, and Google, The Google Story is recommend, especially to those of us in our fifties who sometimes feel baffled by recent computer innovations. If nothing else, Appendix I that features twenty-three Google search engine tips should be read and followed. I rate this book a good solid B, or 86%.


“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” - Charles W. Eliot