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Friday, February 26, 2010

David A Vise & Mark Malseed - The Google story (Unabridged) - Read by Stephen Hoye (Audiobook)

David A Vise & Mark Malseed - The Google story (Unabridged) - Read by Stephen Hoye (Audiobook)

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David A Vise & Mark Malseed - The Google story (Unabridged) - Read by Stephen Hoye
Recorded Books | English | Duration approx 10:24 hours | FhG MPEG 1 Layer III 48 Kbps | CBR | 44100Hz, 16-bit | Mono | Audio Book | 207 Mb

I found this during an Internet trawl, it purports to be an unabridged reading of The Google story, as far as I can make out it is so.

The book

Social phenomena happen, and the historians follow. So it goes with Google, the latest star shooting through the universe of trend-setting businesses. This company has even entered our popular lexicon: as many note, "Google" has moved beyond noun to verb, becoming an action which most tech-savvy citizens at the turn of the twenty-first century recognize and in fact do, on a daily basis. It's this wide societal impact that fascinated authors David Vise and Mark Malseed, who came to the book with well-established reputations in investigative reporting. Vise authored the bestselling The Bureau and the Mole, and Malseed contributed significantly to two Bob Woodward books, Bush at War and Plan of Attack. The kind of voluminous research and behind-the-scenes insight in which both writers specialize, and on which their earlier books rested, comes through in The Google Story.
The strength of the book comes from its command of many small details, and its focus on the human side of the Google story, as opposed to the merely academic one. Some may prefer a dryer, more analytic approach to Google's impact on the Internet, like The Search or books that tilt more heavily towards bits and bytes on the spectrum between technology and business, like The Singularity is Near. Those wanting to understand the motivations and personal growth of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt, however, will enjoy this book. Vise and Malseed interviewed over 150 people, including numerous Google employees, Wall Street analysts, Stanford professors, venture capitalists, even Larry Page's Cub Scout leader, and their comprehensiveness shows.

As the narrative unfolds, readers learn how Google grew out of the intellectually fertile and not particularly directed friendship between Page and Brin; how the founders attempted to peddle early versions of their search technology to different Silicon Valley firms for $1 million; how Larry and Sergey celebrated their first investor's check with breakfast at Burger King; how the pair initially housed their company in a Palo Alto office, then eventually moved to a futuristic campus dubbed the "Googleplex"; how the company found its financial footing through keyword-targeted Web ads; how various products like Google News, Froogle, and others were cooked up by an inventive staff; how Brin and Page proved their mettle as tough businessmen through negotiations with AOL Europe and their controversial IPO process, among other instances; and how the company's vision for itself continues to grow, such as geographic expansion to China and cooperation with Craig Venter on the Human Genome Project.

Like the company it profiles, The Google Story is a bit of a wild ride, and fun, too. Its first appendix lists 23 "tips" which readers can use to get more utility out of Google. The second contains the intelligence test which Google Research offers to prospective job applicants, and shows the sometimes zany methods of this most unusual business. Through it all, Vise and Malseed synthesize a variety of fascinating anecdotes and speculation about Google, and readers seeking a first draft of the history of the company will enjoy an easy read.

The authors

David A. Vise, a journalist and author for over 20 years, is now a Senior Advisor to New Mountain Capital, a New York-based investment firm, and New Mountain Vantage, its public equity fund. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 while working as a business reporter for the Washington Post. He has authored or co-authored four books, including The Bureau and the Mole (2002) (about FBI agent and convicted spy Robert Hanssen) and The Google Story (2006), a national bestseller published in more than two dozen languages. He wrote an updated edition published in September 2008. Vise received an MBA from Penn's Wharton School of Business. The school named him to a list of 125 influential alumni on its 125th anniversary and honored him with The Joseph Wharton Award for career achievement and community service. He holds an honorary Doctorate of Literary Letters from Cumberland University and studied at the London School of Economics

Mark Malseed, formerly the researcher for Bob Woodward on two consecutive New York Times nonfiction bestsellers, is an investigative journalist and information industry consultant. Following the release of The Google Story, his first book, Malseed has consulted to ChaCha, the leading mobile answers service, on their "Search University" training and education program. He also shares his investigative insights with businesses, organizations and schools in "Google Sleuthing" seminars

The reader

Stephen Hoye is new to the game of audio-books but has been on our narrator radar from the start. After a chance encounter three years ago with producer John Runette—in an elevator in Pasadena, CA—Steve auditioned for Runette, and the resulting audio, RICH DAD, POOR DAD went straight to an Audie Award in 2001. Born and bred in New England, Steve pursued theater in Britain for nearly 20 years and is a graduate of London’s Guildhall and a veteran of London’s West End. After moving to California in the 1990s, Steve took up a new career fundraising for nonprofits and became a commuter and consumer of audiobooks. With his audition for Runette, Steve was pulled back into the performance world and was immediately smitten by the unique demands and satisfactions of audiobook narration. “You get a really good journey in almost every book you do,” he says. Since then Steve’s readings—such as SKINNY DIP by Carl Hiaasen, THE KILLER ANGELS by Michael Shaara, THE GREAT PSYCHEDELIC ARMADILLO PICNIC by Kinky Friedman, and Lance Armstrong’s EVERY SECOND COUNTS—illustrate how he lives in the books he’s recording. He jumps into the sassy-smart dialogue of Hiaasen, the literary gravitas of Shaara’s Gettysburg epic, and the full-throttle energy of Armstrong’s memoir with equal skill. Steve has already managed to record a wide variety of subjects and authors. We can’t call this beginner’s luck, as Steve’s theater experience enabled him to quickly hone essential narrator skills. The luck is with his listeners.




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