What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis
The message is that Google is wonderful, even a bit divine, and I want to tell you the many ways this is so. Not only is Google wonderful, but all the companies surrounding Google are wonderful too; Zipcar, Facebook, Flickr, Blogger, and others.
This book talks about the strategies which Google uses to be competitive in glowing ways. The one he brings most to the fore is "don't be evil." It reminds us with truisms that the customer can ruin your day with access to blogs and forums, the best advertising is a great product, simple and clear are best, measure everything, free is a business model, and ephemeral online sales are cheaper then the physical world of atoms.
There are points where the book seems to be a bit overstated. Jeff Jarvis uses the word Googley to describe things in a positive way as well as Googlejuice for companies like about.com who benefit from partaking in Google's success.
He also asks hypothetical questions about what if Google entered the telephone market, the car market, the airlines market, the alternative energy market, or the healthcare market. Google is heavily invested in the alternative energy market, he does bring this up, but I wish he had covered this aspect a little deeper. There is a lot of speculation involved in parts of this book. Also Sergey Brin is an investor in the electric car company, Tesla Motors.
The book is very entertaining and quite relevant. Many issues are brought up about how the world is being changed by the explosion of broadband. The newspaper industry is moving online, giving away free content generates advertising revenue (this is why we will see more and more books being brought into the public domain), pixels are cheaper than paper, and business is becoming an open conversation.
There are numerous links to interesting websites, suggested articles to read, and titles of books to check out throughout this book. Also, there is a lot of name dropping. Many prominent figures in the internet industry are named; Chris Anderson who wrote The Long Tail, Seth Godin marketer extraordinaire, Craig Newmark of Craigslist, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and many others.
There is nothing academic about the writing in this book. It is very populist in style, he even lauds Howard Stern. He seems to be aiming to talk to the reader directly. There are no pictures in this book. It might have been a little better with some color pictures. However, there is a blog which goes with this book, http://www.buzzmachine.com
If you want an evangelistic, positive, praising book to read about Google and what they do, read this book.