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About Douglas Edwards
From 1999 to 2005 I was director of consumer marketing and brand management for Google. Before that I was online brand manager for the San Jose Mercury News, communications director for KQED FM in San Francisco, an ad agency copywriter, an admission officer for Brown University, and the Novosibirsk correspondent for the public radio program Marketplace. During that last gig, I got involved in a drunken Saturday night brawl at a mafia-owned bar, had dinner at the home of the Novokuznetsk KGB chief and almost died a mile underground in a coal mine. None of that made it into this book however.
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Douglas Edwards wasn’t an engineer or a twentysomething fresh out of school when he received a job offer from a small but growing search engine company at the tail end of the 1990s. But founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin needed staff to develop the brand identity of their brainchild, and Edwards fit the bill with his journalistic background at the San Jose Mercury News, the newspaper of Silicon Valley.
It was a change of pace for Edwards, to say the least, and put him in a unique position to interact with and observe the staff as Google began its rocket ride to the top. In entertaining, self-deprecating style, he tells his story of participating in this moment of business and technology history, giving readers a chance to fully experience the bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition at this phenomenal company. Edwards, Google’s first director of marketing and brand management, describes the idiosyncratic Page and Brin, the evolution of the famously nonhierarchical structure in which every employee finds a problem to tackle and works independently, the races to develop and implement each new feature, and the many ideas that never came to pass. I’m Feeling Lucky reveals what it’s like to be “indeed lucky, sort of an accidental millionaire, a reluctant bystander in a sea of computer geniuses who changed the world. This is a rare look at what happened inside the building of the most important company of our time” (Seth Godin, author of Linchpin).
“An affectionate, compulsively readable recounting of the early years (1999–2005) of Google . . . This lively, thoughtful business memoir is more entertaining than it really has any right to be, and should be required reading for startup aficionados.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Edwards recounts Google’s stumbles and rise with verve and humor and a generosity of spirit. He kept me turning the pages of this engrossing tale.” —Ken Auletta, author of Greed and Glory on Wall Street
“Funny, revealing, and instructive, with an insider’s perspective I hadn’t seen anywhere before. I thought I had followed the Google story closely, but I realized how much I’d missed after reading—and enjoying—this book.” —James Fallows, author of China Airborne