Book of the Month, August 2011. “I Feel Lucky. Confessions of Google Employee #59″
My book of the Month: Douglas Edwards’ “I’m Feeling Lucky -Confession of Google Employee #59”
Douglas Edwards joined Google when it was anything but a sure bet. Office blocks were filled with the decaying carcasses of failed start-ups. Pale ghosts of life-leached coders drifted from coffee shop to coffee shop. But there was something exciting about Google’s attitude, even if they didn’t have a financial model as such. And with his background in marketing, he would be just what Google needed for them to finally start acting like a grown up brand.
Douglas talks about the day he went to tell Larry and Sergey about the importance of a consistent logo. It sparked a thought in Sergey’s head and he suggested it’d be fun to have a cartoon drawn of their logo being carried away by aliens- then make that the logo. And then they could keep it as the logo until, well, until they thought of something else that would be good as their logo.
We all talk to our clients all the time about being disruptive – but would we dare to suggest they mess up their logo? And if so, what would you be doing for a job next week when we’ve been laser-focussed so long on selling cold consistency over human connection. Have we become the police at the expense of being judicious?
Douglas became the ‘Voice of Google’, responsible not just for the look of the brand, but a lot of the experience -and its verbal identity (he wrote all Google’s first pages).
This is the story of how the company went from flat start-up structure and bacchanalian outings to Squaw Valley ski resort, to something that still doesn’t resemble a proper, grown up company.
Here’s a link to Douglas on Radio 4 this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012l4n8
And here’s a link to Douglas’s book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Im-Feeling-Lucky-Confessions-Employee/dp/1846145120/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1311162832&sr=1-1
The book comes out next week, I hope to read it before my clients do.