The story of Google’s rise to prominence is one of consistently radical innovation. In the 1990s Google reinvented the model of the search engine — transforming it to an algorithmically-driven ranking system — and online advertising — making it possible for anyone to be an advertiser or advertisement host.
Since then Google has taken on and dominated almost every other sector of the web by taking advantage of — and in many ways building — some of the web’s greatest assets: speed, openness, and ability to take risks and experiment.
That’s according to Steven Levy, author of the new book In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives.
But the story of Google is not just one of innovation. It’s a coming of age story in which a young, idealistic startup is confronted with the harsh realities of growing into the world’s third largest tech company: antitrust investigations, lawsuits, and a particularly tense standoff with the leadership of the largest country in the world.