In the Plex

by Wojciech Adam Koszek   ⋅   Jan 5, 2015   ⋅   Menlo Park, CA

Details on Google intestines.

In The Plex is a very detailed explanation of the insides of Google.

Few big corporations established enough of a cultures and values to actually drive talented employees towards them, and Google is unquestionably one of them. Structured after a college dorm Google is the place where most talented college graduates end up

Search engine started at Stanford, and sponsored by two mentors of Silicon Valley: Andy Bechtolsheim and David Cheriton moved from being built with cheap computers in a Beowulf cluster to being a “cloud”, still built with commodity hardware, but with many, many improvements from the software side to make the search reliable.

Interesting about Google is that the search was so new when they showed up, that people claimed there’s no money to be made with search. Search is search, not product sites themselves, so what can you do with it? Well, nothing. Unless millions of people start to click your pages, and then.. Well, if you have attention of millions of people, a lot of things become easy.

Levy’s book quotes “Don’t be Evil” policy, which to some no longer touches Google in 2015. In 2015 Google became the new Microsoft, with Microsoft being Microsoft. I see many people attributing Microsoft with good words (heck, even heard from Linux geeks that Windows 7 just works), yet Google is bu-bu as it spies on your e-mails, shows you creepy adds based on those e-mails, and additionally sends your love letters to NSA. This is not the Google Levy described. But oh well..

Interesting is the level of money saving that Levy describes. Google was built from left-over parts, and it probably still has a power to receive cheaper parts, when ordering in quantity. Book mentions that software is providing many, many layers of reliability fat, so that people don’t have to worry about servers being fried and disks dying. That’s an interesting approach. Simply: assume hardware will fail and write your software around that problem.

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About the author: I'm Wojciech Adam Koszek. I like software, business and design. Poland native. In Bay Area since 2010.   More about me