Radio Berkman 179: The Googleplex

April 19th, 2011

Listen: or download | …also in Ogg

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.

Steven Levy is a senior writer for Wired Magazine, and he joins us today to talk about his new best-selling profile of Google.

Follow his blog and find more about his brand new book.

Listen up! Comment on the show! Tweet us! And check out the reference section after the jump for links to our guests and more.

Creative Commons music courtesy of morgantj, learning music monthly, and podington bear.

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