The book's title flatters to deceive. The "audacious plan to organize everything we know" has significant impacts on almost all aspects of our lives and how new IT business models emerge - privacy, accessibility, level playing ground for education, security, etc..; growth of software-as-a-service and service-oriented architecture. Despite these meaty issues that the author's premise would have allowed him to provide an in-depth analysis of the trends and implications, he chooses to provide a superficial narration that reads more like a Businessweek article. To be fair, the author did write a few sentences on the above topics, but only as an introduction to his narration of some of the behind-the-scenes incidents that shaped Google's growth. After various authors have done this before, (more notable example - The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Time and The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture), this book breaks relatively new ground for even a casual reader in this space. Nevertheless, the narrations discussing the algorithm itself, and Google's foray into video search and Youtube, travails with Google Answers, email scanning and search, the ambitious book scanning project, and growth pains of Google Maps are entertaining and provides some interesting tidbits. For someone familiar with the search space and avid user of Google, some of these discussions may seem yesterday's news.
Even if it is not, the author misses an opportunity to analyze the fundamental impact Google's 'audacious plan' can have on us. The most glaring omission is Google Health - here is an attempt by Google to develop an ecosystem that stores electronic health records and allows other service providers to tap into this information as and when the owner of the health record permits. The implications of this can be far-reaching and a game changer for how healthcare is viewed in the world, particularly in the U.S. There is perhaps one tangential reference to Google Health in the book.
The book is well narrated, with a sense of urgency that keeps the reader captivated. The notes section of the book is well-organized and provides additional citations and information for the more serious reader (in fact, if some of the information that are now hidden in the notes section had found its way to the main text, the book may have read better). Overall, an entertaining read, but providing no or superficial analysis/insights.