An illustrated narrative of Google’s growth from a doctoral thesis topic to a tech giant; the latest in a series of nonfiction business books for children.
Sichol (From an Idea to Disney, 2019, etc.) starts with the early experiences of the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both gifted children growing up in intellectual families who encouraged their interest in computers. She recounts their odd-couple meeting at Stanford University, their eventual partnership to create a search engine, and their persistence through initial setbacks. From there, it’s a breezy journey through raising initial funding; turning a profit from ads; growing the business through hiring, innovation, and acquisition; and, finally, restructuring. Business terms such as “invest” and “acquire” are defined in brief callouts, with several pages devoted to “going public.” Jennings’ cartoons add to the approachability of the text, which is sprinkled with quotations and fun facts, including an entertaining look at what it’s like to work at the Googleplex. However, the author’s lionizing account sidesteps the recent controversies around tax avoidance, antitrust laws, consumer privacy, censorship, racial diversity, and treatment of women employees. It also skims over the roles that extraordinary women such as Susan Wojcicki and Marissa Meyer played in Google’s success while ignoring many others, reinforcing the stereotype of “brilliant men with big ideas”; “Larry and Sergey” are both white.
An engaging but unduly lopsided history for budding tech entrepreneurs. (timeline, sample interview questions, source notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 9-12)