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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Publish Inside Look at Google's Beginnings From One of Its First Marketing Executives

NEW YORK – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade and Reference Division will publish I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards, the company’s first director of consumer marketing and brand management.  In this memoir, Edwards provides unprecedented insight to the individuals who made Google a success but are still largely unknown outside the Googleplex.  In addition to founders Page and Brin, Edwards worked closely with many of the pioneering engineers, product managers, and other marketing executives to help the fledgling company become the powerhouse it is today.

Atlantic editor and author James Fallows calls the book, “Funny, revealing, and instructive, with an insider’s perspective I hadn’t seen anywhere before. I thought I had followed the Google story closely, but I realized how much I’d missed after reading—and enjoying—this book.”  Ken Auletta, author of Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, says that Edwards, “treats readers to vivid inside stories of what life was like before Google became a verb. [He] recounts Google's stumble and rise with verve and humor and a generosity of spirit.”

In I’m Feeling Lucky, Edwards reveals a number of early successes, missteps, failures, and utterly comical situations, many of which have never before been made public.  These revelations include:

  • The combing of user log files to try and discover if the 9/11 terrorists used Google to plan their attack;
  • How the company once intentionally stopped replying to search queries at;
  • The strained negotiations that resulted in Google wining a contract to provide search and ads to AOL;
  • The internal reorganization issue that resulted in distrust and unhappiness among Google engineers with Larry Page’s top-down management style;
  • Why Google’s social networking effort “orkut” failed to gain traction though it launched before Facebook;
  • How an engineer once shut off access to Google for the CIA and most of France.
Able to comment at length about the founding years of his tenure (1999–2005), Edwards is equally capable of speaking to the company Google has become.  He can speak to the origins of both its strengths and weaknesses, as well as what has changed now that Google has grown from a small, unknown start-up to a multi-billion dollar corporation that employs tens of thousands and has completely revolutionized how the world views and uses the Internet.  Edwards also knows firsthand what challenges may arise and how technology/social media companies change – for better and worse – as they go public, a timely viewpoint since companies like LinkedIn, GroupOn, and even Facebook are starting down that path.

Doug Edwards was the director of consumer marketing and brand management at Google from 1999 to 2005 and was responsible for setting the tone and direction of the company’s communication with its users.  Prior to joining Google, Edwards was the online brand group manager for the San Jose Mercury News, where he conceived and led development of the technology news site 

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
With nearly two-centuries of award-winning history, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade and Reference Division continues to publish some of the most renowned novels, non-fiction, children’s books and reference works in hardcover, Mariner Books trade paperbacks and ebooks.  Its distinguished author list includes eight Nobel Prize winners, 47 Pulitzer Prize winners, 13 National Book Award winners, and more than 100 Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Silbert Medal and Honor recipients. HMH publishes such distinguished authors as Philip Roth, Temple Grandin, Tim O'Brien, and Umberto Eco, as well as The Best American series®, The American Heritage® family of dictionaries, The Gourmet Cookbook and other culinary classics, the Peterson Field Guides and books by J.R.R. Tolkien. Along with a celebrated lineup of children’s authors, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group is the publisher of some of the best-loved children's books and book characters including Curious George, The Little Prince and The Polar Express. For more information, visit