Battelle’s Book on Search

MercuryNews talks to John Battelle as his book releases.

Battelle’s highly anticipated book, “The Search,” will hit bookstores Sept. 12. He chronicles the history of Internet searching, documents the rise of Google and ruminates on the future of searching and its implications for society.

Battelle concludes in his book that the growth of Internet searching has profound implications, as search engines amass ever-expanding and permanent records of society’s mouse-clicks — our “desires, needs, wants and preferences.”

Unexpectedly for him, Battelle’s book ended up being mostly about Google, the Mountain View company that has enthralled the tech and financial worlds and is expanding into seemingly every aspect of online life.

He reveals the company’s internal hand-wringing over doing business in China, and Chief Executive Eric Schmidt’s realization — after years in the valley — that winning is often more important than being nice.

n his book on Internet searching, he envisions the day when most things of value will carry electronic chips tied to a searchable index of some kind. You’ll be able to use Google (or the equivalent) to locate just about anything you want, he says, “your dog, your kid, your purse, your cell phone, your car.”

“We are going to get to the point where, if it can be found, it will be found through this infrastructure of search,” Battelle says. “The search infrastructure allows for the connection to be made between the physical object and the question in your mind.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.