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Inside Google — Blood, Sweat, Tears and Bugs

I read this article this morning on the Kindle and it reminds me of the better industry books (like Showstopper). In fact, I'd like to read this sort of behind-the-scenes account more frequently. It's good reading, and it's not even about that interesting of a product...

Even at Google, new ideas do not always go as planned.

Danielle VanDyke, a young Google engineer working on the company’s latest mobile ad format, discovered that in August. The ad format was supposed to be ready for introduction in two weeks. But, as Ms. VanDyke told her colleagues in a teleconference, she was finding a bunch of bugs.

“I guess there’ll be a bigger problem in the future,” said Ms. VanDyke, a cheerful 26-year-old who favors hooded sweatshirts and ponytails, after giving her colleagues the news. “O.K. Must come up with a solution faster,” she said, almost to herself.

Google seems to spit out interesting new technologies so easily, they could be made on an assembly line. When Ms. VanDyke and her cohorts allowed a reporter to sit in on their meetings, though, Google’s development process appeared a little more haphazard.

On Monday, six weeks after Ms. VanDyke’s team was supposed to have the project ready, Google plans to announce what they were working on: a new feature of AdSense for mobile Web sites. It lets mobile publishers run special Google text ads on their sites when the site is visited by a smartphone. But instead of the basic text ads shown on regular cellphone Web sites, the ads come in different sizes, with more sophisticated design, and can include small images.

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