Kilday, an early hire of Keyhole and its marketing director, is a compelling writer; the book is a fascinating play-by-play story not only of how Keyhole developed and built their mapping innovation but also how by becoming part of Google they were able to scale and expand its functionality by orders of magnitude more than they could envision when they first started. In this sense the book is a first-class business story, detailing the trials and tribulations of getting a tech startup off the ground and then the inside story of working at Google, particularly when it was still a relatively young company ... Never Lost Again is an enjoyable and enlightening read.
Kilday’s memoir shines in its description of the volatile oddities of start-up life: the birth of the initial idea that first sounded crazy, the constant cash-flow problems and efforts to keep bankruptcy at bay, and the perplexing search for a sustainable business model ... Much like an entrepreneur’s life, the book settles into a lower (and slower) gear after the successful acquisition and the ingestion of Keyhole into Google ... Kilday spends many pages describing his tiptoeing in and around the internal empire of Marissa Mayer, notable early Googler and later Yahoo CEO with a reputation for prickliness ... Kilday also gives us an almost day-by-day chronicle of the lives of midlevel Google executives ... Kilday’s writing style is that of the product marketing man with an MBA, not the frenetic, reckless start-up renegade we’ve come to associate with Silicon Valley. The prose reads like the launch documents Kilday surely once authored: clear, well-paced, with the occasional (but tempered) narrative flair. This is not the Hunter S. Thompson treatment of start-ups. The personal barely creeps into Kilday’s account ... The book, like an orderly set of Google Maps instructions, describes how we got there.
In this Silicon Valley corporate memoir, Kilday (marketing director, Google Geo) tells the story of his years at a mapping software company that became the basis for Google's Map and Earth products ... At the intersection of business and technology, this will appeal especially to those fascinated with start-up to postacquisition corporate culture at a Google-acquired company.
It’s easy to take smartphone mapping apps for granted—they’re everywhere, and they can direct us anywhere. Kilday reminds us that the development of Google Maps as we know it was a long . . . road ... his story will appeal to those looking for the inside scoop on the business side of tech. But Kilday provides enough detail on the development of Google Maps—from CD-ROMs to negotiating prices of data sets to the development of 'geocoding'—that this will also appeal to tech geeks and map nerd
Drawing on his experiences as marketing director at both Keyhole and Google Maps, the author crafts an engaging, blow-by-blow account of people and events that made mapping an unusually powerful tool ... A constant note taker, Kilday offers colorful details on life inside the Googleplex ... Writing with warmth and humor, the author has great fun recalling life as a state-college alum working among intense Stanford graduates. Informative, entertaining reading for nontechies.