'The Developers' not quite what Google reviewer was looking for

Posted on August 5, 2006

While there are many things to consider when writing, one of the most important items has to be the audience. If I write the greatest story in the history of literature, and it's a war story, there's a good chance that people who aren't interested in war won't like it.

"The Developers" isn't about war, and it's not the greatest story in the history of literature. Maybe the top 10, but not the greatest. Ha! Even when you anticipate that you know your audience, there's still something that just doesn't fit.

I think this is what happened as Piaw Na, a software engineer at Google, read and reviewed my book. First, I want to thank Na because I'm honored to have someone from Google look at my book, much less read it, much less review it. Also, I've read many posts on his website, and he seems like a pretty nice guy who has many interests. Even though he has different interests than I have, most of his posts are informative and entertaining to read.

Overall, he didn't like the book, but what I appreciate about the review is that he pinpointed the exact reasons he didn't like it. He mentioned that he missed many of the pop culture references because he was not born in the United States and he's not a big television watcher. Although the pop culture references were dispersed amongst all types of media, I can definitely understand not catching some of them due to not being in America in the '80s.

Na's second issue with the book was that I think he expected there to be a more difficult challenge on the programming side of things. Unfortunately, since the book's main audience is the general public, there was a necessity to describe a simplistic website. With that respect, I was hoping to show a glimpse into the web development world, which isn't just people staring at their computers for 18 hours a day.

The only thing I was surprised about is the fact that Na never mentioned the latest two-thirds of the book, which describes the government-sponsored, high-speed Internet portal. It's possible, however, that Na neglected to mention this because Google is in the process of building this exact thing. That might also be why he didn't want to recommend the book. How would Google feel if the company found out it took my ideas?