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The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great…

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

by Jon Gertner

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Wonderful review of the fabled Bell Labs and the people who inhabited it - including one of my heroes, Claude Shannon. The technologies dreamed up and developed there are still astonishing, everything from vacuum tubes, to transistors, to information theory, to cellular networks, ... the list goes on for miles. The book is not a roadmap for how to innovate, but it does give glimpses of some of the successful strategies that were part of the Bell Labs culture. ( )
  tgraettinger | May 6, 2016 |
Excellent book of its type. There will never be another Bell Labs which
influenced all history forever with things like transistors which allowed the
development of computers and space travel etc etc. ( )
  PaulRx04 | Apr 15, 2016 |
A fascinating look into what had to be the premier private industrial research lab of the century (maybe of all time). Interesting people, interesting and world-changing discoveries and inventions abound. It make me almost thankful that ATT was allowed to operate as a monopoly for so long. It is unlikely Bell Labs could have accomplished what it did under any other circumstances. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
An interesting, enlightening, and at times confusing history of not only Bell Labs, but communication on a whole. The story seemed to jump around history as it followed one person after another, and only the dates were an indicator where we were at on the timeline. This book looked at many of the key players not only in the telephone but military development of radars, radios, and more. Highly recommended as an historical study, or leisure read, but not for those trying to follow the story in one straight line. ( )
  Ermina | Feb 25, 2016 |
There's a lot of interesting history here, but not a lot of depth. Most of all, I feel a bit like Gertner is a bit too focused on the positive side of the Bell Labs phenomenon, but steps lightly around the monopolistic and domineering side of the operation. Still, tons of interesting background and biographical information on the various personalities involved. ( )
  tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
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Highlights achievements of Bell Labs as a leading innovator, exploring the role of its highly educated employees in developing new technologies while considering the qualities of companies where innovation and development are most successful.

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