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

Front Cover
Penguin, Mar 15, 2012 - Business & Economics - 432 pages
54 Reviews
The definitive history of America's greatest incubator of technological innovation
 
In this first full portrait of the legendary Bell Labs, journalist Jon Gertner takes readers behind one of the greatest collaborations between business and science in history. Officially the research and development wing of AT&T, Bell Labs made seminal breakthroughs from the 1920s to the 1980s in everything from lasers to cellular elephony, becoming arguably the best laboratory for new ideas in the world. Gertner's riveting narrative traces the intersections between science, business, and society that allowed a cadre of eccentric geniuses to lay the foundations of the information age, offering lessons in management and innovation that are as vital today as they were a generation ago.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
17
4 stars
26
3 stars
9
2 stars
2
1 star
0

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

User Review  - Mirrani - Goodreads

We wake up in the morning, turn on our televisions and computers that stream digital information everywhere, check our cell phones to see what has bounced off of towers and satellites, and we don't ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Mark Tatge - Goodreads

This is one of the better books I have read in a long time. Great characters. Great storytelling. Jon Gertner does an excellent job of telling us what the former Bell Labs meant to both innovation and ... Read full review

All 18 reviews »

Related books

Contents

Introduction WICKED PROBLEMS
One OIL DROPS
Two WEST TO EAST
Three SYSTEM
Four
Five SOLID STATE
Six HOUSE OF MAGIC
Seven THE INFORMATIONIST
Twelve AN INSTIGATOR
Thirteen ON CRAWFORD HILL
Fourteen FUTURES REAL AND IMAGINED
Fifteen MISTAKES
Sixteen COMPETITION
Seventeen APART
Eighteen AFTERLIVES
Nineteen INHERITANCE

Eight MAN AND MACHINE
Nine FORMULA
Ten SILICON
Eleven EMPIRE
Acknowledgments
Selected Bibliography
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Jon Gertner grew up in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, just a few hundred yards away from Bell Labs. He has been a writer for the New York Times Magazine since 2004 and is an editor at Fast Company magazine. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.

Bibliographic information