Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson's revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens.
What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?
In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page.
This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It's also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative.
For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, The Innovators shows how they happen.
©2014 Walter Isaacson. All rights reserved (P)2014 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
I got into computers with the Commodore VIC-20 in 1983, and have worked my way through all of the advances right up to today's iPhones and Microsoft's Surface. Having lived through 35 years of Moore's Law, I am still awed to think that my Apple Watch probably has more computing power than the Lunar Lander in 1969. While I enjoyed learning about all the early thorists with their Analytical Engines and all, the real pleasure was reliving the early days of personal computing, hearing the stories about Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the complementary collaborators who have changed the way we work...play...live.
An enjoyable listen for those who lived through the early days, and a book that will help those born with a digital spoon in their mouths appreciate the technology that we all take for granted today.
Teacher, writer and avid reader.... My first love is American History. But, every once in a while, its good to have a little brain candy.
Isaacson has written a masterpiece. "The Innovators" is arguably among the most important books written in recent years.
Isaacson weaves together more than 100 years of collaborative development that has led to our current computer and Internet use. But, this is more than a book about history. Isaacson also gives the reader much to think about for our future. The way that we collaborate and use technology will surely shape our future successes and failures.
If there is any weakness in this book, it is Isaacson's attempt to defend Al Gore' assertion that he (Gore) created the internet and Barack Obama's statement that business owners didn't build their businesses. Aside from the politics involved, these brief tangents didn't add value to an otherwise extraordinary text.
"The Innovators" is both thoughtful and thought provoking. This glimpse into our technological past is important to understanding our future. Like I said. This really might be among the most important books published in recent years.
Decent book giving the history of computing.
Glad I did the abridged version...more time for other interesting books. Isaacson seemed to struggle to link all of his characters together under a coherent narrative. Also, some of his attempts to make sure the reader knows he is socially enlightened come across as obsequious and unnecessary distractions from the story of computing.
Biographers are usually best when they stick to their core skills of research and storytelling.
I've been a fan of Isaacson's previous books about Einstein and Steve Jobs, and this work is no different. The history of technology and innovation could not be in more capable hands. Never boring, Isaacson has as much understanding of these innovators as he does of the technology itself that they pioneered. Balanced by the crisp and conversational narration of Dennis Boutsikaris, this book is a monumental achievement and can be read and enjoyed by anyone with even the slightest interest in technology.
A history of tech. Great story version of the events we hear about from those who came before us. Story is well told and made a history lesson extremely entertaining.
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