This book ‘will appeal to anyone who wants to learn about the major players who made it all possible. But you may not agree with Isaacson’s choices or the conclusions he draws about innovation – I didn’t’, says Bernard Cole, editor of the Electronic Engineering (EE) Times. However, ‘that is precisely why you should read it,’ Cole adds.
Published last year, ‘The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution’ shows how techies have turned the world around. The author, Walter Isaacson, reveals what converts vision into change and why some ideas succeed while others don’t, by examining innovators’ lives and their ability to create collaborative teams.
The author includes big names such as Larry Page, Robert Noyce, Alan Turing, Steve Wozniak, Doug Engelbart, Vannevar Bush, John von Neumann, Tim Berners-Lee and J.C.R. Licklider, ‘exploring how their minds worked and what made them so inventive’. The book is ‘also about the collaboration and teamwork that made them masters of innovation’, Cole writes.
On the downside, this 450-page volume devotes a full 100 pages to Steve Jobs of Apple and Bill Gates of Microsoft. ‘Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce of Intel occupy another 50 pages,’ and ‘some of the people missing from the text raise questions,’ according to the EE Times editor.