The Innovators

The Innovators

How A Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

Book - 2014
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"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"--
Publisher: New York, NY :, Simon & Schuster,, 2014.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781476708690
Branch Call Number: 004.0922 IS
Characteristics: viii, 542 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm


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Aug 13, 2020

Amazing read, I kept picking it up despite lots of schoolwork and a hectic life doing it's best to get in the way. Isaacson tells the stories of some people you've heard of and more people you'll be glad to know about once you've read the book. I was happy to read it once and will probably read it many times more.

Jul 29, 2018

Despite the grand title, this lengthy book is primarily a detailed history of the development of modern computers. The book covers the early years with Charles Babbage, the frantic race to assemble Eniac during the war years, Bell labs and the invention of the transistor, Intel and the microchip, Apple and Microsoft, the rise of America Online, blogging, and eventually Google. Along the way, Isaacson makes a few salient points about the common characteristics of successful technology innovators.

Apr 09, 2018

May 2015: Interesting book about development of computers. Worth reading again.

Nov 20, 2016

A very entertaining book, and a great read, except for a little in the middle. I didn't have a very comprehensive history of the topic before reading, and this book was helpful in providing that.

Jan 06, 2016

A quite comprehensive review of the history of computing, from Ada Lovelace's 19th century musings about artificial intelligence to the creation of Watson; and pretty much everything in between including the inventions of the transistor and capacitor, the microchip, the Web and Wikipedia. Isaacson does a good job of putting the story together including the intrigue that happened along the way including some bitter patent disputes. This makes me want to read the author's biography of Steve Jobs.

Oct 29, 2015

A good, thorough history of computing. Isaacson likes looking at the reason some technologies failed while others were quickly adopted, so this is largely a book about the technology industry (including its academic and military beginnings) and the personalities involved in its development. Teamwork versus individualism is prevalent motif.

morrisonist Sep 14, 2015

do we really need a history of internet porn?

Jul 03, 2015

Fascinating study of the digital revolution. Detailed accounts of individuals and teams achieving leaps in knowledge and scientific understanding resulting in advances in technology. Many insightful behind-the-scene details of personalities and discoveries. This book is a "must" for those who desire an understanding of the dynamics of collaboration and vision. A delightful read.

Jun 18, 2015

A comprehensive history of the digital age starting from 1843 with Ada Lovelace and ending with in the 21st century with the launch of Google, IBM’s Watson and the World Wide Web. As the title implies, it is about the innovators, the people, not so much about technical details. The main theme is that collaboration between individuals has spurred the creation of our Digital Age rather than lone geniuses. A secondary theme is that the most useful inventions meet at the crossroads of art and technology. Many times inspiration comes to one mind, but only with the help of people able to build and sell the idea to others does it come to fruition. The author does not spare describing the negative side of the innovators as well as the altruistic. The journey continues with the debate over the possibility of creating non-human intelligence. I can recommend this to all seeking enlightenment about the origin of the computer as we know it.

Feb 11, 2015

The unique thing about this book is its layering of people's mini- biographies to bring out the bigger picture in the computer innovation. Countless contributions, numerous breakthroughs and a variety of achievements from the academics to non-academics alike, who steer the digital revolution. It ends up re-affirming that no single person takes the credit for this great leap into the computer, the microprocessor, the chip, internet and web. Unlike Walter Isaacsson's other books, this is not as awe racking as the ones about Einstein or Steve jobs. But, incase it gets boring towards the middle, the trick is to just read on. The facts are very helpful. Many surprises too for me, - Algore is present, Jeff Raskin almost missing, William Gibson missing, Mike Zuckberg missing. And surprisingly, Barack Obama is present.

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