Innovation has always been a staple of America, but no more prevalent is that then in the incredible story of Bell Labs, which through the 20th Century helped produce over a dozen Nobel Prize winners, and some of the greatest technological advances that exist in our lives today! In his wonderful new book “The Idea Factory”, Walter Isaacson (Bestselling author of “Steve Jobs”) writes in his NY Times review “Jon Gertner, an editor at Fast Company magazine, has produced a well-researched history of Bell Labs, filled with colorful characters and inspiring lessons. But more important, “The Idea Factory” explores one of the most critical issues of our time: What causes innovation? Why does it happen, and how might we nurture it? The lesson of Bell Labs is that most feats of sustained innovation cannot and do not occur in an iconic garage or the workshop of an ingenious inventor. They occur when people of diverse talents and mind-sets and expertise are brought together, preferably in close physical proximity where they can have frequent meetings and serendipitous encounters.” Jon takes a look at one of the world’s greatest creativity centers, and the also looks at America’s future direction with innovation and whether it can ever replicate the environment of sustained brilliance achieved at Bell Labs.
Issaacson further writes “The ability to combine theory, creativity and engineering was a great achievement of postwar America. For 50 years, economic growth and job creation were propelled by transistors, lasers and other discoveries that came from the willingness to nurture theoretical research in conjunction with applied science and manufacturing skills. But these days, manufacturing is being outsourced, and funding for pure science is being curtailed. With Bell Labs and other such idea factories disappearing, and with government research money endangered, what will propel innovation and job creation for the next 50 years?“
Here “The King Of Kamelot” sits down with the brilliant Jon Gertner in NYC (Jon has also been a contributing writer to The New York Times and worked as a senior editor at Money magazine and a senior editor at The American Lawyer magazine) to talk about his new book “The Idea Factory”, and talk about his breathtaking look into why Bell Labs was such a unique breeding ground for the brilliance of innovation, whether or not there will ever be another Bell Labs again, what was so special about what was happening there and why he decided to write a book about it, the similarities with Bell Labs and companies like Apple, and sooo much more!! The reviews for “The Idea Factory” have been off the charts, so make sure to get yourself a copy! Enjoy Kade Nation!!