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

Author : Jon Gertner,

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Being an engineer/researcher in the field of telecommunication, this book was just an incredibly fun read for me. The invention of transistors, design of the first transcontinental telephone system, satellite communication, discussions on the first cellular system design; I found these topics almost as exciting as reading a mystery where I knew the ending but did not know the fascinating convoluted plot in the middle 🙂

Apart from me nerding out about different technologies and their inventors, this book discusses innovation, ingenuity, efforts of great teams and sheer brilliance of individuals. This book also talks about the conditions which led to the success of Bell Labs, and ponders if such an institute can exist today. Bell Labs was an institute which was trying to solve problems for a telephone company with decades-long goals in mind, and in that process, it has changed the whole world in unimaginable ways.

However nostalgic I may be about the world of my childhood, it is gone, and so are the sorts of people who lived in it. Science and technology destroyed that world and replaced it with another

John Pierce

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