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 (P)2014 Simon & Schuster
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Petra on 14-05-16

Much more than a history of technology

WI really knows what he is doing! This is a really good book. The account builds steadily in interest and insight. He adds just the right amount of personality and opinion.
The performance is first class.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By VTS on 22-04-17

I like it, but ...

Liked it a lot, but gives the impression that very little has been done outside USA, is that correct?

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By W Perry Hall on 06-10-15

With Atlantean Shoulders, Fit to Bear

This book is a grand and gratifying overview of the Innovators who have played a major role in forging today's dynamic technology and our high-tech society, with its main focus on the last 80 or so years.

Only Walter Isaacson, who has written bios of Jobs and Einstein, would have the brilliant ability to research (on the shoulders of a wealth of prior research), comprehend and assimilate all this intriguing and highly complex information and transform it all into an inquisitive and fascinating look at our technological Innovators, coherent and clear enough for the average reader to understand AND enjoy.

I took away a much more informed perspective of how we got here and a distinct reverence for the innovators in the text and generally for the human capacity for incredible intellect and curiosity as well as our enduring and limitless creativity.

The following quote gives the best overview, in my opinion, of the book to an average reader (such as I):

"Most of the successful innovators and entrepreneurs in this book had one thing in common: they were product people. They cared about, and deeply understood, the engineering and design. They were not primarily marketers or salesmen or financial types; when such folks took over companies, it was often to the detriment of sustained innovation. “When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off,” Jobs said. Larry Page felt the same: “The best leaders are those with the deepest understanding of the engineering and product design.”

Another lesson of the digital age is as old as Aristotle: “Man is a social animal.” What else could explain CB and ham radios or their successors, such as WhatsApp and Twitter? Almost every digital tool, whether designed for it or not, was commandeered by humans for a social purpose: to create communities, facilitate communication, collaborate on projects, and enable social networking. Even the personal computer, which was originally embraced as a tool for individual creativity, inevitably led to the rise of modems, online services, and eventually Facebook, Flickr, and Foursquare. Machines, by contrast, are not social animals. They don’t join Facebook of their own volition nor seek companionship for its own sake.... Despite all of the proclamations of artificial intelligence engineers and Internet sociologists, digital tools have no personalities, intentions, or desires. They are what we make of them.”

Dennis Boutsikaris, an accomplished actor, is always a first-class narrator.

This book is due all exceptional acclaim.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Karen on 10-10-14

Inspiring stories about technology & innovation

Isaacson's THE INNOVATORS is a series of inspiring stories about technologists and their innovations. The stories are woven together to give the book a cohesive flow and it reads like a novel. For technology fans, some of the stories won't be new... but the way the stories are told and juxtaposed with other innovators' achievements makes this book unique. These are geeks' stories told lovingly by someone who clearly respects them and what they've done. I listened to the version of this book and found the narration well-done. I highly recommend this book to those interested in technology or innovation.

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25 of 27 people found this review helpful

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