The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

The Innovators

The computer and the internet are among the most important innovations of our era, but few people know who created them. They were not conjured up in a garret or garage by solo inventors suitable to be singled out on magazine covers or put into a pantheon with Edison, Bell, and Morse. Instead, most of the innovations of the digital age were done collaboratively. There were a lot of fascinating people involved, some ingenious and a few even genius...

Details The Innovators

TitleThe Innovators
Release DateOct 7th, 2014
PublisherSimon and Schuster
GenreNonfiction, History, Business, Biography, Science, Technology

Reviews The Innovators

  • John
    [Note added 23-Feb-2017: This seems to have a lot of likes, but I want to make sure that people understand that my perspective is a bit specialized. The book is lively and very interesting. If you want to read a provocative and detailed story of innovation, this is a great choice. I think the full story requires some extra reading, which I note in the review. The book has its limitations, but it's still a "good read."]Regrettably, I can't give th...
  • LillyBooks
    I loved Isaacson's Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs biographies. I really, really wanted to love this one. In a sense, this book is at least a four star book because Isaacson wants to prove a point and he succeeds: no one person invented the computer or the Internet, that the digital revolution is one person building on and with the backs of others. However, it is that success that made this book not as enjoyable for me because Isaacson is profil...
  • Michael
    A masterful tour of the creative people behind the development of computers and the digital revolution using a frame that probes the relative contributions of teamwork vs. individual genius. As I continually benefitted the ever increasing capabilities of computers from the 70s onward for my former science career and I enjoyed Isaacson’s biography of Ben Franklin, I figured I couldn’t lose. Plus friends praise his skills in the history of scie...
  • Jacob Mclaws
    2nd read 10.8.2016-10.13.2016Rereading this book was just slightly less entertaining than the first time through. I loved hearing the stories of collaboration, outright copying, business machinations and cool combinations of art and technology. I really like the whole Shockley, Noyce, transistor, microchip era. And then the section on the early homebrew groups contending ideologically with Gates and Jobs is good too. Isaacson's overt theses are t...
  • Matt
    In his latest book, Isaacson offers the reader an insightful look into the world of technology and the numerous people whose insights and innovative ideas have changed the world in which we live. While not the biography of any one person, Isaacson personifies technology and offers stories related to its branches, from the early speculative ideas of Ada Loveless around a mechanical calculating device through to the dawn of Wikipedia and mass-user ...
  • David
    The basic premise of this book, is that innovators and inventors do not create new concepts solo. They are almost always collaborators. But, there is not a surplus of collaboration described in this book. This was a fun, entertaining book to read. In the beginning of the book, the innovators were described in detail, in historical order. But, as the chronology approached the present day, less and less space was devoted to individual innovators, a...
  • Kevin Parsons
    This book is going to be huge since it functions not only as a history of the computer and the internet but as a treatise on innovation and collaboration. I can imagine that it will be required reading for all kinds of people working in all varieties of business. Unlike his bio of Steve Jobs, which was important as immediate history but was also understandably rushed, Isaacson's new book reads like a labor of love and is much better written, more...
  • Perry
    "Atlantean Shoulders, Fit to Bear," John MiltonThis 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.Walter Isaacson, who has written bios of Jobs and Einstein, has the brilliant ability to research, comprehend and assimilate all this intriguing and highly complex information and transform it into an inq...
  • Sean Gibson
    4.2 StarsReaders can infer a number of salient points from this excellent history of digital innovation, but the main takeaway for me was this: innovative ideas are like digestive systems—nothing comes from them unless they get a big push from an asshole.Okay, so, the author would probably suggest that his REAL overarching theme is that innovation is driven not by lone geniuses, but by collaborative teams that provide an ideal mix of vision, en...
  • Lorna
    The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson was a well-researched and delightfully told beautifully as only Mr. Isaacson can do. I am not a scientist, nor do I even pretend to understand the complex technological science that is encompassed in this meticulously researched book, but I get the thrust of the history of the digital age and all of the people that made most important con...
  • Asif
    Walter Isaacson is a brilliant writer, he after writing books on Einstein and Steve Jobs was attracted to science and tech world this time he came up with the book on the whole process of innovation. This is very interesting book and it serves two purposes simultaneously;One is it teaches us the history of innovation i.e chronological history of development of the computers from the embryonic concept of computing machine of Charles Babbage and La...
  • Jim
    2.5 StartsThis book was okay. It covers a lot of history and people and therefore makes it somewhat difficult to rate. It begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who helped pioneer computer programming in the 1840s. It ends in 2014. That is a lot of history. At times it becomes confusing. There are times when there were developments taking place in multiple locations and usually each involved a team of people. Some of the names were fa...
  • Jim
    Who invented the 'computer'? Many of the early calculating machines were quite specific in the type of calculations they could perform. It was a term once applied to a bunch of (mostly) women math majors using mechanical adding machines to figure out parts of equations during WWII. Mechanical 'computers' (The name wasn't applied to the devices until either late in or after WWII.) were a number of independent mechanical devices including the abacu...
  • Paul
    Almost everything we do these days has some link to the world wide web, or involves interacting with some sort of computer, but how did these things become so pervasive and essential? In this book Isaacson writes about the people that made the companies, that made the products that we all now use.Starting on the earliest computer, the Analytical Engine conceived by Charles Babbage, which he made with Byron’s daughter Ada Lovelace. It was a pure...
  • John Blumenthal
    I must confess that I did not finish this book—the technical stuff did me in. This has happened several times before. (Note to self: do not try to read books involving motors, cathode tubes, quantum mechanics or how to screw in a lightbulb.) Science has never been my forte, although I am fascinated by it so I buy these books (Innovators, Tesla, Einstein) and always regret it. I did learn a thing or two though. For example, I discovered that a w...
  • Arvind
    2.5/5 First things first - This is the book to recommend to your CA friends if they have recommended you a book filled with economics/accounting jargon that made it frustrating for u.This is a history of the computer industry - both hardware and software. Picked it up a year or so earlier, found it too dry and gave it up. This was my second attempt at reading the book. Loved Steve Jobs' biography by the author recently and so decided to read the ...
  • Aman Mittal
    There is no doubt that the computer and the internet are one of the most important innovations of our era. Without them, I would not have written this, and you won't be reading this either. In spite of that, computers should be considered only the second most important innovation, as important as Gutenberg's wooden printing press. Accessible to most, easy to learn, part and parcel of everyone's life nowadays.Walter Isaacson's recently published T...
  • Abhishek
    The 'Digital Revolution' has been a long journey which continues moving forward even today, which has had innumerable number of heroes, some of them crossing paths and some of them working alone. There is an underlying interconnection amongst each of the great achievements in the digital age, which can only be seen when someone takes a step back and looks at the whole big picture. That is what Walter Isaacson has bravely attempted to do in his bo...
  • Rob
    Executive Summary: A very well written and fascinating look at the rise history of computers and the internet and those who helped to shape it.Audiobook: For any nonfiction book I simply want a narrator who reads at a good pace and tone and is mostly unremarkable. Dennis Boutsikaris was that for me. He did a good job at keeping me focused on the history and not his narration. Full Review I added this book to my list after listening to Mr. Isaacso...
  • Vivek Tejuja
    I remember reading, “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson with great trepidation. I thought I would get bored. I thought I would not be interested in it for long. I thought these things and a lot of other things before I invested time in the book. I loved the book at the end of it, so much so that I thought there was not any need to pick up anything on “Steve Jobs”, since this book was most comprehensive. Walter Isaacson does it again this time...
  • Sarju Shrestha Mehri
    Walter Isaacson is such a great writer and a researcher. Coming from none technical background, this book really gave me the bigger picture of technology world; its beginning and its future. How devices we use in our daily lives are the products of many creative genius, visionaries and restless ambitious minds. Also, many of these work are the contribution of collaboration, respect and stealing the best ideas from each other.I am very impressed h...
  • Lei
    Another wonderful work from Walter Isaacson, a legendary of digital revolutions, full of amazing stories of innovators who made a dent in the computer history. A must read , I'll buy one to keep it at home for sure.
  • Hussein Nasser
    An excellent book reach on history of the great innovators
  • Shreya Joshi
    I recommend this to everybody. I love how detailed, how interesting and how smoothly this book is written. With every chapter, I felt indebted to every single eccentric geniuses who have contributed in making this digital world. I have nothing but gratitude to everybody.
  • Elena
    Fun! ... or was it such a fun because i listened to this audiobook while making my very successful cardboard/brass fasteners project? Symbiosis effect? Whatever. Fun. Favourites shelf.
  • Jaanika Merilo
    Intesting, historic, good to know.
  • Charlene
    I can't say I enjoyed this books as much as Isaacson's biographies of Einstein and Steve Jobs. I guess I would have liked to stay on each story/innovation for a longer period of time, but then the book would have been too long. Considering all of the information he crammed into a single book, I say, Well Done! I would read anything by Isaacson. He is a fantastic writer. Innovators provides a history of the many important figures in technological ...
  • Milkiways
    Issacson's The Innovators is a very well written, credible book filled with information on each individual, germination of an idea, it's implementation and development behind today's magic machine, The Computer. The writer has done an excellent job in meticulously presenting the tiniest details and have certainly done justification to each and every small to big individual with personal details who were part of this extraordinary system. It is un...
  • Vasyl Pasternak
    A must read book for everyone, somehow connected to IT. A modern history, evolution of ideas are delivered in easy digestible form combined with a precision of scientific paper (over 1000 references and thousands cites).
  • Aaron Wolfson
    Isaacson highlights the merits of collaboration among innovators as well as between humans and computers in his history of the digital age. Such an imposing topic is destined to be incomplete, and it is, but Isaacson does a nice job of highlighting the primary contributors and showing how each innovation built off the previous ones. As with Steve Jobs, you won't learn a lot about the technology itself beyond the most basic level, but Isaacson is ...