The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner
Bell Labs was one of a kind organisation that launched the information age. Developed as an organisation that helped solve problems that AT&T faced such as; How do we keep telephone poles from rotting? What kind of insulation would ensure that the telephone wires don’t need a constant replacement? They focused on science rather than just engineering. The focus on basics divorced from the need to think about commercial viability ultimately delivered. Radar, Transistor, Unix, C, Laser, fibre optics and many more innovations came out of the labs. This book chronicles the rise and fall of the organisation.
This book was recommended to me by Dr Balachandran A. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book.
Dr Balachandran A is the General Manager of the Vellore Institute of Technology - Technology Business Incubator (VIT-TBI). He has been running the incubator for the past 20 years. VIT-TBI was one of the first incubators under the TBI program of the Department of Science and Technology. He has had a front-row seat to watch the startup and innovation ecosystem evolve in India.
I spoke to him about the things I read in the book and sought his perspectives around innovation development from an Indian context.
Since he runs an incubator, he is constantly thinking about ways of improving the emergence of innovation and nurturing them. He has been active in Industry, Academia and Government initiatives and brings a unique perspective. I hoped to capture the same in this podcast.
Also, listen to it on:
Stitcher - https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=602202