The Idea FactoryThe Idea Factory
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The Idea Factory

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Jon Gertner

A number of revolutionary innovations were developed at Bell Labs, including the radar, transistor, satellite communications, and mobile phones. Bell Labs was renowned for its mutual idea exchange and egalitarian philosophy, which few technology giants can match today.

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hashtag innovation
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What's it about?

In The Idea Factory (2012), telephony monopolist AT&T's research branch Bell Labs is examined. This pioneering laboratory, founded in the 1920s, contributed to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of technological advances, effectively paving the way for our modern digital era.

Book summary

A number of revolutionary innovations were developed at Bell Labs, including the radar, transistor, satellite communications, and mobile phones. Bell Labs was renowned for its mutual idea exchange and egalitarian philosophy, which few technology giants can match today.

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As part of AT&T's early efforts to improve telecommunications, Bell Labs was created.

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Bell Labs was involved in the development of military technologies, like radar, during World War II.

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Bell Labs invented the transistor, which is the basis of all electronics today.

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The information theory was pioneered by Claude Shannon, a mathematician at Bell Labs.

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Bell Labs helped build and power the first satellite with solar power.

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