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The Innovators: How a Group of  Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
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The Innovators Quotes (showing 1-30 of 320)
“progress comes not only in great leaps but also from hundreds of small steps.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“But the main lesson to draw from the birth of computers is that innovation is usually a group effort, involving collaboration between visionaries and engineers, and that creativity comes from drawing on many sources. Only in storybooks do inventions come like a thunderbolt, or a lightbulb popping out of the head of a lone individual in a basement or garret or garage.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Innovation requires having at least three things: a great idea, the engineering talent to execute it, and the business savvy (plus deal-making moxie) to turn it into a successful product.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way,” Einstein once said, “but intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“You read everything—that’s part of the job,” he said. “You accumulate all this trivia, and you hope that someday maybe a millionth of it will be useful.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“The next phase of the Digital Revolution will bring even more new methods of marrying technology with the creative industries, such as media, fashion, music, entertainment, education, literature, and the arts. Much of the first round of innovation involved pouring old wine—books, newspapers, opinion pieces, journals, songs, television shows, movies—into new digital bottles. But new platforms, services, and social networks are increasingly enabling fresh opportunities for individual imagination and collaborative creativity. Role-playing games and interactive plays are merging with collaborative forms of storytelling and augmented realities. This interplay between technology and the arts will eventually result in completely new forms of expression and formats of media. This innovation will come from people who are able to link beauty to engineering, humanity to technology, and poetry to processors. In other words, it will come from the spiritual heirs of Ada Lovelace, creators who can flourish where the arts intersect with the sciences and who have a rebellious sense of wonder that opens them to the beauty of both.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“innovation resides where art and science connect is not new. Leonardo da Vinci was the exemplar of the creativity that flourishes when the humanities and sciences interact. When Einstein was stymied while working out General Relativity, he would pull out his violin and play Mozart until he could reconnect to what he called the harmony of the spheres.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Knowing that great conceptions are worth little without precision execution”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“A physicist is one who’s concerned with the truth,” he later said. “An engineer is one who’s concerned with getting the job done.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“authority should be questioned, hierarchies should be circumvented, nonconformity should be admired, and creativity should be nurtured.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“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.”34 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. When Alan Turing asserted that machines would someday behave like humans, his critics countered that they would never be able to show affection or crave intimacy. To indulge Turing, perhaps we could program a machine to feign affection and pretend to seek intimacy, just as humans sometimes do. But Turing, more than almost anyone, would probably know the difference. According to the second part of Aristotle’s quote, the nonsocial nature of computers suggests that they are “either a beast or a god.” Actually, they are neither. 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.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Innovation requires articulation.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Now kids get a MacBook and regard it as an appliance. They treat it like a refrigerator and expect it to be filled with good things, but they don’t know how it works. They don’t fully understand what I knew, and my parents knew, which was what you could do with a computer was limited only by your imagination.”8”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Insert quarter, avoid Klingons.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Mauchly and Eckert should be at the top of the list of people who deserve credit for inventing the computer, not because the ideas were all their own but because they had the ability to draw ideas from multiple sources, add their own innovations, execute their vision by building a competent team, and have the most influence on the course of subsequent developments. The machine they built was the first general-purpose electronic computer.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Byron published the first two cantos of his epic poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, a romanticized account of his wanderings through Portugal, Malta, and Greece, and, as he later remarked, “awoke one morning and found myself famous.” Beautiful, seductive, troubled, brooding, and sexually adventurous, he was living the life of a Byronic hero while creating the archetype in his poetry. He became the toast of literary London and was feted at three parties each day, most memorably a lavish morning dance hosted by Lady Caroline Lamb. Lady Caroline, though married to a politically powerful aristocrat who was later prime minister, fell madly in love with Byron. He thought she was “too thin,” yet she had an unconventional sexual ambiguity (she liked to dress as a page boy) that he found enticing. They had a turbulent affair, and after it ended she stalked him obsessively. She famously declared him to be “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” which he was. So was she.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“When part of this ecosystem was lacking, such as for John Atanasoff at Iowa State or Charles Babbage in the shed behind his London home, great concepts ended up being consigned to history’s basement. And when great teams lacked passionate visionaries, such as Penn after Mauchly and Eckert left, Princeton after von Neumann, or Bell Labs after Shockley, innovation slowly withered.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“He kept asking Kay and others for an assessment of “trends” that foretold what the future might hold for the company. During one maddening session, Kay, whose thoughts often seemed tailored to go directly from his tongue to wikiquotes, shot back a line that was to become PARC’s creed: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”60”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“The tale of their teamwork is important because we don’t often focus on how central that skill is to innovation.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Like many entrepreneurs, Bushnell had no shame about distorting reality in order to motivate people.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Von Neumann, by contrast, wore a three-piece suit at almost all times, including on a donkey ride down the Grand Canyon; even as a student he was so well dressed that, upon first meeting him, the mathematician David Hilbert reportedly had but one question: Who is his tailor?45”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“The culture at Atari was a natural outgrowth of [Nolan] Bushnell’s personality. But it was not simply self-indulgent. It was based on a philosophy that drew from the hippie movement and would help define Silicon Valley. At it’s core were certain principles: authority should be questioned, hierarchies should be circumvented, nonconformity should be admired and creativity should be nurtured.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“Sometimes innovation is a matter of timing. A big idea comes along at just the moment when the technology exists to implement it.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“People with the halo effect seem to know exactly what they’re doing and, moreover, make you want to admire them for it.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“I learned electronics as a kid by messing around with old radios that were easy to tamper with because they were designed to be fixed.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“That was back when state governments valued education and realized the economic and social value of making it affordable.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“There was a key lesson for innovation: Understand which industries are symbiotic so that you can capitalize on how they will spur each other on.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“One day ladies will take their computers for walks in the park and tell each other ‘My little computer said such a funny thing this morning!’ ” he japed in 1951.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
“The computer and the Internet are among the most important inventions of our era, but few people know who created them.”
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

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