The Innovators and Their Innovations – Walter Isaacson Reveals the Formula

So, this is pretty close to the formula:

A touch of brilliance – brilliant genius
an understanding of the ideas developed by others – (understanding and appreciation)
working together – “it takes a team”
a deep belief that “beauty matters”
leading to
the next breakthrough innovation, building on one small advance at a time…

The InnovatorsThat’s sort of the formula for The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution fleshed out by Walter Isaacson.

I’m deeply immersed in the book, which I will present at the December 5 First Friday Book Synopsis. Here are a couple of excerpts:

On the intersection of the humanities (art) and science:

The people who were comfortable in the humanities-technology intersection helped to create the human-machine symbiosis that is at the core of this story. Like many aspects of the digital age, this idea that innovation resides where art and science connect is not new. Leonardo da Vinci was the exemplar of this 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.

On “it takes a team” – each breakthrough builds on earlier breakthroughs:

One way to look at innovation is as the accumulation of hundreds of small advances, such as counter and punch-card readers.

The innovators. They built our current world. And the current and next batch of innovators will build the world to come… Pretty exciting!


This is a big book (many pages), and a really big book (a sweeping journey through the discovery and implementation of innovative ideas and accomplishments). If you are in the DFW area, come join us on Dec. 5. (Register here).


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