The definitive history of America's greatest incubator of innovation and the birthplace of some of the 20th century's most influential technologies
Jon Gertner grew up in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, just a few hundred yards away from Bell Labs. He has been a writer for the New York Times Magazine since 2004 and is an editor at Fast Company magazine. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.
"Filled with colorful characters and inspiring lessons . . . The
Idea Factory explores one of the most critical issues of our
time: What causes innovation?" -- Walter Isaacson, The New
York Times Book Review "Riveting . . . Mr. Gertner's portraits of
Kelly and the cadre of talented scientists who worked at Bell Labs
are animated by a journalistic ability to make their discoveries
and inventions utterly comprehensible--indeed, thrilling--to the
lay reader. And they showcase, too, his novelistic sense of
character and intuitive understanding of the odd ways in which
clashing or compatible personalities can combine to foster
intensely creative collaborations."
-- Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"One of the best innovation-focused books I've read: It's a wide-ranging, detailed, and deeply fascinating look at the New Jersey lab which has been churning out useful discoveries since the early 1900s." -- The Boston Globe "Fascinating history . . . the research behind The Idea Factory is astonishing." -- Slate Book Review "Compelling . . . Gertner's book offers fascinating evidence for those seeking to understand how a society should best invest its research resources." -- The Wall Street Journal "An expansive new history . . . does an impressive job of illuminating many of Bell Labs' key technological triumphs." -- Wired.com