The Inventors – Thoughts from Walter Isaacson

InnovatorsToday I had the opportunity to hear Walter Isaacson at Book People in downtown Austin. Isaacson wrote the popular book Steve Jobs. His newest book is The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution.

Here are some of the insights he shared:

We don’t know the heroes from our generation – the heroes of the digital revolution.

In the early 1990s, he was asked: “Who owns the Internet? Who is in charge of it?” My first response was: “What a silly question?” But then I realized I didn’t know the answer.

The reason I did not know the answer is that collaboration has made this digital revolution different than the past. The answer is teams of people.

Ada Lovelace emphasized “poetical science” both mathematics and the arts. Her father was part of the group fighting against technology fearing it would put weavers out of business.

Today is her 199th birthday. She wanted more connection between humans and machines, but without a fear of machines overtaking humans.

Alan Turing created the computer that broke the Nazi code in WWII, but he believed in artificial intelligence that could overtake humanity (The Imitation Game).

“Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison

We need more women involved in computer science. Too often, women have been written out of the history of digital revolution.

The Gore Act of 1992 opened the Internet to the public.

Hallmarks of the Digital Revolution:

  • Collaboration
  • Innovation is a team sport
  • Connect creativity to technology
  • Diversity is key to innovation and creativity.

Humans tend to come around to the most moral decision. Righting ourselves ethically doesn’t happen automatically but requires the humanities to stay connected to the engineering.

Question received wisdom, thinking out of the box, and curiosity drove these geniuses and geeks towards productivity.

Free Consultation

If you're interested in a free 30-min consultation with me, simply fill out this form and I'll contact you!