BOOK OF THE MONTH, OCTOBER 2017
The Idea Factory, by Jon Gertner
From its beginnings in the 1920s until its demise in the 1980s, Bell Labs-officially, the research and development wing of AT&T-was the biggest, and arguably the best, laboratory for new ideas in the world. From the transistor to the laser, from digital communications to cellular telephony, it's hard to find an aspect of modern life that hasn't been touched by Bell Labs. In The Idea Factory, Jon Gertner traces the origins of some of the twentieth century's most important inventions and delivers a riveting and heretofore untold chapter of American history.
At its heart this is a story about the life and work of a small group of brilliant and eccentric men-Mervin Kelly, Bill Shockley, Claude Shannon, John Pierce, and Bill Baker-who spent their careers at Bell Labs. Today, when the drive to invent has become a mantra, Bell Labs offers us a way to enrich our understanding of the challenges and solutions to technological innovation.
Here, after all, was where the foundational ideas on the management of innovation were born.
WHAT WE'RE READING: RECONCILING AUTONOMY WITH COMMUNITY
Drawing from psychology, neuroscience, technology, economics, philosophy, politics, and law, author Mark White explains how and why the individual has been devalued in the eyes of scholars, government leaders, and the public.
This book explains how individuality combines both rights and responsibilities, reconciles the popular yet false dichotomy between individual and society, and provides the basis for a humane and respectful civil society and government.
WHAT WE'RE READING: EVERYBODY LIES
As the Amazon review puts it: By the end of an average day in the early twenty-first century, human beings searching the internet will amass eight trillion gigabytes of data.
Everybody Lies offers fascinating, surprising, and sometimes laugh-out-loud insights into everything from economics to ethics to sports to race to sex, gender and more, all drawn from the world of big data.
Injected with humor, this book provides insights into how we're accessing ubiquitous data, and how it's shaping the ways we think and live.
BOOK OF THE MONTH, SEPTEMBER 2017
Crash Override, by Zoe Quinn
Published September 5th, 2017, Crash Override is the story of Zoe Quinn. Quinn is a video game developer whose ex-boyfriend published a crazed blog post cobbled together from private information, half-truths, and outright fictions, along with a rallying cry to the online hordes to go after her. They answered in the form of a so-called movement known as #gamergate--they hacked her accounts; stole nude photos of her; harassed her family, friends, and colleagues; and threatened to rape and murder her.
Instead of shrinking into silence as the online mobs wanted her to, she raised her voice and spoke out against this vicious online culture and for making the internet a safer place for everyone.
WHAT WE'RE READING: IGEN AND TECHNOLOGY
San Diego State Psychology Professor Jean Twenge has been studying the impact of mobile technology on kids for nearly two decades. IGen refers to the generation of kids born in the mid-1990s, and they are the first generation to grow up with mobile phones accessible on a daily basis.
Professor Twenge's new book, released August 22nd, explores the issues raised by this generation's habitual use of technology, including the surprising impact technology is having on the disposition of teenagers.
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, Peter Thiel
“Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how.”
- Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla
Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur and investor. He started PayPal in 1998, led it as CEO, and took it public in 2002, defining a new era of fast and secure online commerce. In 2004 he made the first outside investment in Facebook, where he serves as a director. The same year he launched Palantir Technologies, a software company that harnesses computers to empower human analysts in fields like national security and global finance. He has provided early funding for LinkedIn, Yelp, and dozens of successful technology startups, many run by former colleagues who have been dubbed the “PayPal Mafia.” He is a partner at Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has funded companies like SpaceX and Airbnb. He started the Thiel Fellowship, which ignited a national debate by encouraging young people to put learning before schooling, and he leads the Thiel Foundation, which works to advance technological progress and long- term thinking about the future.
Before Disrupting Healthcare, Pallav Sharda
Pallav Sharda is a healthcare entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience in health information technology. Pallav put that experience to work creating insights for future entrepreneurs entering the complex healthcare space in his book, "Before Disrupting Healthcare: What Innovators Need to Know."
The book is CTC's selection as Book of the Month for February 2017.
Pallav went Inside the Founder's Studio to talk about the book, as well as entrepreneurship in health, and much more in our wide-ranging discussion. This episode of "Inside the Founder's Studio" is available in CTC's PODCAST ARCHIVE.
CTC ORIGINAL RESEARCH
California Tool Works: Incubation and Acceleration in the Cauldron of Innovation
Accelerators and incubators play a vital role in the state’s innovation ecosystem. Startups often find incubators and accelerators attractive as they go through the pains and pitfalls of early success and failure. As the model has proliferated, accelerators have become the epitome of an industrialized process: startups churned out in volume through an assembly line.
For Further Reading