The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

I have two smartphones in my pocket, a smart speaker on the shelf, a smart television in front of me and a compact laptop on my desk. And I have no clue how any of these things work. My life depends on these luxuries which did not exist in any capacity just a couple decades ago.

I look back on my parent’s world and I can’t believe the change they have experienced. My parents were functional children when moon landing happened. Computers were building-sized behemoths run by universities and the government. Televisions were giant boxes of wood and glass that sat on the floor. There was only one television in the house, and there was only one phone for the whole family.

But when I focus on my life, I can’t believe the change I’ve experienced. Cell phones became ubiquitous during my childhood. Smartphones bursted onto the scene in college. Televisions got skinnier and the screens got bigger. I have never personally owned a desktop computer, opting for the nomadic laptop since college.

So I picked up The Innovators because I wanted to learn more about the evolution of the digital revolution, a revolution that has not only changed my life but also my parents’ and grandparents’ lives.

First thing you learn in this book: it was one big group effort. There is no one pioneer that started everything or sparked the fire. It was dedicated people all over the world working at the problem at hand. It almost feels like many innovations were inevitable; if Bill Gates hadn’t created Windows, someone else would have.

Second thing you learn in this book: I know nothing about computers. I don’t know how they function or why they function. It seems like magic.

This is a very interesting book and a great read.