The Third Industrial Revolution

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“The Innovators” is a book written by Walter Isaacson and it entails a lot of biographies of traditional scientists as well as engineers who may have influenced the emergence of Steve Job and his counterpart Steve Wozniak where they established the enterprise of Apple Computer which is now one of the major technologies.Over the past century, Steve Wozniak produced the transistor, microchip and microprocessor, the personal computer, programmable computer as well as its software and lastly the interphase of graphics. These were the kinds of the technological contexts that led to the development of video games, the search engine, online crowd-sourced encyclopedia, the internet and web and the ability to apply the touchscreen in hurling the spherical birds into a building and also making them explode.

The emergence of the technologies is what is referred to as the digital revolution which was established on an upcoming vision of machines that could make calculations but making expansions to envisage digitalized strategies handling everything that has the potential of being represented symbolically, logical operations, images, words, sounds and signals. The digital platforms conducted an overview on the future where unimaginable probability of representing, communicating as well as recombining data at a high speed, in a cheap way and all over the globe.The scientific revolution that occurred in the 17th

century has made significant changes in the way some elite thinkers used to perceive the world but majority of individuals in the world do not reason the same way as scientists. The revolution towards digitally has brought numerous changes and there is no overestimation of the shattering impacts of the technologies on economies, people’s culture, people’s forms of interaction as well as senses defining individuals.

There are individuals who refer this revolution as the third industrial revolution where the first was based on steam, coal and iron; the second was based on electricity, steel and mass production; the final one was based on electronic computers as well as information technologies. In all these revolutions there exist some heroes but the author accounts that the genres of the biographies make some exaggerations on the contribution of people and greatly underestimates the increase in the rate of improvements over time and the innovative interactions that exist between individuals. The task of the author in the book “The Innovators” is different from the one possessed by Steve Jobs where the author’s task is to tell the audience how the digital revolution occurred which is seen through accomplishments of various people where some were very clever and visionary. The author also was responsible for criticizing the biographies of the so called heroes, the effort placed to recognize the lone geniuses who predicted the future.

The author makes a suggestion that people should not channel their reasoning on the lone geniuses or those people who had self-sufficient imaginations but they should focus on the organizational form or the context which influences innovation to take place. “The Innovators” is a book which is organized historically by chapters based on particular digital technologies like “The Computer,” “The Microchip,” and “The Internet.” In every chapter there is an account of the people who make great contributions in the technology covered in that chapter. It becomes more efficient when it gets the assistance from the innovative teams or the groups whose concepts came from exchange among the members and whose innovativeness was influenced by their distinct knowledge, temperament, methods of working as well as their skills.

Isaacson focuses on the organizations that on some occasions invited other groups that exceeded the sum of their individual parts. In consideration to the great “idea factory” which was AT & T’s Bell Labs during and also after the Second World War many engineers and scientists who represented a wide variety of fields were offered a free hand to conduct an exploration and improvise. John Bardeen and Walter Brattain were physicists and they were assisted by their abrasive colleague William Shockley where they formed a team where they organized a physical meeting which occurred on a daily basis.They developed a transistor which is the primary building block of microprocessor and this has been regarded as the most significant invention on the 20th century.

The teams made inventions but the writer accounts a powerful task to what he refers to “ecosystems.” The ecosystem for Silicon Valley involved the venture capital which made great contributions to the digital invention becoming a commercial reality. It also involved universities at Berkeley and Stanford which was responsible for the licensing of the intellectual property that were produced by the university professors as well as students. The University of Stanford shared its faculty and facilities with the fresh industries and fed the pipelines that led to the emergence of a steady flow of computer engineers as well as scientists. The Silicon Valley ecosystem consisted of 800 pound gorillas that are not mentioned often by libertarian. The introduction of the military Cold War provided the customers as well as it was a funding platform for early computers and microprocessors industries where it later influenced the development of internet.

Based on an opposite pole of politics from the pentagon, the area of bay ecosystem leading to the emergence of digital invention entailed homebrew hackers, hobbyists, free speech activists, hippies, whole earthers and radical community organizers who viewed the personal computer as well as the emerging internet as capable sources of powers to the people. There were some counter-culturists who were stoned in Golden Gate Park listening to the Grateful Dead where they were they received inspiration to head north direction towards Marin County and they created mantra-chanting as well as organic farming commune (Isaacson 93). There were others who headed the south direction towards Palo Alto and assisted in finding the industry of personal computer and they also established the internet. Both the pentagon and the anti-Vietnam war radicals possessed different opinions on the way forward to establish the digital technology but they had a common desire of inspiring the Digital Revolution.

The digital revolution has been propelled forward by its visionary prophets as well as the seers mobilizing the followers to perceive their vision of the world which contain numerous new technologies. There were several prophecies that were self-fulfilling like Gordon Moore’s law which made predictions on the doubling of the power of a microprocessor in every year and half concentrated potentials on a goal that was authoritatively stated to be achievable. Prior to the finding of Microsoft, Bill Gates who was an undergraduate of Harvard University was stuck on whether to develop a programming language for Intel’s new 8088 processor. Bill Gates rejected the suggestion from his colleague Paul Allen since the version proposed would occupy almost the entire memory of the chip. They received assurance from Moore’s law that a more powerful microprocessor would emerge within a year or two and this made them to put that project aside and focus on another field of work.It was after the incorporation of Microsoft that Bill Gates developed another burning vision about the future of the industry of computers. Bill Gates foresaw that the hardware would eventually become commoditized hence generating only a small amount of income while the software firms would soon take the leadership and rule the commercial roost.

The essential objective was not to optimize the short-term income but to try by all means to make ones’ software a standard for the industry.This vision influenced the decision of Microsoft to make purchases at low costs and this later become the DOS operating system and then to catapult it to IBM on a non-exclusive license which enabled the company of Bill Gates to license it on to manufacturers of PC clones. Steve Job was also a major prophet where his enthusiasm and visions of technology foresaw software and hardware combined together in a sealed and integrated system. The vision catapulted the establishment of a Mac as well as its successors. Apple was leaping huge profits even before the introduction of iPods and iPhones. There exists an understandable desire to write the history in a backward format citing the enough causes of success from the behaviors shared by firms that have attained success. Most visions related to technological and commercial future results to be inaccurate.

Majority of the businesses for entrepreneurs do not succeed and majority of the groups which try to follow any formula related to innovation receive a lot of disappointments. The heart of the author is directed to the engineers like the geniuses of coding, the artists within the context of electronics, copper, silicon, mice and network. The book “The Innovators” provides a room for revolutionary work done with human and the mice. The trials in the organization structure in which innovation might be supported and expressed in the attractive designs of personal computer, graphic fonts and phones.These experiments also covered the prediction and creations of what the consumers did not have an idea of what they needed as well as in the campaigns for marketing and advertisements that make the consumers want those things.

There are triple intersecting trends of collaborative invention which emerge from the collection of digital lives in the book “The Innovators.” The theme of the book is the difficulty of developing priority for complex inventions. It is evident from the book that the author favors the individuals who transformed the ideas into realities and made greater influences to a lot of people.“When people take insights from multiple sources and put them together,” he concludes, “it’s natural for them to think that the resulting ideas are their own-as in truth they are.” This kind of credit shared is not just meant for edification of the audience. This book is the most accessible and comprehensive history in its own way but it addresses and synthesizes concepts as well as evidence from many past years of the first movers.

            It involves classics like Steve Levy’s “Hackers” and other competitors like James Gleick’s “The Information.” The author addresses this topic but it eliminated the enthusiasm of his trademark where majority of his anecdotes are well-worn. The nearer the author tries to approach the present the more the book becomes electric. At the climax of the book the author touches his past as the editor of Time for the measures of internet to make comments on the Web features that are less-desirable (Isaacson 104). The author sees the future of collaborative invention with the clarion call for “poetical science.” He supports the integration of art and technology at the core of many successful inventors from Jobs to Lovelace. The book “The Innovator” contains a story showing the progress of human-computer relationship not artificial intelligence.

            The most interesting thing about this book is that it contains information about technologies as well as the individuals behind different technologies.The author manages to uplift things into another category through placing everything in perspective with everything else. There have been a lot of debates revolving around which are about people responsible for various innovations and the period and contexts of these innovations. The writer succeeds in providing a balanced perception that gives answers to majority of the questions that people might have in order to receive a complete satisfaction about the whole issue of technological innovation.

In conclusion, the book “The Innovators”gives a clear elaboration concerning various technologies and individuals behind these technologies. It also explains the origin and things that set the innovators into the mood of invention. The author organizes his thoughts in an efficient manner where he provides answers to the many questions that hit the heads of many people in relation to how various technologies came about.

Works Cited

Isaacson, Walter. The innovators : how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014. Print.

September 11, 2023

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