Last June marked the fifteenth year since I graduated from b-school at the Carlson School of Management. Over the summer I had been asked by the school to do an interview and answer a few questions looking back on my experience. I had recently published a blog post on “Three Things I Learned in B-school” that focused on the lessons that had followed me throughout my career but as I prepared for this interview I was thinking more about how much had changed in the world since I had graduate. I was quickly blown away with my quick list of changes that I had written down: medical discoveries, the Internet explosion, software development, redefining business and leadership theories, and the advances in telecommunications to name just a few.
Is American Innovation dead? After reading Jon Gertner’s (@jongertner) recent book “The Idea Factory” that detailed the amazing frequency and impact of the innovation that was pouring out of Bell Labs back in the heyday you might think so. Just a few of Bell Labs “Gaming Changing” innovations include the first transistors; integrated circuits, fiber optics, lasers, satellites, cellular phones, and digital cameras (see complete list). These weren’t just incremental improvements in a narrow discipline but discontinuous innovations that created entirely new fields of science and engineering.
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