For our latest podcast, we connected with Walter Isaacson, the author of the acclaimed 2011 biography of Steve Jobs. He’s just published a new book about the history of technology, The Innovators: How a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution.

Cover of "The Innovators" by Walter Isaacson.

Above: Cover of “The Innovators” by Walter Isaacson.

Image Credit: Simon & Schuster

Isaacson’s book covers a dizzying array of inventors, from Ada Lovelace to Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It provides invaluable history for anyone looking to understand where tech comes from and how we got where we are today.

In our conversation, we talk a lot about the interplay between creative geniuses (like Charles Babbage or Steve Jobs) and collaborative groups (like Bell Labs or Xerox Parc) and how the development of tech required both. We discuss the tension between proprietary tech and open-source, and we delve into the role of government in fostering R&D and providing the “seed corn” for the growth of tech and future economic development.

It’s a lot of information, packed into one fascinating 20-minute conversation.

Plus, we tell you what to think about

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Or download the MP3 of episode 25 here.

Enjoy the show!