Bell Labs: 'The Idea Factory'

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Long before Silicon Valley became the nation's technology hub, ambitious researchers and creative thinkers flocked to New Jersey to work at the famed Bell Labs. We talk with Jon Gertner, author of "The Idea Factory," which chronicles Bell's uniquely innovative culture. What were the conditions that made Bell Labs successful, and what lessons can Silicon Valley learn?

For six decades, Bell led the field of scientific research and pioneered such milestones as the transistor, the first laser and cellular technology.


Jon Gertner, author of "The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation," former contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and former senior editor at Money magazine