Monthly Archives: August 2015

Book Review- How We Got to Now

How We Got to Now
by Steven Johnson, 2014

how we got to now

I particularly liked the conclusion of this book, in which the author points out that, in almost any innovative profession, one can follow the mainstream and make incremental progress and be accepted and useful, but perhaps not world-changing. However, it is only by combining previously disparate areas that truly innovative discoveries can be made.

A interesting theme throughout the book was that certain inventions were ripe for being invented and were often invented simultaneously by different people. After the building blocks for the invention are developed and the cultural zeitgeist aligns, the invention becomes inevitable. We remember certain inventors for becoming the first to make a useful, mass-market version of a product, but, in reality, it is likely that most/all of such inventions would have been created by someone else in swift fashion had the actual inventor failed.