The Innovators (book)

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The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
AuthorWalter Isaacson
CountryUnited States
PublisherSimon & Schuster (U.S.)
Publication date
October 7, 2014
Media typeE-book, print (hardback and paperback), audiobook
Pages488 pp.
Preceded bySteve Jobs 
Followed byLeonardo Da Vinci 

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution is an overview of the history of computer science and the Digital Revolution. It was written by Walter Isaacson, and published in 2014 by Simon & Schuster.

The book summarizes the contributions of several innovators who have made pivotal breakthroughs in computer technology and its applications—from the world's first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace, and Alan Turing's work in artificial intelligence, through the Information Age of the present.[1][2] Although his book's focus is on individuals, Isaacson reminds readers that innovations are often the product of group collaboration.

Innovators discussed in the book include Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Vannevar Bush, Konrad Zuse, Alan Turing, Grace Hopper, John Mauchly, John von Neumann, J. C. R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce of Intel, Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs of Apple, Tim Berners-Lee, Larry Page of Google, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia,[3] and Lee Felsenstein of Osborne.


In December 2015, Simon & Schuster published a revised electronic edition of The Innovators, which corrected significant errors and omissions in the original edition’s Chapter 9, which covers Software. Isaacson – who in researching the book interviewed Bill Gates but not Paul Allen – had erroneously assigned virtually all credit for the company’s early innovations and success to Gates, when in fact they were the product of highly collaborative efforts by several people, including Allen. In the revised edition, among other edits, Isaacson includes archival material from 1981 in which Gates credits Allen for being the “idea man” in charge of R&D at Microsoft, while he, Gates, was “the front man running the business.”[4]


  1. ^ "Interview with Walter Isaacson (with transcript)". Charlie Rose. PBS. October 13, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution". New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
  3. ^ Isaacson, Walter (October 19, 2014). "You Can Look It Up: The Wikipedia Story". The Innovators. Retrieved May 17, 2019 – via The Daily Beast.
  4. ^ Isaacson, Walter (December 2015). The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1471138798.

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