What we’re reading: Our June 2020 reading list

We published our first reading list back in March 2020. Here is a new one, the “summer edition”. As in March, the books are in no particular order. We really like them all.

How innovation works: And why it flourishes in freedom

By Matt Ridley

The title says it all, right? Drawing on examples from across centuries, and from across industries, technologies, and applications, Matt Ridley’s book shows why “innovation by committee” really is not a good idea, and why “the lone inventor” is a myth.

Endless frontier: Vannevar Bush, engineer of the American Century

By G. Pascal Zachary

A comprehensive biography of the inventor of the memex, a mechanical device intended to serve as a “personal knowledge base”. The memex was a very early (= 1945) version of what later became hypertext, and the World Wide Web. Clearly a must-have for our reading list.

Mars rover Curiosity: An inside account from Curiosity’s chief engineer

By Rob Manning and William L. Simon

A quote from the book: “With the big-picture system design and operations concepts finally settled, you might think that the rest would be fairly straightforward engineering. But it was quite the opposite. This part of the work turned out to be where the devil lives.” — sounds familiar to you? Yes…

Out-innovate: How global entrepreneurs–from Delhi to Detroit–are rewriting the rules of Silicon Valley

By Alexandre Lazarow

Examples of innovation from places where, even if the rules are not “rewritten”, the rules are different than in “the Valley”.

Why we sleep

By Matthew Walker

Why is a book on sleep on a tech, business, and innovation reading list? Because no sleep, no innovation. Matthew Walker explains why it is not just “OK” to get more sleep than many of us normally do, but why it is essential to your health, your creativity, and many other things. Plus, you really learn a lot about what’s currently known about how sleep works, in humans and other organisms.


Featured image by Jonas Jacobsson.

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