David Litwak wrote an interesting article arguing that Google is our generation’s version of Bell Labs. For those who don’t know, here’s David’s description of Bell Labs:
Bell Labs was the research division of AT&T and Western Electric Research Laboratories, originally formed in 1925 to work on telephone exchange switches. However, over the next 50 years or so, their research won 7 Nobel Prizes, for things very loosely connected to telephone switches, if at all. Among their inventions are the transistor, the laser, UNIX, radio astronomy and the C and C++ programming languages.
Under various ownership structures and names, Bell Labs spit out truly groundbreaking inventions for 50+ years. They still enjoy a measure of success, but by most opinions their best days are behind them, and many of their ~20 locations have been shuttered.
I won’t argue with much of the article, because I think