This major business biography of Polaroid and its founder and inventor Edwin Land, covers how the company grew from the initial Polavision prototypes during World War II, to the 1980s landmark patent infringement trial against Kodak that nearly brought the company to its knees.
Almost thirty years ago, Michael Moritz, then a young journalist at Time magazine, was allowed exclusive access to the inner workings of a cutting-edge technology company to tell the story of its first decade in business. The Little Kingdom: The Private Story of Apple Computer brought readers into the childhood homes of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, showed how they dropped out of college and founded Apple in 1976, and charted the company's rise from basement brainstorming to colossal empire. Now, after spending almost twenty-five years at Sequoia Capital, the much admired private investment partnership, Moritz, who has since served as a board member of a remarkable list of important companies including Yahoo!, Google and PayPal, offers his contemporary perspective on the accomplishments of Steve Jobs and the extraordinary comeback of Apple in this revised edition of his now-classic work. Required reading for anyone who has ever listened to music on an iPod, downloaded an app onto an iPhone, browsed on a Mac, or is curious about the distinctive attributes of enduring companies, Return to the Little Kingdom is the only book that explains how Steve Jobs came to found the company that changed our world - twice.
In a world where nearly everyone has a cellphone camera capable of zapping countless instant photos, it can be a challenge to remember just how special and transformative Polaroid photography was in its day. And yet, there’s still something magical for those of us who recall waiting for a Polaroid picture to develop. Writing in the context of two Polaroid Corporation bankruptcies, not to mention the obsolescence of its film, Peter Buse argues that Polaroid was, and is, distinguished by its process—by the fact that, as the New York Times put it in 1947, “the camera does the rest.” Polaroid was often dismissed as a toy, but Buse takes it seriously, showing how it encouraged photographic play as well as new forms of artistic practice. Drawing on unprecedented access to the archives of the Polaroid Corporation, Buse reveals Polaroid as photography at its most intimate, where the photographer, photograph, and subject sit in close proximity in both time and space—making Polaroid not only the perfect party camera but also the tool for frankly salacious pictures taking. Along the way, Buse tells the story of the Polaroid Corporation and its ultimately doomed hard-copy wager against the rising tide of digital imaging technology. He explores the continuities and the differences between Polaroid and digital, reflecting on what Polaroid can tell us about how we snap photos today. Richly illustrated, The Camera Does the Rest will delight historians, art critics, analog fanatics, photographers, and all those who miss the thrill of waiting to see what develops.
From the brilliant mind of Japanese artist Bunpei Yorifuji comes Wonderful Life with the Elements, an illustrated guide to the periodic table that gives chemistry a friendly face. In this super periodic table, every element is a unique character whose properties are represented visually: heavy elements are fat, man-made elements are robots, and noble gases sport impressive afros. Every detail is significant, from the length of an element's beard to the clothes on its back. You'll also learn about each element's discovery, its common uses, and other vital stats like whether it floats—or explodes—in water. Why bother trudging through a traditional periodic table? In this periodic paradise, the elements are people too. And once you've met them, you'll never forget them.
The True Story of an Untrained Undercover Agent and America's Biggest Corruption Bust
Author: Terrence Hake,Wayne Klatt
Publisher: Amer Bar Assn
This is the exciting story of Terrence Hake, the leader of the FBI's longest and most successful undercover operation—Operation Greylord. It's a true crime story that resulted in bribery and tax charges against 103 judges, lawyers and other court personnel. Terrence was a young assistant prosecutor in Chicago when asked to helm the investigation. Follow him as he spends four years ferreting out corruption in the Chicago machine.
This exciting new text traces the common themes in the long and complex history of mass communication. It shows how the means of communicating grew out of their eras, how they developed, how they influenced the societies of those eras, and how they have continued to exert their influence upon subsequent generations. The book is divided into six periods which are identified as 'Information Revolutions' writing, printing, mass media, entertainment, the 'toolshed' (which we call 'home' now), and the Information Highway. In looking at the ways in which the tools of communication have influenced and been influenced by social change, A History of Mass Communication provides students of media and journalism with a strong sense of the way their chosen field affects how society functions. Providing a broad-based approach to media history, Dr. Fang encourages the reader to take a careful look at where our culture is headed through the tools we use to communicate with one another. A History of Mass Communication is not only the most current text on communication history, but also an invaluable resource for anyone interested in how methods of communication affect society.
If a single life exemplifies the inner drive that fires a great inventor, it is the life of Edwin Land. The major innovations that he was able to achieve in photography, optics, industry, and science policy carry priceless lessons for readers today.Insisting on the Impossible is the first full-scale biography of this Magellan of modern technology. Victor McElheny reveals the startling scope and dating spirit of Land's scientific and entrepreneurial genius. Second only to Edison in the number of patents he received (535), Land build a modest enterprise into a gigantic ”invention factory,” turning out not only polarizers and the first instant cameras, but also high-speed and X-ray film, identification systems, 3-D and instant movies, and military devices for night vision and aerial reconnaissance. As a scientist, Land developed a new theory of color vision; as a science advisor to Eisenhower during the Cold War he spearheaded the development of the U-2 spyplane and helped design NASA.Behind these protean achievements was a relentless curiosity, a magical public presence, and a willful optimism that drew him again and again to conquer ”the impossible.” In an era when these qualities are needed more than ever, this masterly biography will speak to anyone involved or interested in business, science, photography, educational reform of government.
"Instant photography at the push of a button!" During the 1960s and '70s, Polaroid was the coolest technology company on earth. Like Apple, it was an innovation machine that cranked out one must-have product after another. Led by its own visionary genius founder, Edwin Land, Polaroid grew from a 1937 garage start-up into a billion-dollar pop-culture phenomenon. Instant tells the remarkable tale of Land's one-of-a-kind invention-from Polaroid's first instant camera to hit the market in 1948, to its meteoric rise in popularity and adoption by artists such as Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close, to the company's dramatic decline into bankruptcy in the late '90s and its unlikely resurrection in the digital age. Instant is both an inspiring tale of American ingenuity and a cautionary business tale about the perils of companies that lose their creative edge.
The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950
Author: Charles Murray
Publisher: Harper Collins
A sweeping cultural survey reminiscent of Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence. "At irregular times and in scattered settings, human beings have achieved great things. Human Accomplishment is about those great things, falling in the domains known as the arts and sciences, and the people who did them.' So begins Charles Murray's unique account of human excellence, from the age of Homer to our own time. Employing techniques that historians have developed over the last century but that have rarely been applied to books written for the general public, Murray compiles inventories of the people who have been essential to the stories of literature, music, art, philosophy, and the sciences—a total of 4,002 men and women from around the world, ranked according to their eminence. The heart of Human Accomplishment is a series of enthralling descriptive chapters: on the giants in the arts and what sets them apart from the merely great; on the differences between great achievement in the arts and in the sciences; on the meta-inventions, 14 crucial leaps in human capacity to create great art and science; and on the patterns and trajectories of accomplishment across time and geography. Straightforwardly and undogmatically, Charles Murray takes on some controversial questions. Why has accomplishment been so concentrated in Europe? Among men? Since 1400? He presents evidence that the rate of great accomplishment has been declining in the last century, asks what it means, and offers a rich framework for thinking about the conditions under which the human spirit has expressed itself most gloriously. Eye-opening and humbling, Human Accomplishment is a fascinating work that describes what humans at their best can achieve, provides tools for exploring its wellsprings, and celebrates the continuing common quest of humans everywhere to discover truths, create beauty, and apprehend the good.
The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom)
Author: Adam Fisher
Category: Business & Economics
"This is the most important book on Silicon Valley I've read in two decades. It will take us all back to our roots in the counterculture, and will remind us of the true nature of the innovation process, before we tried to tame it with slogans and buzzwords." -- Po Bronson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nudist on the Late Shift and Nurtureshock A candid, colorful, and comprehensive oral history that reveals the secrets of Silicon Valley -- from the origins of Apple and Atari to the present day clashes of Google and Facebook, and all the start-ups and disruptions that happened along the way. Rarely has one economy asserted itself as swiftly--and as aggressively--as the entity we now know as Silicon Valley. Built with a seemingly permanent culture of reinvention, Silicon Valley does not fight change; it embraces it, and now powers the American economy and global innovation. So how did this omnipotent and ever-morphing place come to be? It was not by planning. It was, like many an empire before it, part luck, part timing, and part ambition. And part pure, unbridled genius... Drawing on over two hundred in-depth interviews, VALLEY OF GENIUS takes readers from the dawn of the personal computer and the internet, through the heyday of the web, up to the very moment when our current technological reality was invented. It interweaves accounts of invention and betrayal, overnight success and underground exploits, to tell the story of Silicon Valley like it has never been told before. Read it to discover the stories that Valley insiders tell each other: the tall tales that are all, improbably, true.
Insights from the Growth Trajectories of Successful and Unsuccessful Companies
Author: Peter S. Cohan
Category: Business & Economics
Accelerate your company's growth in a disciplined fashion. This book provides leaders of large and small companies a proven comprehensive framework to think systematically about growth options and to yield practical strategies that produce faster growth. Drawing insights from case studies of successful and unsuccessful companies, strategy teacher and venture capitalist Peter Cohan models his systematic approach to brainstorming, evaluating, and implementing growth strategies across five dimensions: Customers, Geography, Products, Capabilities, Culture. He examines each of these five growth dimensions in turn, selecting and organizing his cases to compare the growth strategies deployed successfully and unsuccessfully by large and small companies along the given dimension. In each of his five dimensional chapters, the author derives from his case analyses the key principles and processes for creating and achieving faster growth. Professor Cohan draws on a network of hundreds of founders, CEOs, and investors developed through his decades of consulting, authorship of 11 books, and over five years as a Forbes columnist. He shows through many compelling stories how leaders craft effective growth strategies. Business leaders will learn the following lessons from this book: Achieving rapid but sustainable growth is a business leader’s most important responsibility – and leaders must approach this challenge with a mixture of vision, intellectual humility, and a willingness to experiment and learn from failure. The growth challenges facing companies that are currently growing quickly differ from the ones that stagnating or shrinking companies must overcome. Companies can achieve growth along one or more of the dimensions simultaneously – and they often expand geographically to customers in the same segments. Useful insights can emerge from comparing case studies of successful and unsuccessful companies pursuing similar growth strategies. Companies should select a growth strategy based on three factors: the attractiveness of the growth opportunity, the company’s capabilities to provide superior value to customers in the selected market, and the expected return on investment in the growth vector. Companies should select a growth strategy that best fits their capabilities and culture and they must enhance both to adapt to new growth opportunities. Who This Book Is For The people in companies who are responsible for growth: chief executive officers, chief marketing officers, chief product officers, heads of business development, product managers, sales people, and human resources managers
Managing Defense, Air, and Space Programs During the Cold War
Author: John L. McLucas,Air University Press
Category: Technology & Engineering
In documenting his wide-ranging career in science and technology, Dr. McLucas offers new information and insights on the history of key private-sector and government agencies during the Cold War era-most prominently, the US Air Force. After naval service in World War II, he began a long affiliation with the Air Force as a civilian engineer and Air National Guard officer. He continued this affiliation as president of both a pioneering high-tech company and the Air Force-sponsored MITRE Corporation. He also worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and became NATO's top scientific officer. His contributions to the Air Force culminated with service as its undersecretary and secretary in the challenging and transforming period from 1969 through 1975, during which time he also directed the national Reconnaissance Office. Dr. McLucas's insider's account of those years divulges details about Pentagon politics, coping with the Vietnam War, developing new aircraft and other systems, and expanding equal opportunities for minorities and women. After next heading the Federal Aviation Administration, he became an executive in the Communications Satellite Corporation. Following retirement, he remained an active and influential proponent of science and technology, especially in space. The coauthors completed this book after Dr. McLucas's death in December 2002.
How corporate hubris caused the bankruptcy of America's greatest photography company. A meticulously documented history of Eastman Kodak Company's financial implosion. Once a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a blue chip growth stock, and a member of the Nifty-Fifty, Kodak filed a Chapter XI petition early in 2012. If you want to know how and why, then read this book.
In his book "Jurassic Park" (and in the movie based on the book), Michael Crichton describes a crazed professor who through techniques of genetic engineering manages to recreate the dinosaurs and giant ferns of 65 million years past. Once the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex is brought to life. a powerful dynamics sets in: evolution. The prehistoric world embarks on a collision course with man. Researching his book, Crichton had been reading up on paleontology and on the mathematical theory of evolution, catastrophes, and chaos. Crichton explains some of the twists of nonlinear mathematics that are rewriting not only thermodynamics, physics, and chemistry (that all grapple with evolving and turbulent processes) but also paleontology, genetics, medicine and even anthropology. Collapse and chaos is not limited to prehistoric animal kingdoms and ancient civilizations. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the political and economic chaos in its aftermath demonstrate that modern civilizations are just as vulnerable. This book aims at reexamining some main portions of the discipline of economics from the point of view of economic change and creativity. There are two aspects to this perspective. First, diversity and complexity. The range of different kinds of high technology products available to consumers and producers increases rapidly. Each product is the result of a long and complex production hierarchy. As these hierarchies grow, they deliver ever more diversified and complex high tech goods. Other hierarchies fall by the wayside.
New York Times Bestseller Iconoclastic entrepreneur and New York legend Ken Langone tells the compelling story of how a poor boy from Long Island became one of America's most successful businessmen. Ken Langone has seen it all on his way to a net worth beyond his wildest dreams. A pillar of corporate America for decades, he's a co-founder of Home Depot, a former director of the New York Stock Exchange, and a world-class philanthropist (including $200 million for NYU's Langone Health). In this memoir he finally tells the story of his unlikely rise and controversial career. It's also a passionate defense of the American Dream -- of preserving a country in which any hungry kid can reach the maximum potential of his or her talents and work ethic. In a series of fascinating stories, Langone shows how he struggled to get an education, break into Wall Street, and scramble for an MBA at night while competing with privileged competitors by day. He shares how he learned how to evaluate what a business is worth and apply his street smarts to 8-figure and 9-figure deals . And he's not shy about discussing, for the first time, his epic legal and PR battle with former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer. His ultimate theme is that free enterprise is the key to giving everyone a leg up. As he writes: This book is my love song to capitalism. Capitalism works! And I'm living proof -- it works for everybody. Absolutely anybody is entitled to dream big, and absolutely everybody should dream big. I did. Show me where the silver spoon was in my mouth. I've got to argue profoundly and passionately: I'm the American Dream.