Group Genius and Bell Labs
As I was reading Group Genius, I was reminded of a short op-ed that I think might be a nice supplement to our discussion
. It revolves around the physical and cultural environment that fostered the breakthroughs that came out of Bell Labs, the most innovative place on the planet this side of the Manhattan Project (and perhaps even the other side if you consider the breadth of Bell Labs' work). With inventions ranging from the transistor and the laser to Unix and C, the ideas and devices that came out of there have completely transformed the way we work, play, and fight.
There are a number of values shared by both the EdLab and Bell Labs - bringing together different disciplines as the best way to solve complex problems and the importance of physical proximity to name a few. I think there's a lot we can learn from them (though from what I've read, they often had problems with humility, so they don't quite have the EdLab/Fred philosophy). I particularly liked the description of Bell Labs an "ivory tower with a factory downstairs." That's not a bad model to work off of.