The tech industry changes and evolves almost by the minute. To study the entire history of technology would be nearly impossible, especially because of the varying fractions and centuries of changes. However, anyone who wants to learn the basics and important moments, figures, and inventions can use our list as a start.
We composed a list of six of our favorite books about technology. They all contain an element we felt everyone who is starting to learn about innovation needs to know, which could mean persistence, imagination, or a critical eye. Each of these books can be found at Barnes and Noble, and can be discounted with a Groupon code.
This 571 page Steve Jobs anthology gives fans and critics a deeper look into the man who revolutionized the modern tech industry. To really understand the method to his madness, Isaacson conducted over 40 interviews with Jobs. He gave him an unprecedented look into his life, with access to important figures in Jobs’ personal and professional life, like exes, children, partners, and other innovators.
Jobs had no input on the final outcome of the book, so Isaacson was able to give an unbiased and uninfluenced look at Jobs–the good, the bad, and the ugly. Steve Jobs is a must-read for anyone who just wants a deeper understanding of Jobs and his contributes to the tech industry.
Michael Lewis’s book focuses on Jim Clark, the billionaire founder of Silicon Graphics, Netscape, and Healtheon. Tech experts consider Clark one of the most influential, creative, and memorable entrepreneurs of the 1990s. He used his technological creations to fill in a gap in certain industries, which helped make him a powerful leader.
Lewis became friends with Clark, which gave him an insider access to his life as he was just starting to develop Healtheon. Lewis uses the book to focus on Clark’s achievements, with little discussion about his personal life. It’s a book about how passionate pursuits often lead to innovation.
Steven Levy was the first person to use the term hacker. He helped define the hacker culture and moment, especially as it developed from 1950s to early 1980s. His book chronicles the changes and important moments throughout those decades. He also profiles major figures in the movement like Richard Stallman and Steve Wozniak. Hackers is all about how tech geniuses used unusual methods to manipulate rules and bring a new era in American electronics.
Weapons of Math Destruction criticized how much businesses and organizations rely on algorithms to guide major decisions. It talks about the dark side of data dependency, like how it may reinforce prejudices and discrimination. The book not only analyzes the usage of these systems but calls for a complete change. Weapons of Math Destruction will make you take a more critical look at computerized profiling.
Thomas Rid’s book gives a full overview of the development of cybernetics. It guides you through past inventions, current advancements, and future predictions for the world of cybernetics. It profiles mathematician Norbert Wiener, especially during and after WWII. The book uses many unpublished sources to tell the story of cybernetics, with a whole cast of characters like hippies and sleuths.
The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich may have kept readers entertained enough to inspire the Oscar winning Social Network but The Facebook Effect is more of the true story behind the development of Facebook. Its full of interviews from the real men, then boys, behind the social media platform. It captures the enthusiasm surrounding the creation, and focuses on Mark Zuckerberg’s unwavering faith and loyalty to Facebook.