Disruptive innovation

In May 1948 a Bell Labs committee memo recommended a name for the semiconductor triode that stuck. Schockley and his colleagues were awarded the Nobel prize in physics for the discovery of the “Transistor effect” some years later. Some say the transistor and its commercialization, starting in Northern California, also gave birth to Silicon Valley.

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In July 1948 Shannon published “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” in the Bell System Technical Journal. It was intuitive, simple, powerful, extendable, generalizable and most importantly actionable.

Information was thereafter measured in bits. A name for binary digits that Shannon credited to Tukey.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 12.26.12 PMIn the world of Big Data that we inhabit today, it is easy to forget the basics, and the gratitude we owe to the giants that built the foundation we hopeful technologists stand on.

With one theory Shannon generalized representation, communication and uncertainty. The transistor perhaps created our most important industry and also gave us “Startups”.

Now, what’s the next “disruptive innovation” in Big Data again?