Bell Labs

Read this article today that asked Do we need a new Bell Labs? Having worked for Bell Labs in the 90s I would answer the question with a resounding yes. Once upon a time this research arm of Ma Bell created all sorts of things.. like these listed in the article:
  • The transistor;
  • Data networking;
  • Cell phone technology;
  • Solar cells;
  • Digital switching;
  • Communications satellites;
  • The touch-tone phone;
  • Unix and C;
  • Digital signal processors.
When I visited the headquarters buildings in New Jersey I was always impressed by display of patents by the folks out there - I remember my bosses boss had his hanging over his desk. Towards the end of my tenure there the focus was more and more about only doing research on things that the company could sell and less and less on pure research. I think that is why many currently feel that a new Bell Labs is needed.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bob,

    Gordon Gecko would say "Greed is good and now it's legal!"

    Today everything corporate is about the bottom line, Bob. The struggling companies will tell you they can't afford to pay people to do "pure research" now, that it has to be about salable product or the company will go under. As for the rest, don't underestimate the number of Gordon Geckos in corporate and political America. Some "Geckos" are more visible than others, but in all cases, their personal gain and protecting their little fiefdoms is more important than anything and anyone else. It's worse than disgusting, but it usually takes a major scandal to expose such people for what they are........and unfortunately, in most cases someone as bad, if not worse, ends up taking their place. Things will change only when people value TRUTH over money and power.


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.