… And is going to do it again. Forget career plans, talent programmes, and fringe benefits. The upcoming generation wants to go out and change the world. One company has done this more than any. And now they are stirring again.
Before the telephone business became a place for customer hijacking without any rules, protected behind the monopoly earnings, it was a true paradise for research, where fundamental technologies was realized – technologies which nowadays allow us to navigate by GPS, use broadband, and even see television.
More then any other company AT&T, American Telephone & Telegraph, has speeded up development. Their development department was called Bell Labs, named after the inventor of the telephone, Graham Bell, who spent 50.000 franc of the earnings of his first invention to start Bell Labs. Since the fax machine was presented to the World at Bell Labs for the first time in 1926, the bright minds at AT&T have won 11 Nobel prices. Even side gains such as films with speach, measuring of distance in space, and solar cells can be ascribed to the monopoly protected lab research. An interesting perspective, when all that everyone want is to complain about the telephone companies’ monopoly.
Today AT&T is a company with more than 250.000 employees and an annual turnover of more than 300 billion dollars. The Nobel Price research has in a long period been replaced by the traditional focus on making money for the loud and chronically hungry shareholders. But the giant is beginning to stir again – tired of the greedy, reactionary, and unfriendly image, which almost naturally follows too much care for the investors. New technologies are going to be created, new ways of activating live stores, new tools for marketing, new ways to organise your company, and new ways to run cooperative innovative work – outside the lab.
To be head of the new Lab strategy, AT&T has chosen the colourful David Polinchock, who previously started Brand Experience Lab and among the first of the fabled MIT Media LAB. David is coming to NEXT in August to tell about the new methods. It will be a peek forward from the one place which can, with coolness, say that they have been a creator to the view of the world as we know it today.