Summary of Engines of Tomorrow

How The World's Best Companies Are Using Their Research Labs To Win The Future

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Engines of Tomorrow book summary
Corporate research: Where invention meets the bottom line.


7 Overall

4 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Robert Buderi has produced a work of impressive detail - a thoroughly documented account of the workings of the world’s leading research labs. The book carefully follows the financial swings of the R&D effort, and closely examines the increasing pressure on researchers to turn a quick buck. The history of this critical economic component is probably unknown to most readers, and Buderi tells an engrossing tale. The book’s one inescapable shortcoming, however, is the fact that Buderi finishes his story without a mention of the vast innovation currently sprouting from sources far afield of the Fortune 500. In addition, little mention is made of what makes some research efforts flourish while others fade. Nevertheless, getAbstract highly recommends Engines of Tomorrow as a book that rises beyond a simple corporate history to a study in human innovation.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why innovation, not invention, will shape the future
  • What seven rules govern innovation
  • How IBM, Siemens and NEC approach research and development


The Department of Change
"Advancing waves of people’s progress sweep over the unchanging man and wash him out." Those words, written by Charles F. Kettering, could serve as the mission statement of the world’s leading research labs. In corporations in almost every developed and developing...
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About the Author

Robert Buderi is the former technology editor at BusinessWeek and is a contributing editor for Technology Review A past Vannevar Bush Fellow at M.I.T., his prior book is The Invention That Changed The World Buderi authors the popular "Lab Watch" column for Upside magazine, and his work has appeared in Newsweek, Time, The Economist, Science, Nature and The Atlantic Monthly He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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