strategy and business


Safi Bahcall, Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries (St. Martin’s Press, 2019)

Kartik Hosanagar, A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control (Viking, 2019)

Clive Thompson, Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World (Penguin Press, 2019)


This is an odd moment in the history of technology and innovation. Technology companies have never been more powerful or influential. The five most valuable corporations in the world are all American tech giants, and the products they make and the services they provide continue to colonize an ever-larger chunk of our daily lives. Yet that very power has occasioned a serious anti-tech backlash, driven in part by a sense that these companies have too often exercised their might in a cavalier and careless fashion, and in part by anxieties about how their dominance may be hindering innovation. So it’s only fitting that this year’s best business books on technology and innovation and grapple with the fundamental challenges facing the tech world today — how to continue to drive radical innovation, how to manage the rise of ubiquitous machine intelligence, and how to make software that’s socially useful and beneficial as well as lucrative.

In recent years there’s been a nagging concern that for all the money being poured into startups, the payoff has been disappointing.

Silicon Valley has always prided itself on offering innovation. And yet in

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