Story | Oct 14, 2011
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Column | Mar 25, 2012For generations of industry research executives, AT&T's Bell Telephone Laboratories served as an inspiration: a warren of youthful scientists and engineers assigned to go where their intellects took them, not especially concerned about serving the corporate bottom line, picking up cartloads of Nobel Prizes along the way. Bell Labs was the model for, among others, Xerox Corp.'s legendary Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, which spun out the personal computer, Windows-style displays, Ethernet and many other advances that delivered their bounty more to society at large than to the parent company.