Bell Labs' Productivity Mystery

A story from The Idea Factory by Jon Gertner about finding the most productive people at Bell Labs. The Shannon mentioned is Claud Shannon.

In the midst of Shannon’s career, some lawyers in the patent department at Bell Labs decided to study whether there was an organizing principle that could explain why certain individuals at the Labs were more productive than others. They discerned only one common thread: Workers with the most patents often shared lunch or breakfast with a Bell Labs electrical engineer named Harry Nyquist. It wasn’t the case that Nyquist gave them specific ideas. Rather, as one scientist recalled,”he drew people out, got them thinking.” More than anything, Nyquist asked good questions.