The Secret History of Silicon Valley

What set the stage for Silicon Valley to change the entire landscape of technology? What made companies like Google, Yahoo and Hewlett Packard possible? According to this talk presented at Google by Steve Blank, it all goes back to the aftermath of World War II. It starts when Stanford University and its engineering/electronics department began to focus heavily on military R&D. And it continues during the Korean War, when the University starts developing new technologies that contribute to military intelligence (or what Blank calls “spook work”) and various weapons systems. The next thing you know you’ve got a brain trust in the Bay Area that starts spinning out companies lik Fairchild Semiconductor, the father of all semiconductor companies, and, with that, Silicon Valley becomes Silicon Valley.

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