Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Silicon Valley

Back to work - starting with why Silicon Valley is where it is? Is it an accident that it is in Northern California in the southern bay area of San Francisco, near Stanford University? But why there and not Boston or anywhere else?
It turns out that it is partly because of the US Navy and a radio shore station located in the vicinity for communication with the Pacific fleet. Back when radio was the cutting edge of technology lots of geeks were attracted to the area to work with and for the Navy. This resulted in a cluster of high tech companies and employees.
It also turns out that a visionary at Stanford University (Frederick Terman) encouraged the creation of an industrial park after WW II and found venture capital for start-ups. One small company that emerged from this incubator was Hewlett Packard.
Silicon Valley was no accident.

1 comment:

  1. I had that Dr Percival in the back of my car as we drove down to Inmos in the mid-eighties. He said that he had read Mr Terman's book and written to him with a list of corrections; these had not be taken on board for the next edition. Sometime later I was in the Stanford area (Xerox PARC) and I remember an antipodean asking a lovely question at a VLSI seminar. I am not sure if his input was absorbed but it made me smile.