Entrepreneur Tours: Touring Silicon Valley

Gee, you would have to be a real dork, to want to see the garage where Bill Gates and his mates made the first Microsoft. Prior to this, the Homebrew Computer Club had Steve Wozniak tweaking the silicon. Geeky guys with their heads inside motherboards; and swapping ideas like normal Americans swap their car keys and wives. Stanford was the epicentre of this computer explosion and life for all of us would never be the same again. The Internet was on the horizon and something called email was only a sneeze away.

Entrepreneur Tours: Touring Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley, I suppose, was the last big innovative success that America had, and on that basis alone it rings loudly inside their heads. As the Irish Geldof sang, “the silicon chip inside her head switched to overload”. Microprocessor madness for information technology to storm the world with keyboards and screens. Turning real men into secretaries overnight. So, if William Shockley does it for you; and you stroke your Hewlett-Packard gently in the night; an entrepreneur tour of Silicon Valley might be your idea of a honeymoon.

Business opportunities were in their nascent development stage; and pioneers were thick on the ground, like cabling in a giant server warehouse. Australian technology business was just a glint in the eye of the electrical engineering department at WAIT. Computer networking began in Palo Alto with a memo to the “Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network” in 1963. Steve Jobs would pop up at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Centre; and this would, eventually, come up Apples. Adobe Systems came out of the Valley; as did a host of other early players in the field.

Silicon Valley survived the dot-com crash; and remains home to America’s most innovative region. What exactly was it about this Valley, which made it the hot spot for computer information technology? It seems, to have been a perfect storm of academic brilliance, technological pioneering, industry support, military support, and good fortune. Entrepreneurial spirit was definitely in the air and inside those stuffy home garages. Inventing things that change the world entitle those involved to be rewarded and recognised globally. Of course, the Yanks know how to spin a yarn, and Hollywood has played its part in telling a few of those celebrated stories. Homebrew was a real community of inspired pioneers; and Stanford University a great breeding ground for brilliance.