A Rare Mix Created Silicon Valley’s Startup Culture

When Facebook goes public later this spring, its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, will be following in the footsteps of a long line of Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs that includes Steve Jobs and Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin. But there was a time when the idea of an engineer or scientist starting his or her own company was rare.

In 1956, what is now called Silicon Valley was called the Valley of the Heart’s Delight. Its rolling hills were covered with farms and orchards. To become Silicon Valley it needed four ingredients: the first, brilliant scientists.

Collecting Scientific Talent

William Shockley was certainly brilliant, says Leslie Berlin, a historian and archivist at Stanford University.

“People tend to collectively agree,” she says, that “[Shockley] was one of the smartest people to walk about this valley for quite a long time.”

In 1956, Shockley won the Nobel Prize for co-inventing the transistor. His next dream was to make transistors out of silicon; he decided to set up his lab in Mountain View — near Palo Alto — largely for personal reasons.

“He’d grown up in Palo Alto,” Berlin says. Most importantly, she says, “his mother was still living in Palo Alto.”

Of course, it helped that nearby Stanford University was also doing federally funded electronics research. Shockley was a magnet who drew more brilliant scientists to the valley. Among them was Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel and the man who would come up with Moore’s Law — the observation that the number of transistors on a chip doubles about every two years.

Please click here to continue reading the original article by Laura Sydell at NPR.

My Los Gatos estate for your Facebook shares, Silicon Valley exec says

In a Silicon Valley real estate market crazed by the impending Facebook public offering, this may be worth a second look.

A valley executive says he’ll swap his 11.5-acre estate in Los Gatos for about $29 million worth of pre-IPO Facebook shares.

The owner, Ken Raasch, says the offer is genuine, although he won’t turn down cash.

“We’re serious,” said Raasch, who has lived with his wife, Linda, and four children in the palatial home for the past 15 years.

Tucked away in a parklike setting in the Los Gatos hills, the 10,000-square-foot house was built in 1989 and purchased by the Raasches in 1997.

Please click here to continue reading the original article by Pete Carey at San Jose Mercury News.
Image Source: Alain Pinel Realtors

My Los Gatos estate for your Facebook shares, Silicon Valley exec says

In a Silicon Valley real estate market crazed by the impending Facebook public offering, this may be worth a second look.

A valley executive says he’ll swap his 11.5-acre estate in Los Gatos for about $29 million worth of pre-IPO Facebook shares.

The owner, Ken Raasch, says the offer is genuine, although he won’t turn down cash.

“We’re serious,” said Raasch, who has lived with his wife, Linda, and four children in the palatial home for the past 15 years.

Tucked away in a parklike setting in the Los Gatos hills, the 10,000-square-foot house was built in 1989 and purchased by the Raasches in 1997.

Please click here to continue reading the original article by Pete Carey at San Jose Mercury News.
Image Source: Alain Pinel Realtors