Updated: Jul 16
What is Silicon Valley?
What made Silicon Valley a Hub for Entrepreneurs?
Silicon Valley grew up in the area between San Jose, California, and San Francisco as a result of Frederick Terman, the legendary dean of Stanford Engineering School during the 1940s and 1950s. He created the tradition of Stanford faculty starting their own companies. A number of companies we still reference came out of Stanford during those years, especially Hewlett Packard and Varian Associates.
The transistor was invented and manufactured in Silicon Valley, which gave the area a leg up in the radio and telegraph industries. And the Navy had a base in Sunnyvale. By 1957, Russia’s success with Sputnik unleashed a big space competition, and the U.S. government founded NASA. At the time NASA opened at Moffett Field near San Jose, the only company able to build electronics for the space capsule was Fairchild Semiconductor.
The legend of Silicon Valley from the beginning of the transistor industry is well-known and has been written about and documented. Most of the Valley’s early success came from either components like Silicon chips (from which the Valley got its name) or the hardware into which the chips were placed.
Pic : Apple Park is the corporate Headquarters of Apple Inc., located at One Apple Park Way in Cupertino, California, United States.
It’s actually fun to learn about the Valley’s history, because the lesson is that the beginning of Silicon Valley was all about men and women, engineers, who had ideas out of science fiction about what technology could enable. Many of those ideas have now come true, like the personal computer and the iPhone, both envisioned by Steve Jobs. And we now wear what was once envisioned in a comic book as the “Dick Tracy wrist radio”–the Apple Watch.
Early engineers were not after money, they were about making things possible that had never been possible before, such as space travel. As a result, they received both government grants and venture capital. Before venture capital became a “thing,” it originated from the financial centers like New York. Arthur Rock, for example, was an early investor in Intel, Apple, and Scientific Data Systems. The first Bay Area venture capital firms, who located on Sand Hill Road adjacent to the Stanford campus, were Kleiner, Perkins Caulfield and Byers, and Sequoia Capital.
Silicon Valley is a region in the south San Francisco Bay Area, made notable by the number of technology companies that started and are headquartered there, including Apple, Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Facebook, and Netflix. The term rose to prominence in the 1970s in reference to the regional businesses' development of and technological reliance on the silicon transistor, which is used in all modern microprocessors.
A Global Center of Technological Innovation, Silicon Valley as a phrase refers to the industry and the companies that call it home, as well as to an innovative mindset, entrepreneurial spirit, and a lifestyle founded on technologically based wealth.
I. The HP Garage - Birth Place of Silicon Valley
HP is the First Startup of Silicon Valley
The garage sits in the garden at 367 Addison Avenue. It was built in 1905 and was originally occupied by Palo Alto’s first mayor Dr John Spence, his wife Ione and their two daughters in 1909. It was then divided into two separate apartments (numbers 367 and 369) in 1918.
Pic : The HP Garage - The Birth Place of Silicon Valley
During this time, William “Bill” Hewlett and David “Dave” Packard both attended nearby Stanford University and in 1937 had their first business meeting. The then Dean of Engineering Frederick Terman encouraged them to establish an electronics company in the local area rather than leaving California.
Therefore, in 1938 Dave Packard moved into the first-floor three room apartment a 337 Addison Avenue with his newly wed Lucille with Bill Hewlett sleeping in the shed. A now widowed, Mrs Spencer moved into the second floor apartment.
Dave and Bill formed a partnership and began using the one-car garage with jus $538 in start up capital and in 1939 flipped a coin to decide whose name would precede the other for the company.
Thus, Hewlett, Packard was born.
The company’s first product which you can still see a replica of today was an audio oscillator, known as the HP200. Interestingly, one of their first customers was the Walt Disney Company who purchased eight of these oscillators to test the sound systems in theaters running the iconic film Fantasia. This was the first major movie to be shown in stereophonic sound.
The garage and house have been replicated to show exactly how they looked at the time when Bill and Dave worked there and although closed to the public you can view it from the sidewalk. Tours are also available which will give insights into technology and history of that area.
Pic : HP Founders - Bill Hewlett (l.) and Dave Packard ( R )
II. Understanding Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is located in a region of Northern California. Although its boundaries are somewhat nebulous, they generally include all of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, the western edge of Alameda County, and Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County.
Centered in the Santa Clara Valley, the region's population is over three million, and its largest city is San Jose. It's also home to Stanford University and several state university campuses. This academic presence has helped fuel a rich research and development (R&D) synergy throughout the Valley.
Some 39 Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Silicon Valley. Most of them are hardware or software companies—Cisco Systems, Intel, Oracle, Nvidia—but the list also includes giants in other fields, including Visa and Chevron—depending to some extent on how one defines Silicon Valley's boundaries. The number of high-profile ventures born in Silicon Valley has made the region an attractive target for venture capitalist firms and investors too.
Pic : Tech Majors in Silicon Valley
Half the world’s tech billionaires live in Silicon Valley and it is currently one of the wealthiest regions in the world. In May 2012, The New York Times reported that 14% of households in Santa Clara County and neighboring San Mateo County earn more than $200,000 per year. In 2015, the Brookings Institution ranked San Jose third in the world in per capita gross domestic product (GDP), behind Zurich, Switzerland, and Oslo, Norway.
By 2019, The Guardian reported the region was posting $128,308 per capita in annual GDP, with an annual output of $275 billion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
$139,755 -The average annual earnings of a Silicon Valley household in 2019, according to the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies
III. A Brief Timeline of Key Silicon Valley Innovations and Developments
1939: William Hewlett and David Packard patent an audio oscillator, forming the foundation for the Hewlett-Packard (HP) company.
1940: William Shockley invents a silicon transistor at Bell Labs.
1951: Fred Terman establishes Stanford Research Park as a partnership between Stanford University and the City of Palo Alto, providing a base of operations for both military and commercial technological innovations for companies such as Fairchild, Lockheed, and Xerox.
1956: William Shockley opens his own firm, Shockley Semiconductor Labs, in Mountain View, Calif.
1957: Several Shockley employees resign and start a competing firm, Fairchild Semiconductor. These men will later go on to start many other companies, including Intel and Nvidia.
1958-1960: Independently, Robert Noyce and Jack Kilby discover that all parts of a circuit including the transistor can be created using silicon. Their discoveries led to the integrated circuit, created from silicon, which is used in all microprocessors today.
1961: Former Fairchild backer Arthur Rock establishes Davis & Rock, which is considered the nation's first venture capital firm, giving rise to a new type of investment industry.
1969: The Arpanet computer network is established with four nodes, including one at Stanford University. Arpanet is the foundation for the internet.
1971-1972: Journalist Don Hoefler publishes a three-part report on the rise of technological development in the region in Electronic News, titled "Silicon Valley, U.S.A." He's credited with creating the region's name.
1970s: Atari, Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle are founded.
Pic : Early Days of Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
1980s: Cisco, Sun Microsystems, and Adobe are founded.
Pic : Founders of Sun Microsystems
Company: Sun Microsystems, Inc. Based: Santa Clara, Ca. Founded: 1982 Founders: Vinod Khosla, Andy Bechtolsheim, Bill Joy & Scott McNealy Specialty: Sold computers, components, software, and information technology services including Computer servers and workstations designed after it's RISC-based SPARC process.
Pic : The SPARC team in 198, the year after the first SPARC- based products started building Sun Microsystems into a huge Silicon Valley Player , Photo: Robert B. Garner
1990s: Netscape, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and PayPal are founded.
Pic : Google Founders - Larry Page and Sergey Brin
IV . A Brief Story of Google - From Google Website
Founded - 1998
Founders - Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Incorporation - 4 September 1998
Initial public offering (NASDAQ) - 19 August 2004
From the Garage to the Googleplex
The Google story begins in 1995 at Stanford University. Larry Page was considering Stanford for grad school and Sergey Brin, a student there, was assigned to show him around.
By some accounts, they disagreed about nearly everything during that first meeting, but by the following year they struck a partnership. Working from their dorm rooms, they built a search engine that used links to determine the importance of individual pages on the World Wide Web. They called this search engine Backrub.
Soon after, Backrub was renamed Google (phew). The name was a play on the mathematical expression for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros and aptly reflected Larry and Sergey's mission 'to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.'
Over the next few years, Google caught the attention of not only the academic community, but Silicon Valley investors as well. In August 1998, Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim wrote Larry and Sergey a check for $100,000, and Google Inc. was officially born. With this investment, the newly incorporated team made the upgrade from the dorms to their first office: a garage in suburban Menlo Park, California, owned by Susan Wojcicki (employee no.16 and now CEO of YouTube).
Clunky desktop computers, a ping pong table and bright blue carpet set the scene for those early days and late nights. (The tradition of keeping things colourful continues to this day.)
Pic : Google HQ , Mountain View ,California
Even in the beginning, things were unconventional: from Google’s initial server (made of Lego) to the first 'Doodle' in 1998: a stick figure in the logo announcing to site visitors that the entire staff was playing hooky at the Burning Man Festival. 'Don't be evil' captured the spirit of our intentionally unconventional methods. In the years that followed, the company expanded rapidly – hiring engineers, building a sales team and introducing the first company dog, Yoshka. Google outgrew the garage and eventually moved to its current headquarters (aka'The Googleplex') in Mountain View, California. The spirit of doing things differently made the move. So did Yoshka.
The relentless search for better answers continues to be at the core of everything we do. Today, Google makes hundreds of products used by billions of people across the globe, from YouTube and Android to Gmail and, of course, Google Search. Although we’ve ditched the Lego servers and added just a few more company dogs, our passion for building technology for everyone has stayed with us – from the dorm room to the garage and to this very day.
2000-2010s: Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Uber are founded.
V. The Real History of Twitter, in Brief
How the micro-messaging wars were won
Imagine a scenario where you're gainfully employed but spending your nights and weekends working on a side project. It's just something you've been mashing together in your free time with a few friends at work.
Now, pretend to visit yourself five years into the future and see that your little side project turned into one of the biggest communications technologies of the last 100 years. This is the history of Twitter.
Pic : Twitter Founders
Twitter began as an idea that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (@Jack) had in 2006. Dorsey had originally imagined Twitter as an SMS-based communications platform. Groups of friends could keep tabs on what each other were doing based on their status updates. Like texting, but not.
During a brainstorming session at the podcasting company Odeo, Dorsey proposed this SMS-based platform to Odeo's co-founder Evan Williams (@Ev). Evan and his co-founder Biz Stone (@Biz) by extension gave Jack the go-ahead to spend more time on the project and develop it further.
In its early days, Twitter was referred to as twttr. At the time, a popular trend, sometimes to gain a domain-name advantage, was to drop vowels in the name of their companies and services. Software developer Noah Glass (@Noah) is credited with coming up with the original name twttr as well as its final incarnation as Twitter.
The First Tweet
Jack sent the first message on Twitter on March 21, 2006, 9:50 p.m. It read, "just setting up my twttr."
While the initial concept of Twitter was being tested at Odeo, the company was going through a rough patch. Faced with Apple's release of its own podcasting platform — which essentially killed Odeo's business model — the founders decided to buy their company back from the investors.
Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams and other members of Odeo staff facilitated the buyback.
By doing this, they acquired the rights to the Twitter platform. There is some controversy surrounding how this all took place. It's questionable whether Odeo investors knew the full scope of the Twitter platform.
Also, key members of the Twitter development team were not brought on to the new company, most notably, Noah Glass.
As a formality, Obvious Corporation (@obviouscorp) was created after the investor buyback of Odeo in order to house Twitter.
Twitter Achieves Explosive Growth
Twitter was now on the cusp of its biggest growth spurt. The 2007 South By Southwest (@sxsw) Interactive conference saw a huge explosion of Twitter usage. More than 60,000 tweets were sent per day at the event. The Twitter team had a huge presence at the event and took advantage of the viral nature of the conference and its attendees.
Twitter had its fair share of growing pains during its formative years. Twitter's user base grew at astounding rates and quite frequently the service would be over capacity.
Is It a 140-Character Limit or 280-Character Limit?
The reason Twitter imposes a character limit on tweets is that Twitter was originally designed as an SMS-based platform. In its early days, 140 characters were the limit that mobile carriers imposed with SMS protocol standard so Twitter was simply creatively constrained. As Twitter eventually grew into a web platform, the 140-character limit remained as a matter of branding.
In 2017, however, Twitter decided that the 140-character limit was no longer relevant in the smartphone age and it increased the tweet limit to 280 characters over minor protestations. Most tweets, the company explained, hover around 50 characters; when people needed more characters, they simply sent more tweets. The character increase was designed to help Twitter users spend less time condensing their thoughts and more time talking.
By 2012, more than 100 million users posted 340 million tweets a day, and the service handled an average of 1.6 billion search queries per day. In 2013, it was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described as "the SMS of the Internet".As of Q1 2019, Twitter had more than 330 million monthly active users. Twitter is a some-to-many microblogging service, given that the vast majority of tweets are written by a small minority of users.
V. The Startup Journey of Facebook
In 2004, a group of friends at college created an innovative new social media platform with the aim of connecting Harvard students through an online community.
17 years later, Facebook is one the most influential social networks in the world, boasting approximately 2.85 billion monthly users by 2021.
So how did a social network created in the confines of a Harvard dorm room go from being a student trend to an unprecedented, worldwide phenomenon?
It all began in 2003, when Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg created an online programme called “Facemash”, which allowed users to objectify fellow students by comparing photos of their faces and selecting who they deemed as “hotter”.
While Zuckerberg faced punishment from the Harvard administration and narrowly escaped expulsion from the college altogether for his actions, “Facemash” provided the framework for what was to become Facebook.
Online “face books” already existed at Harvard at the time. These were online directories that featured photos of students alongside some information about them.
There wasn’t a single “face book” for the whole student body of Harvard university, which is why Zuckerberg came up with the idea to create one. On February 4 2004, the first iteration of Facebook was born, then known as thefacebook.com and made available exclusively to Harvard students. However, the truth about how Facebook came about isn’t altogether clear, due to the involvement of three Harvard seniors.
Six days after “TheFacebook” was made live by Zuckerberg and co-founders Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, they faced accusations by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra that the idea for the site had been stolen from them.
According to the Winklevoss twins and Narendra, they had approached Zuckerberg asking for his assistance in creating a social network for Harvard students called "HarvardConnection".
This claim was explored in the 2010 Oscar-winning film The Social Network, which depicted Zuckerberg meeting with the Winklevoss brothers and Narendra to discuss their idea before creating his own without their knowledge.
Following a lawsuit filed against Zuckerberg, eventually all three received a settlement in 2008 that included 1.2 million shares in the company each. Facebook proved extremely popular with Harvard students when it was first launched, so much so that the site was soon also made available to students at Stanford, Yale and Columbia before expanding to numerous other colleges. By September 26, 2006, anyone in the world could make themselves a Facebook account, as long as they were at least 13 years old and had a valid email address.
One year prior, the social media platform had officially become “Facebook”, as opposed to “TheFacebook” as it’d formerly been known. As the number of people becoming members of Facebook grew, so did the number of people working for the company.
In 2004, Napster co-founder Sean Parker was named president of Facebook. He’d come across the site while browsing the computer of a student at Stanford and had become acquainted with Zuckerberg and Saverin soon thereafter.
At this point, Facebook had moved its headquarters to Palo Alto in California.
Zuckerberg’s issues with co-founder and former close friend Saverin were also explored in The Social Network.
Having been chief financial officer and business manager for Facebook since its conception, Saverin was reportedly cut from Facebook by Zuckerberg in 2005 and had his shares in the company diluted.
This led to Saverin filing a lawsuit against Facebook, which was settled outside of court. Lately, Facebook has become embroiled in controversy concerning the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States and Brexit.
The subject of numerous controversies, Facebook has often been criticized over issues such as user privacy (as with the Cambridge Analytica data scandal), political manipulation (as with the 2016 U.S. elections), mass surveillance, psychological effects such as addiction and low self-esteem, and content such as fake news, conspiracy theories, copyright infringement, and hate speech. Commentators have accused Facebook of willingly facilitating the spread of such content, as well as exaggerating its number of users to appeal to advertisers
Its very interesting to watch what and how Facebook evolves into the Future. Whether, It becomes a Social Media Conglomerate or Something else...!!
VI. Whats Next for Silicon Valley ?
Over the last 20 years, Silicon Valley has benefited from a once-in-a-lifetime alignment of advantages. American primacy, the ubiquity of cheap capital, the arrival of the smartphone (among other widely adopted tech innovations), and, perhaps most significantly, a benign regulatory environment have all conspired to create a historic concentration of wealth and power. The titans of the Valley and their heirs have been free to roam far ahead of lawmakers, watchdogs, and tax codes.
That might not be true for much longer, however. Despite the fact that many public tech companies saw their valuations skyrocket during the lockdown and that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated mass adoption in e-commerce, online payments, telemedicine, and video conferencing, there are signs that the gilded age for consumer internet businesses may be drawing to a close.
Interestingly this shifting landscape may create a unique opportunity for legacy businesses — not just for them to pivot digitally, but to become the Platforms 3.0. Legacy businesses have a huge advantage in that they know how to operate in the physical world, they have marketing teams, who know how to build and sustain brands, and crucially they know how to operate profitably in multiple territories within the law. It won’t be easy — most of them will fail — but the ones that succeed will be richly rewarded.
Change is coming to Silicon Valley. Some trends suggest the environment that allowed companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft to flourish might not exist for much longer: the stifling dominance of top tech giants; changing investor attitudes; increased scrutiny from regulators, the media, and the public; and a growing emphasis on ethical capitalism.
However, We have to wait and watch how Silicon Valley evolves in Sync with Contemporary Times...!!
One More Last Story of Silicon Valley...!!
In 1998 This Stanford Professor Gave Two Students $100k To Launch A Little CompanGoogle. He's Now The Richest College Professor Of All Time..
Back in 1998 however, an opportunity very literally knocked on the front door of a home in Palo Alto, California. The owner of the home was a Stanford University computer science professor. The people knocking were two Stanford PhD students. The opportunity was to be the first money invested in a startup company. A startup company that wanted to create an internet search engine. A search engine that would eventually be called…
This is the true story of how when opportunity came knocking on David Cheriton's front door in 1998, he answered… and became the wealthiest college professor in history.
Pic : Prof . David Cheriton
The Richest Professor in History
We don't need to explain what happened next with Google. Lets just say that today Google has a market cap of $1.7 trillion.
Larry Page's $114 billion net worth makes him the sixth-richest person in the world today.
Sergey Brin's $110 billion net worth makes him the seventh-richest person in the world.
And what about David Cheriton?
As of this writing, David Cheriton has a net worth of…
That's enough to make David one of 250 richest people on the planet. He's the richest college professor of all time. And YES he's still a Stanford professor! Technically, a professor emeritus, but he still has his same office (pictured in the photo above), a campus phone number, an active @Stanford.edu email address and a full-time campus secretary.
If you were to see David on campus, you might notice he still drives a modest car, a 2012 Honda Odyssey. That's actually a slight upgrade from the 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon he drove for decades.
David still lives in the same Palo Alto house he bought 40 years ago.
David and Andy ( One of the SUN Founders ) didn't stop investing after their super-grand-slam with Google. David would eventually invest more than $50 million of his own funds into dozens of startups.
David (without Andy) was an early investor in VMware, which would later be acquired for $625 million.
In 2001, David and Andy founded a video steaming company called Kealia which was acquired by Sun Microsystems for $120 million.
In 2004, David and Andy co-founded the networking technology company, Arista Networks. Arista went public in 2014 under the ticker symbol "ANET." Today Arista has a market cap of $30 billion.
According to its latest SEC filings, David owns around $2.4 billion worth of ANET shares and has sold around $500 million worth of his shares over the years.
VII. Silicon Valley Videos
1. Welcome to Silicon Valley
2. Silicon Valley Tech Tour - visiting Major Tech Headquarters
3. Inside The $5 Billion Apple Headquarters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzcfZyEhOoI
4 Steve Jobs Think different / Crazy ones speech (with real subtitles)
5. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google - Best Inspirational Speech
Silicon Valley, located in the South San Francisco Bay Area of California, is a global center of technological innovation.
Named after the main material in computer microprocessors, Silicon Valley is home to dozens of major technology, software, and internet companies.
Silicon Valley is one of the wealthiest regions in the world, and one of the hottest real estate markets.
Silicon Valley, Being A Global Innovation Center continue to Contribute to Innovations and Inventions on the Global Scale.
Modern Smart Phone and Social Media developed from Silicon Valley changed Face of Human Communications and thereby , Human Relations Forever....!!
As of Today, We can hardly imagine a Modern Life of Human Beings without using Technological Advancements and Innovations from Silicon Valley such as HP Laptops and Printers , Facebook, Twitter , Amazon, Google, Apple, Youtube , Paypal and Microsoft etc etc .
Silicon Valley is such a Miraculous Place on the Planet, Where Human Innovations and Enpreneurial Spirits Live Forever Guiding the Future Generations of Startups and Innovation Ecosystems for making World as a Better Place to Live by every Passing Day....!!