I n Making Silicon Valley, Christophe L'cuyer shows that the explosive growth of the personal computer industry in Silicon Valley was the culmination of decades of growth and innovation in the San Francisco-area electronics industry. Using the tools of science and technology studies, he explores the formation of Silicon Valley as an industrial district, from its beginningsI n Making Silicon Valley, Christophe L'cuyer shows that the explosive growth of the personal computer industry in Silicon Valley was the culmination of decades of growth and innovation in the San Francisco-area electronics industry. Using the tools of science and technology studies, he explores the formation of Silicon Valley as an industrial district, from its beginnings as the home of a few radio enterprises that operated in the shadow of RCA and other East Coast firms through its establishment as a center of the electronics industry and a leading producer of power grid tubes, microwave tubes, and semiconductors. He traces the emergence of the innovative practices that made this growth possible by following key groups of engineers and entrepreneurs. He examines the forces outside Silicon Valley that shaped the industry -- in particular the effect of military patronage and procurement on the growth of the industry and on the development of technologies -- and considers the influence of Stanford University and other local institutions of higher learning.L'cuyer argues that Silicon Valley's emergence and its growth were made possible by the development of unique competencies in manufacturing, in product engineering, and in management. Entrepreneurs learned to integrate invention, design, manufacturing, and sales logistics, and they developed incentives to attract and retain a skilled and motivated workforce. The largest Silicon Valley firms -- including Eitel-McCullough (Eimac), Litton Industries, Varian Associates, Fairchild Semiconductor, and Intel -- dominated the American markets for advanced tubes and semiconductors and, because of their innovations in manufacturing, design, and management, served as models and incubators for other electronics ventures in the area....
|Title||:||Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970|
|Number of Pages||:||393 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970 Reviews
"General attitudes toward technological change in California may have reinforced the local interest in radio. Technological innovation seems to have been especially valued in California since the 1890s. California farmers, for example, mechanized their operations earlier than their counterparts in other parts of the country. In similar fashion, Californians rapidly embraced new technologies such as the automobile and the airplane in the 1900s and the 1910s." (On amateur radio, predating the vacuum tube industry, 16)"Litton, Eitel, and McCullough created an infrastructure and a predisposition for electronic component manufacturing on the San Francisco Peninsula. They attracted suppliers of specialized inputs, and they trained a workforce skilled in vacuum techniques and chemical handling. They also helped develop a culture of collaboration in the region. In the postwar period, this infrastructure and this modus operandi facilitated the formation of other corporations in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties." (50)"They longed for more congenial and familiar surroundings. This sentiment was not specific to the Varians and their friends. It was shared by many western engineers who had moved to the East Coast in the later 1930s and during World War II. Most of these men desired to go back to the West and were afflicted by what was often called at the time 'Californiaitis' -- the intense desire to relocate to California." (97)"'Many [academic] laboratories,' [Varian's Edward] Ginzton later recalled, 'were being expanded and rebuilt, and these would uncover a number of practical applications. The unique characteristic of all these projects at universities was that they were novel, interesting, but very difficult for the layperson to understand. Those of us who could hope to grasp the practical significance of novel discoveries in American universities were sure to be in close proximity to a gold mine.'" (98)"The recession that Varian's engineers dubbed the 'McNamara depression' was a turning point in the history of the electronics manufacturing district on the San Francisco Peninsula. It brought about deep restructuring of the electronic component industries. Now that they had been instructed of the dangers of military procurement, the managers of vacuum tube and semiconductor corporations sought to reduce their firms' dependence on the Department of Defense and to insulate them from future fluctuations in the military market. To do so, they diversified their corporations by entering civilian markets." (177)"When the older entrepreneurs, especially the Varian brothers, conceived the firm as a social institution, Hoerni, Noyce, Sporck, and their backers thought of it as a vector for financial gain, market penetration, and technological innovation. In other words, they did not build their organizations to last but to develop and market new products and sell semiconductor securities." (264-5)"A lot of information flowed over beer and hard liquor, to the point that the management of many startups expressly forbid their engineers to go to the Wagon Wheel and other bars. The end result of these daily interactions was that design techniques and solutions to particularly difficult process problems moved from firm to firm." (275)
Insights into Silicon Valley’s high-tech evolutionIn the mid-1970s, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, founders of a Silicon Valley startup named Apple, asked Intel retiree Mike Markkula to invest in their firm. Sensing that it could become a winner, he gave them $92,000 and, in 1977, went to work for the company. Three years later, Apple went public and Markkula made millions. Time and again over the decades, this amazing story has repeated itself on the San Francisco Peninsula now known as Silicon Valley. getAbstract finds that historian Christophe Lécuyer does a capable, intriguing, intricately researched job of taking readers behind the scenes to learn how Silicon Valley first developed, what makes it tick and what its high-tech mastery has accomplished. While some of the technical terms may require a learning curve, this is the place to learn about the center of technology in the U.S. before it came to create and dominate the high-tech industry.