How did Silicon Valley get started?

Steve Blank gives an interesting talk on the real roots of Silicon Valley, which date back to the invention and development of radar during World War II and Cold War innovations.  It’s an hour long, but for those interested in the technology behind so much that we take for granted today, it’s very interesting.

Fascinating stuff, isn’t it?


1 comment

  1. One of the peripheral players in the Stanford University area was the Ames Aeronautical Research Center, at Moffett Naval Air Station in Sunnyvale/Mountain View, just a few miles south. It was set up to be close to the West Coast aircraft manufacturers, but not so close as to have them interfering with research by dragging them into daily aircraft production problems.

    Started in 1940. I counted about 16 wind tunnels of various sizes and airspeed capabilities, from an overhead photo taken in 1965.

    Unfortunately, it would appear that the management team was a bit too conservative, and it ended up becoming a smaller player after NACA morphed into NASA in the space age. Vision and entrepreneurship seemed to be lacking, which was a fatal flaw in the East Coast dominated department. It would also appear that the national level group eventually fell into the same sort of mindset, as the decline of NASA itself is quite evident.

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