What most people have heard about Silicon Valley is that it is known as the hub of technology and Startups. It is located in San Francisco and the majority of successful startups or companies were born there. But what’s really behind it, who started it all and what’s with the name? Want to know the answers to these and other questions? Keep on reading for more.
When it was still known as Valley of Heart’s Delight, Silicon Valley was mainly an agricultural area with very few habitants. Because of its fertile soil and great climate it was the perfect place for cultivating oranges, artichokes and peaches. However, a San Francisco earthquake brought in many new people who were looking for a refuge and who became residents of the valley later on. In 1885 Leland Stanford who had previously financed the Central Pacific railroad decided to found Stanford University which also had a great impact in the latter development of the valley. During the war Stanford was named one of the leading technological research sites. One of the members of the faculty was Fred Terman, who’s known by many as the father of Silicon Valley. He was the one who encouraged Bill Hewlett and David Packard among many other of his students to start their own companies. During the war he had worked for the Harvard Research Institute which was in charge of finding ways to identify and interfere with the German radar network. After the War he founded Stanford’s research institute thanks to which he could work on his new project- microwaves. His research lab and his team became one of the most popular and important ones in the US. Soon after that Terman started encouraging his students to start companies which would be in charge of making all kinds of gear for the American Army. The fact that these projects were financed by the army was a great advantage for all the new entrepreneurs that arised back then. At the same time William Shockley- the second father of Silicon Valley made the first transistor for which he was awarded the Nobel price. Inspired by this event Shockley decided to start a company which would make transistors. He chose some of the most talented scientists (such as George Moore and Robert Noyce, the founders of Intel) to work with. Since silicon was a widely available material he decided to implement it in the transistors he made. Unfortunately Shockley and his coworkers didn't get along so they decided to leave him and start their own company - Fairchild Semiconductors. They were the first ones who started selling silicon transistors. Shortly after that other companies inspired by the great success of Fairchild semiconductors started doing the same. Throughout the years the amount of companies in charge of silicon transistors in Silicon Valley had grown dramatically. In 1985 Don C. Hoefler published a series of articles titled Silicon Valley and surprisingly everyone started calling it that way officially.
Hewlett Packard- The First Garage Startup
David Packard and Bill Hewlett are the founders of one of the most popular companies in the world. It all started in a garage in Palo Alto which is now a museum and is known as the birthplace of Silicon Valley. Rumor has it that the decision whether the company should be named HP or PH was made by a coin toss. Hewlett's and Packard's former professor Fred Terman suggested that they start working on audio oscillators. It turned out to be a great advice. Their first oscillator was bought by Disney and was then used in the production of the soundtrack of Fantasia. It was the beginning to a success that has been lasting for decades. It is safe to say that Hewlett & Packard was the first garage startup and it inspired and opened possibilities for other entrepreneurs and startups that kept growing throughout the years.