"This is the most important book on Silicon Valley I've read in two decades. It will take us all back to our roots in the counterculture, and will remind us of the true nature of the innovation process, before we tried to tame it with slogans and buzzwords." -- Po Bronson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nudist on the Late Shift and Nurtureshock
A candid, colorful, and comprehensive oral history that reveals the secrets of Silicon Valley -- from the origins of Apple and Atari to the present day clashes of Google and Facebook, and all the start-ups and disruptions that happened along the way.
Rarely has one economy asserted itself as swiftly--and as aggressively--as the entity we now know as Silicon Valley. Built with a seemingly permanent culture of reinvention, Silicon Valley does not fight change; it embraces it, and now powers the American economy and global innovation.
So how did this omnipotent and ever-morphing place come to be? It was not by planning. It was, like many an empire before it, part luck, part timing, and part ambition. And part pure, unbridled genius...
Drawing on over two hundred in-depth interviews, Valley of Genius takes readers from the dawn of the personal computer and the internet, through the heyday of the web, up to the very moment when our current technological reality was invented. It interweaves accounts of invention and betrayal, overnight success and underground exploits, to tell the story of Silicon Valley like it has never been told before. Read it to discover the stories that Valley insiders tell each other: the tall tales that are all, improbably, true.
Former Wired contributor Fisher's lively oral history of Silicon Valley focuses on behind-the-scene tales of major innovations that emerged from the tech hub, including the interactive video game, the personal computer, and the first computer-animated film. Through these stories emerges "the quintessential Silicon Valley script": "Young kid with radical idea hacks together something cool, builds a wild free-wheeling company around it." The conversational tone allows the reader to connect with the Valley's eccentric and diverse cast of characters, including Napster founder Sean Parker, who helped launch Facebook; film director Ridley Scott, who created the television commercial for the first Macintosh computer; and programmer Jaron Lanier, who coined the term "virtual reality." Touching on the personal habits of the industry's titans such as Steve Jobs's quirky diets and Twitter cofounder Noah Glass's propensity for giving colleagues "often painful" bear hugs as well as the grueling process of turning ideas into viable products, Fisher captures the cultural lore of Silicon Valley in the voices of its more prominent players.