Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Silicon Valley



"I believe that Silicon Valley is truly a place of excellence and the impact of this tiny community on the world is completely disproportionate to its size. " -- Jeff Skoll, first employee of eBay.


In case you're wondering, the shot is looking north, and eBay, Cisco, Adobe, Yahoo, Google, Sun, Intel, Apple and PwC (where I work) are all contributing to my picture somewhere towards the horizon line to the right.



Silicon Valley is the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, United States. The term originally referred to the region's large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers, but eventually came to refer to all the high-tech businesses in the area; it is now generally used as a metonym for the high-tech sector. Despite the development of other high-tech economic centers throughout the United States, Silicon Valley continues to be the leading high-tech hub because of its large number of engineers andventure capitalists. Geographically, Silicon Valley encompasses the northern part of the Santa Clara Valley and adjacent communities.




The term Silicon Valley was coined by Ralph Vaerst, a Central California entrepreneur. Its first published use is credited to Don Hoefler, a friend of Vaerst's, who used the phrase as the title of a series of articles in the weekly trade newspaper Electronic News. The series, entitled "Silicon Valley USA," began in the paper's issue dated January 11, 1971.

Valley refers to the Santa Clara Valley, located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay, while Silicon refers to the high concentration of companies involved in the semiconductor and computer industries that were concentrated in the area. These firms slowly replaced the orchards which gave the area its initial nickname, the Valley of Heart's Delight.



After World War II, universities were experiencing enormous demand due to returning students. To address the financial demands of Stanford's growth requirements, and to provide local employment opportunities for graduating students, Frederick Terman proposed the leasing of Stanford's lands for use as an office park, named the Stanford Industrial Park (later Stanford Research Park). Leases were limited to high technology companies.
Its first tenant was Varian Associates, founded by Stanford alumni in the 1930s to build military radar components. However, Terman also found venture capital for civilian technology start-ups .

One of the major success stories was Hewlett-Packard. Founded in Packard's garage by Stanford graduatesWilliam Hewlett and David Packard, Hewlett-Packard moved its offices into the Stanford Research Park slightly after 1953. In 1954, Stanford created the Honors Cooperative Program to allow full-time employees of the companies to pursue graduate degrees from the University on a part-time basis. The initial companies signed five-year agreements in which they would pay double the tuition for each student in order to cover the costs. Hewlett-Packard has become the largest personal computer manufacturer in the world, and transformed the home printing market when it released the first ink jet printer in 1984. In addition, the tenancy of Eastman Kodak and General Electric made Stanford Industrial Park a center of technology in the mid-1990s.




"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler

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