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In 1957, decades before Steve Jobs dreamed up Apple or Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, a group of eight brilliant young men defected from the Shockley Semiconductor Company in order to start their own transistor company, Fairchild Semiconductor. Their leader, twenty-nine-year-old Robert Noyce, was a physicist with a brilliant mind and the affability of a born salesman. Noyce’s co-invention of the integrated circuit, which coincided with the beginning of the space race, provided the company with tremendous opportunity. The device would play a key role in the success of the Apollo program and the moon landing. It also would become an essential component of modern electronics including computers, motor vehicles, cell phones, and household appliances. Noyce’s management style became a model for the next generation of Silicon Valley startups; he encouraged openness over hierarchy, risk over stability, innovation over tradition.

An eye-opening look at the birthplace of the digital age, Silicon Valley is a fascinating reminder of how a few brilliant iconoclasts transformed a fertile farmland into one of the most exciting, innovative, and influential places on earth.

Writers Guild Award 2014