Founders & Visionaries, 2014, 60″ x 60″
Océ VariaDot UV inkjet print on .125″ 6061 Aluminum plate
with random orbit finish and UV protective matte clear coat finish
Third of eight artworks that tell the story of Silicon Valley,
installed at the San Jose Marriott, Ballroom Pre-function Area (Mezzanine Level)
Founders & Visionaries is a tribute to the insights, vision and leadership of the key people behind the foundation and growth of Silicon Valley and whose genius has paved the way for generation after generation of risk-taking entrepreneurial Silicon Valley leaders and visionaries.
The term Silicon Valley, so called for the high concentration of silicon chip semi-conductor companies in the Santa Clara Valley, is attributed to Ralph Vaerst, a successful local 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 in the USA”, began in the paper’s January 11, 1971, issue which can be seen reproduced as a texture throughout this image.
The Silicon Valley foundational leaders represented in this artwork include the following:
(1) Fred Terman (lower right side of the artwork), sometimes known as the ‘father of Silicon Valley’, was a legendary engineering Professor at Stanford University who persuaded the University to devote some land for new companies; who suggested to two of his students, Bill Hewlett and David Packard, that they form a company together; and who persuaded William Shockley to move from the East Coast to what became Silicon Valley.
(2) William Shockley (lower middle of artwork), also sometimes known as the ‘father of Silicon Valley’ alongside Fred Terman. Shockley was the co-inventor of the transistor. His sketches of his transistor design are included in this artwork. Born in London, raised in Palo Alto, after a BSc from Caltech and a PhD from MIT he worked at Bell Labs, returning to Palo Alto at the suggestion of Fred Terman (Stanford University) and also to be close to his ailing mother. He founded the Santa Clara-based company Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, which subsequently spawned Fairchild Semiconductors.
(3) Robert Noyce (middle left of artwork), sometimes known as the ‘the Mayor of Silicon Valley’, worked at Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory and went on to co-found Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968. He is credited (along with Jack Kilby) with the realization of the first silicon-based integrated circuit or microchip (some early examples of which are shown in the middle left of the artwork) which fueled the personal computer revolution and gave Silicon Valley its name.
(4) Bill Hewlett and David Packard (upper right side) co-founded Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) in a one-car garage in Palo Alto in 1939. That garage, known as the ‘birthplace of Silicon Valley’, is shown in the top left of the artwork. HP is a world leader in personal computer and printer manufacturing and, along with Varian Associates, is one of the founding companies of Silicon Valley. Hewlett’s and Packard’s vision extended beyond just technology to include an caring and motivating approach to their workers known as the HP Way.
There are many, many others who are key Silicon Valley founders and visionaries. The five recognizable people mentioned above are representative of the many others not shown. The impressionist faces you may see in the background towards the top of the artwork represent the newer generations of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and leaders.
The Silicon Valley Series