Accidental Empires, Chapter 3 — Why They Don’t Call It Computer Valley

Intel-logoACCIDENTAL EMPIRES

CHAPTER THREE

WHY THEY DON’T CALL IT

COMPUTER VALLEY

Reminders of just how long I’ve been around this youth-driven business keep hitting me in the face. Not long ago I was poking around a store called the Weird Stuff Warehouse, a sort of Silicon Valley thrift shop where you can buy used computers and other neat junk. It’s right across the street from Fry’s Electronics, the legendary computer store that fulfills every need of its techie customers by offering rows of junk food, soft drinks, girlie magazines, and Maalox, in addition to an enormous selection of new computers and software. You can’t miss Fry’s; the building is painted to look like a block-long computer chip. The front […]

Silicon Valley conquers Hollywood, part 3 — think small, not big

Some readers of my last column in this series seem to think it was just about the movie business but it wasn’t. It was about the recorded entertainment industry, which includes movies, broadcast and cable television, video games, and derivative works. It’s just that the movie business — like the mainframe computer business — learned these lessons first and so offers fine examples.

Whether from Silicon Valley or Seattle, technology companies see video entertainment as a rich market to be absorbed. How can Hollywood resist? The tech companies have all the money. Between them Amazon, Apple, Google, Intel and Microsoft have $300 billion in cash and no debt — enough capital to buy anything. Apple all by itself could buy the entire entertainment industry, though […]

Let them eat veggies: Obama has dinner with Steve

President Obama last night had dinner at John Doerr’s house in Silicon Valley and for some reason I wasn’t invited. I wish I had been. Can you imagine Obama making small talk with Steve Jobs? This is an instance where Steve’s lack of an internal censor probably served the event well, or at least I hope it did, because when it comes to the dinner’s goal of stimulating innovation in America every Administration from any political party needs all the help it can get. I should know, because I’ve been working a bit with those White House would-be innovators, trying to get them in the right groove.

Remember Startup America is the name of the TV […]

By |February 17th, 2011|2011|78 Comments

Edifice Complex

Apple bought a huge piece of Bay Area property for a new corporate campus, promising to develop the land into an enormous project that would allow thousands of company employees to live, work, shop and play without ever having to leave company property. It would be the perfect community for staffers who are allowed to work any 80 hours per week they choose. This may sound a lot like Apple’s plan to redevelop the old Hewlett-Packard Cupertino campus about a mile from current Apple headquarters on Infinite Loop, but it isn’t. What I’ve just described was Apple Computer’s plan to develop 640 acres in Coyote Valley south of San Jose, circa 1985.

What goes […]

By |December 6th, 2010|2010|76 Comments