The Innovators by Walter Isaacson – part 2 : Silicon (Valley)

What I am reading now following my recent post The Complexity and Beauty of Innovation according to Walter Isaacson is probably much better known: Innovation in Silicon Valley at the time of Silicon – Fairchild, Intel and the other Fairchildren. I have my own archive, nice posters from those days, one about the start-up / […]

The First Trillion-Dollar Start-up

Thanks to my friend Jean-Jacques for pointing to a nice historical article about the beginnings of Silicon Valley. According to The First Trillion-Dollar Startup, “measured in today’s dollars, we believe the firm [ Fairchild ] would qualify as the first trillion dollar startup in the world.” I will let you read the other findings and […]

The Entrepreneurial State (part 4) – the Green Revolution – Unbalanced Risks and Rewards.

– Part 1 covers the Innovation dilemmas and crises. – Part 2 deals with the (forgotten or untold) role of the state in stimulating innovation through research. – Part 3 is about the role of the State in the iPhone technologies. Now chapters 6 to 8: Chapter 6 – Pushing vs. Nudging the Green Industrial […]

The Black Swan and the danger of statistics

“Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night. But this flash means everything.” Henri Poincaré* When I talked to friends and colleagues about The Black Swan (“BS”), they were surprised about my interest in the movie with Natalie Portman. I cannot say, I have not watched it. I was talking about […]

Something Ventured: a great movie

I just watched Something Ventured and I loved it. Loved it so much I plan to have it shown to as many EPFL students as possible in the spring! It is a movie about passion, enthusiasm, energy, changing the world and yes… about money. When asked about their hope about the movie, producers Molly Davis […]

dot.dead, a Silicon Valley mystery

I seldom mention novels here. In fact, I only did it one with the excellent “The Ultimate Cure” by Peter Harboe-Schmidt. I nearly bought by accident dot.dead, the first novel written by Keith Raffel, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur turned into a thriller writer. And I enjoyed it. There is no point in telling you anything […]

The fathers of Silicon Valley: the Traitorous Eight.

Thanks to a conversation with an EPFL colleague, I was recently reminded the early history of Silicon Valley. I knew about Shockley, Fairchild and the Traitorous Eight. I did not know Shockley had been funded by Beckman (thanks Andrea :-)), that was the point of the recent conversation. What is interesting is to have a […]

What Have VCs Really Done for Innovation?

“What Have VCs Really Done for Innovation?” This is the title of a post by Vivek Wadhwa dated September 20. You can find the full account on Techcrunch. I have to admit I was not happy with the content. Instead of saying immediatly why, I will let you read comments made by others as I […]