Book review, "Founders At Work Stories of Startups' Early Days" by Jesscia Livingston

This is the second story, the Renaissance of the technology age. The first story was that of how William Shockley created such a poor working environment at Shockley Semiconductor that Fairchild Semiconductor was founded. There was a mass ex-odious from Shockley Semiconductor of some of the brightest minds of the day, in 1957 Robert Noice and Gordon Moore are just a few that left to found Fairchild Semiconductor which became the grandfather of the hardware and software industries.

If you like history and you want to see how our society evolved to where we are today, then this book is a wonderful history of how our current world was created. The story is told by the second and third wave of creators that have shaped the standard of living we currently enjoy through technological innovations. Jessica Livingston, the author asked relevant questions of those innovators to reveal how it was done and what it takes to get a finished value added product to the masses.

These innovators extended the technology evolution of the semiconductor invention. I love history and technology so read with anticipation as the evolution is described from the inside view of those who were driving results against unreasonable odds. This is like a thriller that I just didn't want to put down. However the book is just a dialogue by the author and technologists, a group of mini-biographies, biographies of a slice of each technologists life, the part of life that changed the world.

For anyone involved in any company that wants to create through innovation this book shows that; timing is everything, brilliance is added, perseverance when all is lost, dedication to changing the world is a greater priority than wealth creation, and great people are all it takes to accomplish great things.

This book describes how it isn't about the idea. Time and time again the initial idea was only the catalyst for delivering something else that was relevant to the current environment. This book also describes the special behavior of embracing failure, those attitudes so prevalent in Silicon Valley foster these mini-ventures that transform into world changing outcomes.

- Tim Bertheau


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