Untold Silicon Valley

Untold Silicon Valley

This is Untold Silicon Valley, the podcast dedicated to exploring the forgotten and almost-forgotten histories from Silicon Valley’s first decades with one part history, one part storytelling, and a pinch of snark. In this podcast, we will be sitting ringside and examining the times, the events, and most importantly, the people who shaped the industry now known as “Silicon Valley.” We’ll meet the founders, funders, scientists and innovators who played pivotal roles in the transformation of a little known agricultural valley in Northern California known mainly for its oranges and plums to the home of the global technology industry.


June 15, 2022 16 mins

Having left Bell Labs to strike out on his own, William Shockley had some important decisions to make:  Who would be the backer for his fledgling company?  Who would be on his staff?  And where would it launch?

In this episode, William Shockley begins to assemble the key piec...

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With a backer, a location, and the support of the ambitious Stanford Engineering Department, William Shockley recruiting efforts started in earnest.  But having burned his bridges at Bell Labs (and them some!), Shockley resorts to some unorthodox methods to find the scientists and engineers who will make up his research staff.

In this episode, William Shockley ...

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June 22, 2022 33 mins

After the meeting with Arnold Beckman, the state of Shockley Semiconductor just continues to deteriorate, and the Shockley research staff finally makes their own appeal to Arnold Beckman that something has to change.

In this episode, the Shockley research staff takes a shot in the dark and writes a fateful letter to a New York investment banking firm.  The lett...

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June 28, 2022 28 mins

Despite the boom in the semiconductor industry, the renegade Shockley research scientists and the bankers of Hayden Stone get nothing but the cold shoulder in their search for a backer… until they catch the ear of an eccentric millionaire inventor.

In this episode, the renegade Shockley research scientists and the bankers from Hayden Stone discover how difficult it really is to fund a tech startup in the...

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July 6, 2022 29 mins

Sputnik sparks the Space Race, and hysteria ensues in the United States.  In the meantime, the Fairchild Semiconductor founders get to work.

In this episode, the Traitorous Eight have barely moved into their new space, when the Space Race presents an opportunity that has the potential to catapult the fledgling startup to the forefront of the semiconductor indust...

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July 12, 2022 31 mins

Fairchild becomes the David to Texas Instruments’ Goliath, as integrated circuits take the semiconductor stage.

In this episode, a young engineer named Jack Kilby causes a stir when he invents the first integrated circuit, and the team at Fairchild springs into action to keep pace with industry leader Texas Instruments.

Also, in this episode, Fairchild Camera & Instrument exercises its opti...

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July 19, 2022 29 mins

By the early 1960s, Fairchild Camera & Instrument may have been the hottest stock on Wall Street, but internally, trouble was brewing.

In this episode, refusing to become “just another employee working in a research lab for somebody else,” Semiconductor co-founder Jay Last takes a stand, and inadvertently launches an entirely new Silicon Valley phenomenon, the “Fairchildren.”

Also, in this ...

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July 27, 2022 47 mins

By breaking open the commercial integrated circuits market, Fairchild’s stock skyrockets… but the breakthrough also seals its fate.

In our final episode of Season 1, Fairchild Semiconductor’s success is short-lived, as its meteoric rise is only matched by its crashing downfall.  One-by-one, more key figures jump from the sinking ship.

Things are n...

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