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The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  191 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Hailed as the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of Silicon Valley, Robert Noyce was a brilliant inventor, a leading entrepreneur, and a daring risk taker who piloted his own jets and skied mountains accessible only by helicopter. Now, in The Man Behind the Microchip, Leslie Berlin captures not only this colorful individual but also the vibrant interplay of technology, business, ...more
Paperback, 440 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2005)
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Herve
Sep 21, 2011 Herve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Man Behind the Microchip is one of the best biographies about technology and entrepreneurship. This book is a pleasure to read from beginning to end. It is full of important facts about Silicon Valley, its history and its development.

I will just quote Robert Noyce, the hero of this book, founder of Fairchild and Intel:

“Look around who the heroes are. They aren’t lawyers, nor are they even so much the financiers. They’re the guys who start companies”

and also author Leslie Berlin adds:

Noyce te
...more
Joanne
Aug 11, 2008 Joanne rated it really liked it
Shelves:
Happens to be someone I worked with years ago, so many of the people and events are familiar, which makes this a terrific account of a true American inventor and enterpreneur. If you've been a witness, or even better a party to the rise of Silicon Valley you'll benefit from one story of how this whole thing got started. Worst I can say is that the author could have delved a little deeper into some things, but as a bio it's a great read.
Todd Decker
Jun 15, 2013 Todd Decker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A straight-forward biography of Bob Noyce. At points it felt like a recitation of facts one after another (particularly chapter 11 on his political lobbying efforts); however, overall a good capture of the history of this man. Contains an excellent bibliography, index, and references. Personally, I wish that it contained more technical details but it probably has enough for a general audience.
Robert
Aug 10, 2008 Robert rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the history of the transistor, microchip, or microprocessor
Shelves: non-fiction
My mom bought me this book for my birthday. It sat on my shelf for a year and half until my guilt finally brought me to pick it up. I was dreading it being quite boring. It turned out to be fascinating.

I related to Robert Noyce in a lot of ways. It was fun to see how he reacted to life and to compare his decisions with what I might have done. He inspired me to be more entrepreneurial.

Learning about the history of the industry I am in provided a lot of perspective and basis for the work I do eve
...more
Shirley
Tells the story both of Robert Noyce's life, and the start of the semiconductor industry. I learned that Robert Noyce's personal management philosophy of giving people the tools they needed and then getting out of the way - and its success at Intel is what set the pattern of Silicon Valley companies and large portions of the American tech and software sectors in general.

Good read - and important if you want to understand the roots of this industry.
Dan
Jul 04, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fast-reading biography of Robert Noyce, considered by many to be the inventor of the integrated circuit and the founder of Silicon Valley, gives us a glimpse of a man who for the most part practiced the ideals of good management. He treated employees fairly and believed they should be given the option to participate in a company's success through stock purchase plans and stock options. After his success in starting up Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, he gave back by investing in other sta ...more
Rob
Oct 09, 2014 Rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book and found Noyce to be really interesting. The book does cover how choosing a successful career may have repercussions on the family. The book exceeded expectations for sure. Great explanation of the contrast between Noyce and Grove. Skimmed through the early Sematch part of the book, but the first half made up for that stretch of boring detail.
Alex
Jan 27, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beyond the man, it gives an incredible history of the start of the semiconductor industry which is now so big. A great read and highly recommended especially if you have and interest at all in computers.
Muntazir  Mehdi Abidi
"Go off and do something wonderful" as Robert Noyce used to say, and this book is wonderful, so go off and must read this book.
David
Mar 25, 2010 David rated it really liked it
very interesting biography/history of silicon valley
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Share This Book



“...people don't think in churches.

[Noyce on what bothers him most about organized religion.]”
4 likes
“I remember Bob saying, 'Some people who believe in God are good, and some people who believe in God are not good. So where does that leave you?' He had looked around and decided that religion is responsible for a lot of trouble in the world.' Noyce, always pushing against the limits of accepted knowledge, told Bowers that what bothered him most about organized religions was that 'people don't think in churches.” 3 likes
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