Article Review: The Accidental Enterpreneur

September 30, 2007 § Leave a comment

This is an essay written by Gordon Moore one of the co-founder of Intel (the other one is Robert Noyce).

He starts describing his journey after graduated from Caltech PhD program. His sight was first set on Dow Chemical, but things didn’t pan out.

Then he moved on to: Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. Not liking the job, he started to apply a couple other places before receiving phone call from Bill Shockley.

At Shockley Semiconductor, most of his peers were about the same age, late 20s.

After Shockley freaking out on several occasions, eight of the employees (nicknamed Fairchild 8 ) quit and set up Fairchild Semiconductor.

Setting up Fairchild Semiconductor itself was pretty accidental. All 8 of them were just looking for another job but later approached by a group of people from Hayden Stone Investment Banker. They told Fairchild 8 to set up their own company instead.

One interesting lesson to learn from early days of Fairchild Semiconductor:

Fairchild 8 hired an engineering manager because they don’t want to repeat Shockley’s mistake. Then, they got Ed Baldwin. This guy taught the young entrepreneurs various things, but in the end he left to create competing semiconductor company. Yeah, that must felt sucked.

A couple of years later and $150 million worth of business later, things started to go bad between Fairchild and its parent company. This resulted in Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore left Fairchild and setup Intel.

The Fairchild tale as well as each individual founder stories are awesome. It is safe to say that they bring silicon to Silicon Valley in a big way.

References:

Main Article

Eugene Kleiner’s Bio at Wikipedia

Gordon Moore’s Bio at Wikipedia

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