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tv   Michael Malone The Big Score  CSPAN  October 31, 2021 4:44pm-6:01pm EDT

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republic the life of ulysses s grant. next are ron howard reflect on their life they trump and biden administration robert costa. wrapping up our look at some of the "new york times" best-selling nonfiction books democratic congressman adam schiff's argument the trump presidency has weakened america's institution but most authors have appeared on book tv and you can watch their programs anytime at >> washington unfiltered. c-span in your pocket. download c-span now today. >> and it now on book tv, more television for serious readers. >> have you ever wonder what it be like to go back in time
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to relive history and benefit its process to shape the future? today we have that unusual opportunity. in 1985 mike malone won the first report of the tech industry chronicled how silicon valley began decades long story of people and companies who recount the history from upstart beginning. at the time was really influential was holding into account not only the valley it proved to be a draw for aspiring entrepreneurs. the first president of ebay stories captured the essence of valley culture. many outside personalities helped create this mecca of text. the depiction of silicon valley with the calling card for me and countless other young entrepreneurs. the new edition of the big
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score, billion dollar story published by story press. the unique perspective because he was here capturing contemporary history through first-hand experience. as mike writes, newly created text history archives to build a narratives i was there. i know how the air smelled when it was covered in blooming fruit trees. i can remember what it was like the elementary school playground and play the first atari machine. continues to grow it hotly debated about positive and negative effects. the benefits from a long view. from the early days when host a weekly podcast.
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he brings that perspective to today's conversation. once the forgotten stories to be valuable to learn from today. it's a future trajectory. what about the valley's darker side what's involved in most hosting this event connected to the company the highest valued private companies the pressure publishes a book in technological advancement. traditional gingers are speaker. michael f malone is an author, television producer in the dean's executive professor at santa clara university. here are his five numbers 1963 silicon valley 29, finish writing big score.
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800 the number of pages on his first draft of the big score. twenty-five and 25 books written including bill and dave and intel trinity. now, to moderate today's conversation we are thrilled to feature on stage scott is an emmy award winning reporter for the nbc air he reports on business and technology. scott is also mike's podcast partner for the silicon valley insider weekly overview of silicon valley tech industry scott holds a degree in political science and ucla. welcome mike and scott but we're so looking forward to your conversation, take it away. >> thank you so much. welcome everyone, and michael welcome to you. it's great to be here. >> it's great to talk to you, this time i get to ask you the questions. >> and folks, please let us be a little informal. scott and i are not really
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capable of anything else. [laughter] this is an honor to be here for many reasons. mike, you know i'm a big fan of yours. as a tech reporter i've been standing on your shoulders for years. in some of the earliest stories i did as a silicon valley reporter were at sea hm and you have allowed me to do many there and geek out. individually to see the exhibits. always appreciate it it's an honor to be associated with that. >> if i can add, i am deeply honored. i've done many things at the museum over the years. i go back safari member would gordon glenn bell made the decision to move to silicon valley even further back where the land is now is a 10-year-old iuc is my beebe gun to hunt ground squirrels.
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[laughter] it is a great honor i am really thrilled what he's doing with the museum right now and moving it into the future and repositioning it. that is just tremendous it needs it right now. >> excellent. everything you just said reference the past, the present in the future but that's what we're going to get into. love technology obviously. i love silicon valley. i love history, i'm not ashamed to say i love the 80s. [laughter] we are going to get a lot of these today. it is fitting, it might, first of all we are doing this on one of those days when people say what were you doing when? after all 1969 this is when we landed on the moon. it was, for many of us a lifetime ago. going back to 1985 in silicon valley terms, wouldn't you agree that's going back three or four at lifetimes given how fast the pace of technology changes? and yet were going to quench your predictions and
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everything but i was taken when i went back and. reporter: some of the stuff with how similar a lot of stuff is. >> are you thinking the more things change the more they stay the same? >> you follow the law we've been through about ten lifetime since i wrote the book. no, i find myself at this point in my life driving down el camino are heading out to the computer history museum i'm flashing between a multiple periods of time. where the computer history museum is, where facebook is, or google are, were farm fields i remember that. i can remember when nasa was adding more buildings out there i saw the shoreline the amphitheater, everything all seems to be here simultaneously, the past and the present. the valley is kind of the same way.
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it has not changed in fundamental ways, but it has to change completely. it is a very, very different place producing very, very different products and services. and yet some of the characteristics of the valley still survive. and still that same hard-driving entrepreneurial community. and instead of meeting their meeting in pete's to plot the creation of new companies but they are still plotting the creation of new companies. >> it struck me the rock stars of the time of the book where that ship executives the big industry was the chip industry. that lasted for quite some time. and then there was quite a period of time when ships were on the back burner. they were everywhere. but they were not as sexy the executives were not getting all the press. so let's fast-forward all the way to the past literally just
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couple of months. all of a sudden a huge chip shortage. we are talking about not only iphones but automobiles. everything is so dependent on chips it is not front-page news. driverless cars, everyone needs chips all the sudden i am thinking you must be having déjà vu because the chip industry is front and center again pray. >> you cannot get an f150 right now by the most popular p vehicle in the united states because they not get the chips, the microprocessor for the while computer. that tells you something very profound and something we forget. we are now on the food chain of silicon valley we are about seven levels down doing apps and that kind of thing driverless cars. but at the very top of that pyramid are chips as a reason was silicon valley we don't make any silicon here anymore. chips matter because everything flows from them.
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we get excited about the latest new technologies, products and companies. but in the end it depends about on getting those chips built in right now they're not getting built. >> it makes sense, for different reasons zuma stock at all time high or near it. facebook stock near all-time high. look at video, chips are kind of sexy again. did you imagine that, 35 years ago? could you imagine what we are talking about today is hot again 35 years are not given how quickly everything changes? >> chips got embedded. once you piled software on top of that, the absent everything else the chips are so hidden away. last time we thought about chips when they said intel inside. the great marketing campaign. now we are realizing everything depends upon it.
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from on the battle is lost. without semi conductors we are in the streets right now. it is a very dangerous time 80% of the world chips were being made in taiwan. in china is making it rather rude noises towards taiwan. they found a chokepoint of the world economy and it is right there. there is a scramble right now by intel and the taiwanese to get over to the states and start creating but that's going to take two or three years and billions and billions of dollars to get us up to the point we are secure again. that we are making our own semiconductor devices for this is a very worrisome time right now. >> i wanted to ask if you brought up this geos situation and technology are so entwined. it seems every other week there's an antitrust hearing or something. it is altogether a very
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incestuous worlds between global politics and silicon valley tech. what was it like in 1985? i don't say it in our shadows but doing our own thing back then? >> on notice would probably be the right word to describe it. this was a world in the middle of orchards. very few freeways, el camino was the main artery and during that time the valley operated pretty much independent of the states. jobs was in his building need not gotten as great profile by tom wolfe yet in esquire magazine. the valley was not noticed. there were doing extraordinary things but we were still relatively anonymous of
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washington d.c. pretty much sit in their own rules. it was even greater if you go back a another decade the name the town silicon valley. to readers of electronic news. us not seen as an enclave of high technology. keep in mind, the book was published i think a week i finished a week before apple introduced the macintosh. apple's ruby was a disaster lisa was supposed to change the world it turned out. changed a week when she was just the state of most
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historians especially contemporary historians. you finish something, wrap it all up and then is absolute the next week. >> even with apple revolutionizing the computer game and go along with a very small market share for decades. it's kind of hip in california it may be of one of these machines but not everybody does. what was the turning point? i remember it was the '90s the stock markets really brought everybody to silicon valley. was there a turning point before that where we remove the tech in the street from the the light? was it just the matter was it a gradual move? >> it was not. >> it did not get a real strong reception they made movies about but when it was introduced at flynn center i was there. that was a big deal but not that big of a deal. there were a lot of questions about it, a mouse in the tiny
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screen did not have enough memory, what are you going to use it for which really didn't get fixed until adobe came along. the turning point was one, apple going public, the apple ipo. and everyone talked about that. it made a bunch of people that otherwise would never have been that successful, really wealthy. apple -- at the time to give up founder stock market was jellybeans. there's restrictions on that kind of stuff now. but back then people were made in millionaires overnight like secretaries and the guy who wanted the office plants. it's like oh my goodness the technology is hot it's going to be worth a lot of money and we can all get in on it. hey can you get me some founder stock and apple?
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the second event i think occurred right about the time i was writing this book. and that was the japanese. the japanese came rolling in from chips that were better than ours. i was at that event with the guy from hp showed quality charts of silicon valley chips versus japanese chips. and it was an eye-opener. the japanese stuff was so much better, cheaper, more reliable and everything else. the value was knocked on its rear end. that is when bob went back to d.c. and started doing congressional testimony and all of that. he became the face of silicon valley and the whole battle with japan and all of that that lasted for a few years, it had two effects.
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put silicon valley really on the map is a crucial part of the american economy and our competitiveness. it also started but i think has been not a pleasant history of the valley dealing with washington d.c. dealing with the feds. it is inevitable now they're so big though the biggest companies in history of the world. but back then they really dreaded having to do it. kimber david packard and come back a few years before that from being a deputy secretary of defense. and he said never again. never going to washington again. we are not even going to do defense contracts. they can buy off the shelf. he was so bitter by the experience that was the attitude of the valley. after that, now we have people running for office and making the critical contributions to candidates. there interlocked with d.c. and there's no getting away from it. it's just going to a deeper
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and deeper. >> will get into that too pretty mentioning money in the spotlight that shines because the ip. it raises up to things, one i remember shortly after steve jobs attained a rock star status heart of that was all of this super casual, hippy, almost poverty-stricken look. he would pose on magazine covers barefoot. for a long time in america it was assigned times were tough. that would be what i would say perhaps the second most influential ipo and silicon valley. after they went public and other spotlight who is on the cover of "time" magazine was verified again. we ushered in on the rock start ceo, but the casual rock start ceo. by the time you publish your book, did anyone address the way you are addressing right now? honestly in the terms of
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executive because we became the only place where money was in all this technology bit of place where we dressed casually, right? >> i named one of the chapters in the book typhoons are such a phenomenon. there is always a great disconnect between the look and the reality. these were hard charging people. during the infamous 1984 endnote report. he really did go wash his feet in the toilet. he massaged his feet by flushing the toilet with his feet in it. without that it's interesting interesting. but the guy sitting across the table was hard driven ambitious guy just like everybody else leaving silicon valley. he had a cost and that that with him.
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it's basically a statement that i am not one of them. i am not a bad generation we are the new crowd. we will dress and behave the way we want. it was as much a message as his lifestyle. and obviously it has been copied ever since up until the '90s when everything switched to jeans and black t-shirts. >> i want to read one comment. by the way people take questions from you guys in a little bit. this is very timely is a do not knock. we use a. >> project on my schedule myths. >> on who john nash he is. >> i love that reference. this was important technology it just has to hit the main stream quite yet, right? >> this is an interesting story. my next book after this i went
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inside myths for a couple of months of following them on their ipo. and i learned so much about human nature and how people's lives change and everything else. ipos are the emblematic event of silicon valley. for a long time, every business plan said at the end, and then we will sell to google. but in the last few years taking off again it has become ipo valley once more. that is fine. it is democratizing. people get to participate in the process of creation of making wealth. i think that is much as entrepreneurship is the heart of the valley. >> it almost seems like for a while there not only were startups keeping money to keep multibillion-dollar uniforms as they call them if you are a chip company perhaps an intel to buy you if you were a social media company or an
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instagram ear thing facebook's going to come in and give you a billion dollars. but then you are right we started to see more ipos. as a journalist i like to see that because they are independent. i remember when microsoft thinking that would be sad if yahoo goes away because they are absorbed by another giant company and end up going away for different reasons. >> the big companies are making themselves immortal. here at facebook and you're starting to lose some of your billion users so what you do? you buy the next hot company. i knew just keep going that way buying up all of those users and sing perpetually young. i don't think that is healthy for the valley. the few residual survivors
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prevent them gigantic companies are going to everything was a potential threat this is not the valley anymore. because of social media mention facebook because of social media everybody knows everything about us everyone is looking for the dark side of success, jeff bezos may be a multimillionaire into space look at those workers is what we do for our jobs. back in the 80s there is a perception people did not know about that. but in your book you talked about how there was a dark side. he knew there is some shenanigans going on i thought
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is going to be reading this a cheerleading book in the valley all these wonderful human beings changing the world and all of that. and then i find out oh yes, i did work with susan yolk up and do the four-part series on toxic chemicals killing people in the valley. was espionage, drugs, and everything else. there were criminals running around the valley even back in the 70s when the chip shortage happened in the early 80s we had the black guerrilla family working here in the valley tried to get chips off a loading dock for even a bad one so they can sell them on the gray market. now we know there have been spies here almost from the beginning. not just the enemies but allies are here as well. that was a shock to me and
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too. reporter: that there is a whole second valley that's hidden under the first one. and in many ways, that criminality has reduced over the last 30/40 years. i think it's probably in the ascendant right now. why be a criminal when you can make a billion dollars pretty easily around here? >> is it different because so much of the technology decades ago is built on the government in -- that chip industry, the defense and is it now got different apps to help you dates, get your food delivered it is a different world. so you are right it seems like the end goal with government espionage and facebook's got a share of its trackers. the goal seems to me let's do something to cash in and move on.
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>> i think the good news, the valley has a fundamental shift between hardware and software. between electrical engineers and code red. that is the old world. those companies in the early days the intel's, the nationals, all of that is very much a mad man kind of era. you look at it and is got a crewcut in the old photograph. that was a distinct world and that kind of world did have traditional criminal behavior. companies and dreamed of becoming big. they had very specific structures, organizational charts and everything else. software changes everything. think the market changes too. originally the valley was selling to industry. it was a commercial valley. we were selling to other
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companies. now, the turning point was the web but then social networks. the valley it sells to consumers now. it is a different worldview. i know old valley families, by your home, live in the valley, get your gold watch. today young people of san francisco, you sold on >> in the hardware era. into joining our world i don't say cold but i will say cold. these tricks from casinos and everything else. he even convinced us to design our own products.
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what is facebook but a set of tools to make us workers for ourselves for that is a very different reality and began to show in the personality. >> were there any companies or entire industries back then jumping on the tech bandwagon were clearly they were not tech but wanted a tech valuation or that sexy aura back in the 80s trying to jump on? >> there is a little bit of that. they began to show techie ads. they really weren't but they were trying to affiliate themselves with the cool valley thing. you've got the commercials for a look at ads from the 60s and 70s it's all people dress like me, they've got the pretty girls sitting at a computer that she has never seen before in her life. it's very sexist staff and everything else. and then in the 70s you
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start see a change you see nerds appearing in advertising. the whole point of showing a nerd was, we have a nerd so we are a tech company we are smart to we are hard-driving we are going to be really successful because we have this guy. that was kind of the turning point the point of inflection. >> you mention the term silicon valley coming up and it stuck. that is incredible branding. i want to bring up just a quick comment from mark and the audience pretty if you believe certain publications this comes up it seems every month the silicon valley's lost its luster. not only that but cities are emerging as rivals as other tech centers thinking boston all around the world. what are your thoughts on this? silicon valley has had a pretty incredible run. i have always thought the other cities -- the most flattering thing we could see.
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but is it competition taking away from what we have? >> i am kind of ambivalent about that. next are going to get your prediction super. >> i was wrong every single time. as the valley lost its luster, i think traditional valley has lost its luster. but think about, if you really look at the valley carefully it's a tech history goes back 121 years. it goes back to forest and -- it was not the valley but it's on the cutting-edge of technology. by the time it to bill and dave in the garage, the valley is already 30 years old. and that was 90 years ago. the valley is still going strong because it keeps regenerating itself. i declare the valley dead because of traffic.
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because the cost of housing. i look back and that was not that much traffic when i said the traffic was terrible. you could buy a house in sunnyvale for $90000. so what was i complaining about? the valley has the ability to rise above all of these powerful challenges as long as that entrepreneurial core and creativity stays strong. too much control think the valley will regeneron itself again. i've been to these other silicon enclaves. they have tech companies, they have some entrepreneurs, but they do not have the culture. this is the only place i have ever been where technology is
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inner penetrated with cultures inextricable. you go to and they are doing ads for programmers. during a kids movie you go to local coffee place especially during booms when people were developing apps for the iphone for their six or seven tables with little groups of people surrounding a laptop. with eight spreadsheet on and they were starting a company. i don't go anywhere where i see that. and finally, look at venture capitol. where is all of the tech venture capitol in the world located? sand hill road. they have offices everywhere but it is right here. as long as the money is here, silicon valley will keep regenerating itself. >> we certainly have not got rid of traffic or high housing costs. my concern is as it gets higher and higher, it is one
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thing to say you are already here, you've got your house the commute is a bit of a pain but what about young people and traditionally startups. creating value to kiss the ring and get that money. if we scare them away because of the age of my children i know a lot of high schoolers and people thinking about college. they are thinking how could i ever come back to the bay area it when i'm in my early 20s as a graduate because there is no way we are going to afford housing. i do not have an argument for that. i am worried entrepreneurs will go somewhere else costing us a lot of future startups. >> i wrote a piece in the wall street journal a while back or i suggested what could happen. it has begun to happen but has been very slow. then valley has to grow outwards. it kind of went over the hill towards santa cruz years ago.
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but now developers are really starting to develop. once they get a real highway through hollister, and then going east tracy's a beautiful little town it's just over the hill. we can grow and all those directions physically and we are growing tall. i've drive down el camino in sunnyvale i do not know where i am. there is six stories tall buildings the length of the city paid that is going to happen to going to go up it has too. will that defeat the valley i don't know. i think covid was interesting we have learned people can be protective during a zoom call. i think that will enable the valley to become more virtualized physically is going to stay around the bay area virtualize well into northern california. >> that is a good point that
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is a subject we tackled on your podcast where the valley, for decades has flirted with the idea we do technology especially software. therefore we can work from home or coffee shop. it is never really been tested until the last 12 -- 14 months. and wow, you look at productivity, products, stock prices, it seems to have worked really well, right? >> is a backslash. some companies are saying wait a minute, wait a minute i think we went too far. i think they're losing control, that is what they fear. >> you build that out you can sit there in front of your bookshelf and talk on it. >> california talked about that high-speed rail from north to south. without the best thing you could do would be to build a high-speed rail from san francisco or san jose to sacramento. and open up the eye 80 core
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door to the valley for it to grow. i do not think, we need to drive to the office every day. i think even the companies that want their employees to come back are saying hey, two days a week we will negotiate three days a week just don't quit. i think that is the future. >> you are right. the forward for your book but you didn't did not get right i called the valley dead and many stock with some the specific things that stick out super. >> that i screwed up? but i feel most guilty about is doug. when i. [inaudible] >> everything. everything looking at now the mouse, the screen, the bit mapping everything else.
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he had been pretty much forgotten i've seen a clip of that stuff in the xerox park and i'd forgotten about him. came into the mercury news one day and set down and talk to me and tell me what he was doing and what he had done and all of that. i just thought he was another old valley guy. i did not give him enough credit. when i wrote this book i did not give him enough credit. i bought the pr lines think put out by apple and the other computer companies. they were the creators of this stuff. and unfortunately, doug got alzheimer's disease. fairly young. i saw him a couple times. i was never really able to apologize to him for not
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giving him the credit. luckily history has begun to give him credit not nearly enough but has begun. >> nothing is screwed up on, there's no forgiving me for this one is the internet i was with a group of kids they took us on field trips went to xerox park they sat down in front of a terminal 1967, 68 summer in their type and all these code numbers just to talk to some guy at caltech who i did not known, had nothing to say to him. this is >> this is never going to go anywhere.
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nothing i will devote my time to the web cam along the world wide web. everybody else i found out i finally thought this isn't bad i may use it on a regular basis. you will not see the word internet around the cusp of changing everything so i regret that one i've got to tell you, know this at least as much as i depart you're still out there in the field on the line. you cover a daily story and over the weekend you do the round up behind the daily
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story ten years later at a cocktail party, someone tells you actually what happened. and steve jobs of xerox park is a perfect example of that. the famous mythological story and he sees xerox computer. it has got the inventions on it. he goes we have got to do that. i had already gotten in that there's guys from xerox park will be working at apple.
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he'll never sign off on because he did not discover it. so he decided let's make him discover it. so they set everything up so he would walk by that computer and go oh. that is the real story. there is a number of things i have learned and this book is completely wrong. for example, i did not realize andy grove a set i'm going to quit. and andy said i will destroy you, they will never hear your name in the silicon valley again. okay, that is why all of these years we heard the microprocessor. now the architecture of the microprocessor the idea was absolutely ted hopps invention. but he stayed at into the
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story changed again he is the guy that built with shima and mazer. the real story is these four guys i nominated 248 nobel prize they deserve it for their certain people in this town who got prize did not deserve it. that's the real story so the pr department tend to give credit where it is not due. and ignore people that deserve the attention. >> you are hard on yourself for missing the internet and what it would turn out to be. but many, many years later microsoft was still missing the internet. do not kill them they are now the second most. >> yes they killed netscape to survivor. >> now that the second most viable company in the world. there is a another company much later than when he wrote your book on the precipice of
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going for michael bell said what sell the assets back to the shareholders. that company is now the most viable company in the world, apple. which somehow survived thanks largely to the internet and the fact you can walk around that everywhere you go. >> the original sin of apple, i discovered when i was writing my apple book. that story does not fit with any of our preconceptions i think. that steve job convinced to let him design a computer game and nobody at atari believe steve could do it. they did not like him anyway he was just back, he smelled he was obnoxious. and so steve convinces him best friend, you guys are both my neighbors i remember this happening, to design the game. when he was working at hp he would work all night at a target in the first game ready.
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he gave it to steve, steve walked into the office and look what i created and he said fabulous and he paid him. and steve did not give half of it to wasi gave about a third of it. and because of that he did not have enough money went to went to the west con computer show he wanted to buy a early microprocessor he could not afford the 808061 from intel it was like 400 bucks and he had like 50 bucks. he took one out of a goldfish bowl they were selling for like ten bucks apiece and he built the apple one around that. as a result, apple always had underpowered microprocessors for the first 25 years. that was the original sin. he did not find out about it until the plane to work for the macintosh. when he found out what had really happened he was a very
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upset human being. he does not deserve to be upset or ripped off. that is the original sin of apple. and now to most valuable company in the history of the world. >> going back to 85 who knew they would cast that big of a shadow. >> they were dying. apple started losing market shares. it was in the high '80s low '90s before that. it fell for the next 20 years down to 8% before steve came back with the imac and all. >> what company right now is a, perhaps going to cast the largest shadow and is there a company out there right now we are kind of a missing maybe 20 years from now? >> one of the great things about the valley issue cannot predict the next big unicoi.
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gordon moore had a lot of batteries to prodigious not really get noticed is not as simple as the semi conductors. he always said battery power was going to be the limiting factor on semiconductors at a certain point. there are some battery companies out there doing interesting things. just one public last week in the valley novix. silicon matters so now silicon is come back to silicon valley in a different guise as a product going to work? i do not know. it is impossible batteries cannot get on a freight train or a rocketship of semi conductors. there are other conductors working crazily on batteries two. i think batteries are going to be crucial.
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whoever wins that whoever has a great breakthrough. i had lunch a little while back. i said what is the greatest invention in valley history? : : : a big moment of genius in that whole history. john and process. he said everything else that we all did, you could see it coming you are extrapolating from where we are now from what we could do in the future. he says, the idea of taking it and laying it flat and a printing process and being able to scale it down to nano meters, he said that came out of the
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blue. that was not an active engineering. that was an act of artistic creation. he said everything else pales next to that moment when he came up with that. i thought that that was interesting. i think that that is what we are waiting for the the valley waits for the moment when you get that process. maurice weil presents the opportunity to do that every two or three years. everything is cheaper now. he was a circuit parker in the play computer games at his university. you realize that you cannot build in electronic pinball machine. too many devices into expensive and all of that. getting down over 10 bucks. he knew he could build space invaders and start atari. it presents a whole new landscape of opportunity every
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three years. that is what makes these entrepreneurs keep going. that opportunity is right there. i think that great invention is just right around the corner. we cannot predict it, we cannot depend upon it, but it always shows up. that is the greatness of the valley. i'm waiting to hear the next one. i think it could be artificial intelligence. i do not think robotics, but i think we still have to figure out autonomous vehicles in a better way for transportation. something big is waiting in the wings. i can just feel it. you can feel it rising on the ground, but you cannot see it yet. i will not make any particular predictions. >> let me ask what may be waiting in the wings on the darker side. you use the phrase rising from the ground. many years ago we figured out what was rising from the ground by the fairchild plant and it
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was killing people, ultimately. poisoning their water. you did not know within. maybe some people. >> i was sitting, i was at a story, a big factory was being built, 800,000 square feet, meeting a bunch of reporters and i heard about people getting hurt by toxins. no one had ever written about it you guys know about toxic chemicals around here? oh, yeah. all over the place. i said have you ever written about it? >> we write about technology and duke products. i went back and i told that to susan who was a lot of a better reporter than i ever was. he pitched it and that was the
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beginning of the whole toxic thing in the valley. everybody had quietly known about it. the valley was so pretty with the green grass firms and the nice concrete buildings. this was not smoke stacks, this was not pittsburgh. only then did we discovered that we were working with some of those dangerous chemicals ever known. so, you are right. we sense something is wrong. >> we sent something is wrong now. bitcoin or whatever it is. there is still a smokestack industry. they are still mining going on. we are not actually producing anything and therefore we are not hurting the environment. we can see what is coming because of january 6. we can see what is coming
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because of 2016. whether it is clinical or other countries relying on social media to spread their word. we are seeing what is already here with entire facebook sections devoted to why you should not get vaccinated. we are seeing people die because of it. how long will technology be allowed to be a bad guy before government figures out what technology does and somebody can act against it and say there will be a disincentive for misinformation much like eventually a disincentive for chemicals coming from the company. >> i think the toxic threat is not to our bodies, but to our brains right now. we see several things occur. one is the notion that we can assign people to determine what is truth and then control the access of that truth to billions of people.
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i always harken back to the latin phrase about who will guard the guardians. none of us are sure that we are right. there is a first amendment specifically designed to create the va between of views. if we start censoring, we may be missing solution to whatever problems we face. i am bothered that, you know, we are allowing large companies to decide what we should know. i am a first amendment absolutist. debate is all. all points of view have to be recognized. it seems as if tech has begun to narrow the area in which we are
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allowed to operate in our thinking and our speech and everything else. i am not sure they are the people that should be doing it. i am certain that the federal government should be doing it and to date they have not done anything about it because you are covering these congressional testimonies. our politicians don't understand what they are talking about. it is embarrassing. we are starting to see a little bit of a glimmering. i do not know what the exact solution is speared somewhere in law that we have been giving tech special breaks and sparing them responsibility for bad information you'd something can be done there. we were just talking the other day about how the fdc, they sent a warning shot out there that went out through broad, on antitrust stuff. i think that that is a hint
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they're coming for the big boys. you know, we know that the manipulation of video games actually begins to change the wiring of our kids brains. ultimately, we have to understand that the digital world is not the same as the analog world. the analog world was not built for us. we have to learn to cope with it. the physical world was designed for us to entertain us, manipulate us, take on money, to empower us. all the good and bad things on that two edge sword. we are still working it out. the next few years strike me as frightening. >> will we ever get a president or any sort of leader that does not manipulate us v outlet say social media. is that where we are right now? >> yes.
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yes. i am not sure that we will. new technology coming along taking advantage as well. i just wrote in essay and talking about silicon valley's change, you know, the code writers and et cetera, one thing that i talked about was freeware which we all love. you get it for free. a truly pernicious valley invention because, yes, you give away everything free, but you don't really notice you are giving up every bit of your personal information. you are slowly surrendering your liberty in order to get that new we are going to have to peel that back. we are going to have to add more daylight into the process. ultimately, we own our data.
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if some company wants our data, they have to buy it from us. or we may just say take all of our personal information. as long as i can have that new version. it has to be our decision. right now, it is really not our decision. that is where a lot of the resentment in the valley is coming from right now. >> a job opening or a whole career opening. after all, there are agents that handle book deals, contracts for whatever jobs we have, why not and agent to handle this. >> one of the numbers, the one really did not work, nothing. that was the number of catch two. how much money did they make publishing my book #.
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[laughter] >> such a beautiful job of packaging and binding in all of that. i hope we actually see something from this. i think i could have made more mcdonald that -- money at mcdonald's and the spirit. >> either way, feel free to put a meter in the q&a section. i am monitoring both. this is something you touched on earlier. should silicon valley work closely with china? what should we be doing about china right now? >> that is a really complicated question. is china still a friend or is it an enemy? you know, if you are making apple computers and nikes a few miles away from where they are being imprisoned in
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concentration camps, how do you justify doing that just to make profits? there was a credible article written, i think, 1980, 1979 in the computer decision magazine. by a guy, i always remember it. would you sell a computer to hitler? he went through the list, i was working at hp at the time and tr , all the companies were selling mainframes and many computers to the likes of the argentinian government and two, you know, dangerous companies and enemies around the world who were doing terrible things like keeping track of citizens. nobody talked about it. the question is, are we in bed with china at a time when it is
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not morally right to be there anymore? >> the -- the intellectual china thing. they joined the world patent organization and all of that stuff. you know, they are still doing it. i've been involved with companies where they actually put in tripwires into the products they will sell to china they would just scramble it. when you are dealing with a country and that kind of theft, you have to think twice. >> ibm did sell computers to hitler. >> yes. yes. exactly. yes, they did. the question is, at what point is it just morally wrong to be dealing with china? we are so deep in right now.
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we have the top basketball player in the world. we have a famous wwe wrestler who is now a movie star. he has apologizing for a scene. they are reworking hollywood movies not to anger china. on and on and on. when does that stop and when do we say that that market is not worth it? they are threatening taiwan. the source of most of the chips in the world. taiwan and japan, we have nuclear weapons. we are getting into a very dangerous plan here. they will have to make some very serious decisions very soon. >> catherine has a question. she wants to know your thoughts. much like california, there are constraints on water, energy, other environmental challenges.
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you just talked about some of the geopolitical concerns, what about concerns of the environment especially when it comes to things like water. >> i thought, why they are? and then you realize they have been there for decades. and, so, you have a large popular, they are pretty good at putting on the bunny suit. when you have a body of trained people, you will go there. you will not go to dubuque or oklahoma or something like that to start over. i think it will put a lot of pressure on the infrastructure of arizona and new mexico, but, there you go. >> environmental concerns are haunting. elon musk and bitcoin. simultaneously both in cars that
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are better for the environment. >> you know you are in 2021 went people are concerned about the environmental damage created by a crip though currency. you know. never thought i would see that. [laughter] i did not predict that one. >> one thing you touched on earlier was antitrust. i apologize if i'm pronouncing it wrong. the relationship between silicon valley, where do you see these antitrust hearings going? will it ever make a difference in the likes of facebook and uber and amazon and apple and microsoft? will it ever affect any of these companies whatsoever? >> i think at some point it does. we have watched this dance for years. we have to do something about
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big tech and then big tech sends their army of lawyers. everything else back to d.c. they write big checks and everything gets quiet again. i think that there is a rising anger about what is going on. these guys have too much power. too much influence on our daily lives. we are starting to see noises. at some point no matter how much money a congressman gets, he has to vote a certain way for his constituents. i see that day coming. it is interesting. breaking up companies at a certain point is not a bad thing. ultimately, the pieces of that company are usually more successful than the original company. the classic example of that is ibm. truly a monopoly crushing burrows and all of that with the
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mainframes in the 50s and 60s. then all of a sudden they get hit by antitrust. they are paralyzed with legal hearings for almost a decade. in that time, they did not get into the personal computer world. they really missed the personal computer revolution first round. and then enabling 150 companies to get started. then ibm gets in the game designing these ibm pcs. they come in and they eventually take over a sizable share of the market. the companies that got created are now giant, too. we have real innovation. right now, where you go, you know, if you want to put your vacation photos up, you go to facebook. you don't have any choice.
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if you break them up, you will have multiple companies filled with a lot of the same people, but now running those companies and you have a lot more competition, a lot more innovation and a lot more dynamic because they start showing up again and that field. right now, those markets are closed. >> we got agile and and yet, now, it just seems like everybody wants to show how big they are. isn't that historically an unhealthy trend? >> very unhealthy trend. look at history in the valley since 1960. look at the leading companies every 10 years. they have pretty much completely changed every decade. the rest of them changed every decade had lately, that is not the case. we have companies now that her 20-30 years old that are still
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dominating everything. that is not healthy. maybe healthy for our balance of trade, but not healthy for the economy. >> what advice do you have for people that want to take a more active role in a better future and their personal lives or even for humanity. that is interesting. talking a lot about building up humanity. their fellow people. >> that is a tough one. you know, there are brilliant people out there. let's put it this way. let's put it this way, only for geniuses and valley history. you know.
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legendary drunk and crazy. some very brilliant people around here. you know, the iq is compelling. insanely high. they want to create a new company. they are out there and they are looking for help. looking for people to step in and join them. all of the energy to make it a new technology in a new company happen. get to know people out there. one of the great rules of silicon valley is if you cannot answer somebody's question, you referred them to somebody that can get foreign startup teams. develop products of your own.
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influence the creation of those companies so that they are enlightened. it is a sad thing that the most enlightened company and valley history was, you know, at its peak in 1958. that was hewlett packer. never been a better run company in the valley story. hp is not even hp anymore. where are the people taking risks on organization and treatment of employees and that sort of thing? the internet is the ultimate platform for communicating with other people. start a blog. make your case for what you believe in. get involved with cloud sourcing things. if you see a project, a new company or new product that will help mankind, get involved with that. you know, there are a million opportunities to do good in this
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town. we tend to just focus on doing well. but, you know, get involved. i have been a boy scout leader 420 plus years. that is important to me. i just say scouts now because we have girls. that is important to me. that is my way of helping out the community. nonprofits in silicon valley are desperate for people because everybody works 80 hours a week so they are not really free to devote a lot of time to charity. do so. help out. make this a better place. >> excellent. we have our final question keyed up, but one quick one. taking you back. what did you do there? >> what did i do? that was interesting.
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i handled, apd with calculators. one of the questions you are thinking about asking me, our favorite artifact in the museum. i think that is a document of silicon valley. several hp calculators in the stories. i have the calculator group, desktop computer group and part of the many computer group. the introduction of the hp 3000 which cap screwing up. i also introduced, and i'm proud to be wearing a fitbit. i introduced the hpl one digital watch. going for like $10,000 now. it weighed about 1 pound and you had to have your shirt caught out. really the first computer watch. >> it also gave you biceps. [laughter] >> one arm got longer over time.
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>> i will wrap with this. into the future. we will end with a future question about what the museum wants you to do. inspiring the next generation. a that focuses on one word of advice. a young person starting their career. as you reflect on your life and experience here in silicon valley, we want to know your one word of advice as well as the story behind why you chose that one word. >> i've watched a lot of people at the museum hold up their words. they are always uplifting and positive. i always feel good looking at them. i thought, no, i will tell the truth. the be relentless. >> this was built by the end run by and will continue to thrive as a result of people that are
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relentless in their pursuit of great technology, great companies, success. you cannot change your world if you are not relentless. you can never give up. when i had a tv show on pbs, ida bunch of executives. what was your single biggest growth. it was interesting. the most successful people were the ones most willing to where they had failed. they had views that ever since. it was like a shiny object in their pocket and polished all the time to remind them never give up. you know, keep going. keep trying. it will work eventually. you will win in this town if you work hard enough, long enough and you stay relentless. just never give up. >> i like that advice. the same around the decade. >> yes. absolutely. >> great to talk to you. i look forward to getting your
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podcast again this friday. >> an insider podcast every friday. >> thank you to the museum for letting us chat. i know i speak for mike when i say we are all big fans of the museum and everything that you guys do. thank you. i will turn it back over. >> oh my goodness. thank you both. thank you, scott and mike for your book. you said a few things early in the conversation that stuck with me. you talked about rock stars and you talked about things emerging in the 1980s which made me think about here we are, sort of once-in-a-lifetime, and the same that it ever was. it made me think about talking heads. we are using this to elegy that was demonstrated so long ago. we are presenting context and
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history. and the ability to think deeply about the stories of the past and how they can be a guide for thinking about the future. it is a wonderful opportunity to reflect and i encourage those that have not to take a look at the book. there are some incredible stories. it is about the people and the implications. with that, i will encourage those that have been supporting the museum to take your have softened think yourselves. we have done well relative to anyone else. i feel really good about our position did those that are not supported, i encourage you to take a look at our website and do what you can to support us. we will be moving on to and present opportunities at the museum at the not so distant future. let me thank scott and mike for a wonderful program today and the audience members for giving
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us your time and support. thanks again. ♪♪ >> weekends on c-span2. every saturday american history tv documents america story. on sunday, tv brings you the latest nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these television companies and more. >> the greatest town on earth is the place you call home. spark life is our home, too. right now we are all facing our greatest challenge. working around the clock to keep you connected. it is a little easier to do yours. >> along with these television companies support c-span2 as a public service. >> book tv continues now. television for serious readers. >> what happens when a philosopher, computer scientist and a political scientist he'll


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