Two Decades in Silicon Valley: Hats I've Worn, Jobs I've Had, Lessons Learned

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Two and a half decades after deciding that I wanted to live in Silicon Valley, the opportunity to move there finally presented itself. I'd been visiting the area since joining HP in 1975, and Silic…
"History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes." – Mark Twain

by Steven Leibson

Two and a half decades after deciding that I wanted to live in Silicon Valley, the opportunity to move there finally presented itself. I'd been visiting the area since joining HP in 1975, and Silicon Valley was clearly the epicenter of electronics innovation during the last quarter of the 20th century. When the opportunity came in 1999, my family was living in Boston. We uprooted and moved 3000 miles from the Right Coast to the Left Coast.

Although never my intention, I've now worked at several Silicon Valley companies playing in the electronics arena: publishing companies, semiconductor companies, IP companies, EDA companies, and software companies representing a good cross section of employers in the area. I worked in several towns up and down the lower San Francisco peninsula, and my commute was usually about 30 minutes from my home in downtown San Jose, as long as I stayed off the main roads and freeways. That's very unusual in Silicon Valley.

Here are six vignettes covering my two decades in Silicon Valley. Along the way, I wore many hats, had many jobs, and learned my share of lessons. I kept the six hats and wore them while photographing the corresponding locations where I've worked.

MicroDesign Resources, 298 South Sunnyvale Ave, Sunnyvale, CA

I moved from just outside of Boston to Silicon Valley to start a new publication for MicroDesign Resources (MDR), the publisher of the well-known "Microprocessor Report" newsletter. Founded by Michael Slater in 1987, MDR became a premier source of in-depth microprocessor news and information. Besides publishing "Microprocessor Report," MDR also staged the annual Microprocessor Forum, a huge event with more than 1000 attendees in peak years. When I joined MDR in 1999, it was operating out of an office that formerly belonged to a Sunnyvale bank. We kept printed back issues of the "Microprocessor Report," CDs, analyst reports, and…
Steven Leibson
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