While Silicon Valley is synonymous with software, its beginnings were driven by a need for a better class of hardware. Michael S. Malone’s The Big Score is a panoramic history of Silicon Valley’s founding days—written as they were still playing out in 1985. One of the first reporters on the tech industry beat, Malone recounts the feverish efforts of technologists and entrepreneurs to build something that would change the world. Starting with the birth of the semiconductor in the 1930s, he illustrates how decades of technological innovation laid the foundation for the meteoric rise of the Valley in the 1970s. Malone punctuates this history with profiles of tech’s early builders, capturing the high-agency spirit that shaped the electronics revolution. A decades-long story with individual sacrifice and ingenuity at its core, The Big Score recounts the history of today’s most dynamic sector through its upstart beginnings.
Michael S. Malone has covered Silicon Valley and tech for over 30 years. His articles and editorials have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Economist, Fortune, New York Times, and San Jose Mercury-News. He has written or co-authored more than 25 award-winning books, including Bill and Dave and The Intel Trinity, and coproduced The New Heroes, an Emmy-nominated miniseries on social entrepreneurs. He lives in Palo Alto, California.
Mike Malone’s epic depiction of Silicon Valley was a calling card for me and countless other young entrepreneurs with a background in tech. Malone’s stories captured the essence of Valley culture and the many outsize personalities who helped create this mecca of tech. Years later, this book is still relevant, and offers insights into the Valley and its ongoing place in the world.
first president of eBay
Mike Malone is the gold standard for telling Silicon Valley’s history. He has witnessed the evolution of the Valley from fruit groves to office parks, and has catalogued the world’s dependency on the Valley’s innovative technology. Experience the growth of Silicon Valley through the eyes of a pioneer, friend, reporter, and mentor to so many of us early Valley entrepreneurs.
founder, CEO, and chairman of ASK Group
From the Valley’s deep roots in the semiconductor industry to the rise of startups and venture capital, and the emergence of new models of management, The Big Score documents the beginnings of a technological transformation. When the book was first published, the microprocessor was kick-starting the computer industry. Today, our greatest innovators continue to build on the work of these early pioneers.
president emeritus of Stanford University and chairman, Alphabet Inc.