To meet serial-entrepreneur Steve Blank at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View was unreal. Blank is known amongst entrepreneurs and students as one of the “The Godfathers of Silicon Valley”. Recognized for developing the ‘Customer Development’ methodology, he lay the foundations for the Lean Startup movement. He has spent over thirty years in the high technology industry and has founded or worked within eight startup companies, four of which have gone public.

We were invited that morning to witness Blank’s interesting Google Tech talk, “The Secret History of Silicon Valley”, which offers a widely regarded insider’s perspective on the emerging Silicon Valley’s start-up innovation.

He basically showed that although publicly only known for its orange culture or fruit orchards, the valley actually fostered several ‘secret’ technology and science labs that did extensive research for the military. These were the 30’s and the global powers were shifting. The second World War became an electronic war, especially the battle of Britain was a war of finding the best radar technology first.

In conclusion I learnt something new about Silicon Valley and technology in general that day. There’s always that greater purpose behind every invention.

Technology is not just pursued for fun or because it’s cool, but always for making a difference. for change. War, human sacrifice, crime, power, money, these are unfortunately all part of that change.

On our way out we quickly entered the Computer History Museum which has a remarkable display of old computing devices. A neat and easy to walk-through collection displays every important (and cool) step in the history of the computer. The Enigma Machine and the first Apple I Computer, both in a wooden box.




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Mr. Blank’s Google Tech Talk was given during the USA residency of the EMBA program at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership in Berkeley – February 2015. This is my personal view on what we talked about that day.