Those of you who find yourself on Google’s home page today may wonder what the high-tech looking doodle in the middle of December is supposed to mean. It’s a nod to Robert Noyce, whose birthday was today. He’s a man you might not have heard of, but one who profoundly impacted the semiconductor business in Silicon Valley. And, by profoundly impacted, I mean he started it in the first place.
Noyce, also known as the Mayor of Silicon Valley, invented the microchip along with Jack Kilby, and co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957. Oh, and he also founded a small technology company in 1968 – Intel. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Noyce was known not just for his brilliance in the field of computing technology, but his laid-back, humanistic style of management. He eschewed traditional executive luxuries, trying to preserve a company culture centered around a humble, committed work ethic that caught on and propelled Intel into the ranks of technology giants.
To say that Noyce is the mayor of Silicon Valley risks not going far enough. He was the grandfather, creating the very thing that gave Silicon Valley its name and legacy in the world of technology. If you haven’t yet, head over to Google’s home page and take a look at the tribute to a master.