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A History of Silicon Valley: The Greatest Creation of Wealth in the History of the Planet Perfect Paperback – April 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Piero Scaruffi has lived and worked in Silicon Valley since 1983, designing internet and artificial intelligence applications, originally at Olivetti's research labs. He has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University and a lecturer at UC Berkeley. In the 1990s he pioneered Internet journalism on his website In 2006 the New York Times ran an interview with him titled "The Greatest Website of All Time". He is the author of 17 books on subjects ranging from music to cognitive science. Arun Rao is an investor and entrepreneur in the San Francisco/Bay Area. He has previously contributed articles to the Economist magazine and Seeking Alpha on business and the financial markets. Arun Rao has worked at two investment firms in Silicon Valley, one in Menlo Park and the other in San Francisco. Arun is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and is a licensed attorney.

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 537 pages
  • Publisher: Omniware (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097655318X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976553182
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,425,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Piero Scaruffi is a poet, cognitive scientist, cultural historian and free thinker.
Born in Italy in 1955, he published two collections of poems, "L'Ultimo" ("The Last One") and "Dialogo degli Amanti" ("Dialogue of the Lovers") before switching to the English language. Each won a national award.
After graduating in 1982 in Mathematics from the University of Turin with a thesis on quarks, he relocated to Silicon Valley to work in the software industry, pioneering Internet-based applications, and later conducting research on Artificial Intelligence at Olivetti's Technology Center and at Stanford University. He has lectured in three continents on Cognitive Science and History of Knowledge, whose readers were eventually compiled as "A Brief History of Knowledge" (2011), and has published several scientific books, notably "The Nature of Consciousness" (2006) and "Demystifying Machine Intelligence" (2013). His book "Il Terzo Secolo/ The Third Century" (1997), an analysis of the USA society, structured like a hyper-document, made the Italian best-sellers' list. In the meantime he reviewed music and cinema, at first for magazines and later for his own website. His main books on music are: "A History of Jazz Music 1900-2000" (2007), "A History of Popular Music before Rock Music" (2007), and "A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009). His website offers about 6,000 profiles of musicians and more than 20,000 reviews of albums.
He pioneered Internet-based journalism. In 1985 he started his first e-zine, distributed by e-mail over the Internet. Between 1986 and 1990 he created an online database, downloadable via ftp. In 1995 that database mutated into his own website:
He has organized several interdisciplinary cultural events in the Bay Area, culminating with the Leonardo Art Science Evenings (LASERs) on behalf of Leonardo ISAST and in collaboration with San Francisco State Univ, University of San Francisco, Stanford University and UC Berkeley.
Having spent three decades in Silicon Valley, in 2011 he published "A History of Silicon Valley" from the founding of Stanford to the age of social networking.
His e-book "A Visual History of the Visual Arts" (2012) is available for free from his website.
An avid traveler who spends months on the road, he has visited more than 150 countries of the world.
All along he continued writing the poems and essays that were collected in his book "Synthesis" (2009).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ari Paul on June 30, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
"A History of Silicon Valley" might be the most comprehensive overview of the tech valley culture yet published. Rao and Scaruffi set out to write a very ambitious book; rather than pick a few colorful characters as most silicon valley historians do, these authors attack the topic from many angles. They explore the investment bankers and lawyers that played supporting roles, the entrepreneurs and venture capitalists at the core, and the regulatory and cultural environment that sets the story. They dance between diligent chronology and engaging narrative. I particularly enjoyed the business lessons that Rao drew from the many successes and failures he analyzed.
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By C M S J MADDUMA BANDARA on February 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book. Even though it is a "history" book the authors succeeded in recreating the drama and excitement of the story and of bringing out the human side. If you are interested in technology at all this is an exciting read, and as it surveys over a 100 years, is a good book to read if you don't have time to read many on the same subject. What I didn't like was the two-author switching between chapters as it was just a compilation of articles by the two authors. Sometimes the 2nd article on the same subject by the 2nd author repeated a lot of what was written in the previous chapter. It would have been better if it was all combined into one smooth narrative. Also, the articles by Rao were poorly editted and contained a lot of language mistakes. Overall though it is a book I would recommend for reading.
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Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
My review mirrors other reviews seen here. The book offers a good set of topics throughout silicon valley history but spelling mistakes and lack of coordination between chapters calls into question the validity of facts. The authors also thinly veil many personal biases such as dislike for Microsoft and admiration for Apple and Google. Opinions are fine, but I thought I was buying a history book.

One last, huge point. Scaruffi insists on listing his website in the book alongside some of the greatest innovators of the past decade. While his website is reputable, putting it next to SUN or Google in terms of importance is just in poor taste. I hope they changed this in the second edition
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