The chip industry gave the region a new name when Don Hoefler

The chip industry gave the region a new name when Don Hoefler, a columnist for the weekly trade paper Electronic News, began a series in January 1971 entitled “Silicon Valley USA.” The forty-mile Santa Clara Valley, which stretches from South

San Francisco through Palo Alto to San Jose, has as its commercial backbone El Camino Real, the royal road that once connected California’s twenty-one mission churches and is now a bustling avenue that connects companies and startups

accounting for a third of the venture capital investment in the United States each year. “Growing up, I got inspired by the history of the place,” Jobs said. “That made me want to be a part of it.”

Like most kids, he became infused with the passions of the grown-ups around him. “Most of the dads in the neighborhood did really neat stuff, like photovoltaics and batteries and radar,” Jobs recalled. “I grew up in awe of that stuff and asking people

about it.” The most important of these neighbors, Larry Lang, lived seven doors away. “He was my model of what an HP engineer was supposed to be: a big ham radio operator, hard-core electronics guy,” Jobs recalled. “He would bring me stuff to

play with.” As we walked up to Lang’s old house, Jobs pointed to the driveway. “He took a carbon microphone and a battery and a speaker, and he put it on this driveway. He had me talk into the carbon mike and it amplified out of the speaker.”

Jobs had been taught by his father that microphones always required an electronic amplifier. “So I raced home, and I told my dad that he was wrong.”

“No, it needs an amplifier,” his father assured him. When Steve protested otherwise, his father said he was crazy. “It can’t work without an amplifier. There’s some trick.”

“I kept saying no to my dad,

telling him he had to see it, and finally

he actually walked down with me and saw it.

And he said, ‘Well I’ll be a bat out of hell.’”

The most important technology for the region’s growth was

The most important technology for the region’s growth was, of course, the semiconductor. William Shockley, who had been one of the inventors of the transistor at Bell Labs in New Jersey, moved out to Mountain View and, in 1956, started a

company to build transistors using silicon rather than the more expensive germanium that was then commonly used. But Shockley became increasingly erratic and abandoned his silicon transistor project, which led eight of his engineers—most

notably Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore—to break away to form Fairchild Semiconductor. That company grew to twelve thousand employees, but it

fragmented in 1968, when Noyce lost a power struggle to become CEO. He took Gordon Moore and founded a company that they called Integrated Electronics

Corporation, which they soon smartly abbreviated to Intel. Their third employee was Andrew Grove, who later would grow the company by shifting its focus from memory

chips to microprocessors. Within a few years there would be more than fifty companies in the area making semiconductors.

The exponential growth of this industry was correlated with the phenomenon famously discovered by Moore, who in 1965 drew a graph of the speed of integrated circuits, based on the number of transistors that could be placed on a chip, and

showed that it doubled about every two years, a trajectory that could be expected to continue. This was reaffirmed in 1971, when Intel was able to etch a complete central

processing unit onto one chip, the Intel 4004, which was dubbed a “microprocessor.” Moore’s Law has held generally true to this day, and its reliable projection of performance to price allowed two generations of young

entrepreneurs, including

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates,

to create cost projections

for their forward-leaning products.

Other defense contractors sprouted nearby during the

Other defense contractors sprouted nearby during the 1950s. The Lockheed Missiles and Space Division, which built submarine-launched ballistic missiles, was founded in 1956 next to the NASA Center; by the time Jobs moved to the area four

years later, it employed twenty thousand people. A few hundred yards away, Westinghouse built facilities that produced tubes and electrical transformers for the

missile systems. “You had all these military companies on the cutting edge,” he recalled. “It was mysterious and high-tech and made living here very exciting.”

In the wake of the defense industries there arose a booming economy based on technology. Its roots stretched back to 1938, when David Packard and his new wife moved into a house in Palo Alto that had a shed where his friend Bill Hewlett was

soon ensconced. The house had a garage—an appendage that would prove both useful and iconic in the valley—in which they tinkered around until they had their first

product, an audio oscillator. By the 1950s, Hewlett-Packard was a fast-growing company making technical instruments.

Fortunately there was a place nearby for entrepreneurs who had outgrown their garages. In a move that would help transform the area into the cradle of the tech

revolution, Stanford University’s dean of engineering, Frederick Terman, created a seven-hundred-acre industrial park on university land for private companies that

could commercialize the ideas of his students. Its first tenant was Varian Associates, where Clara Jobs worked. “Terman came up with this great idea that did more than anything to cause the tech industry to grow up here,” Jobs said. By the time Jobs

was ten, HP had nine thousand

employees and was the blue-chip

company where every engineer seeking

financial stability wanted to work.

“The Hsüeh family have plenty of money, so that if your Worship

“The Hsüeh family have plenty of money, so that if your Worship adjudicates that they should pay five hundred,

they can afford it, or one thousand will also be within their means; and this sum can be handed to the Feng family to meet the outlay of burning incense and burial expenses. The Feng family are, besides, people of not much consequence,

and (the fuss made by them) being simply for money, they too will, when they have got the cash in hand,

have nothing more to say. But may it please your worship to consider carefully this plan and see what you think of it?”

“It isn’t a safe course! It isn’t a safe course!” Yü-ts’un observed as he smiled. “Let me further think and deliberate; and possibly by succeeding in suppressing public criticism, the matter might also be settled.”

These two closed their consultation by a fixed determination, and the next day, when he sat in judgment, he marked off a whole company of the plaintiffs as well as of the accused,

as were mentioned by name, and had them brought before him. Yü-ts’un examined them with additional minuteness, and discovered in point of fact, that the inmates of the Feng family were extremely few,

that they merely relied upon this charge with the idea of obtaining some compensation for joss-sticks and burials; and that the Hsüeh family,

presuming on their prestige and confident of patronage, had been obstinate in the refusal to make any mutual concession,

with the result that confusion had supervened, and that no decision had been arrived at.

Following readily the bent of his feelings, Yü-ts’un disregarded the laws,

and adjudicated this suit in a random way;

and as the Feng family came in for a considerable sum,

with which to meet the expense for incense and the funeral, they had, after all,

not very much to say (in the way of objections.)

Yü-ts’un drooped his head for a considerable time.What is there

Yü-ts’un drooped his head for a considerable time.

“What is there in your idea to be done?” he at length inquired.

“Your servant,” responded the Retainer, “has already devised a most excellent plan. It’s this: To-morrow, when your Lordship sits in court, you should,

merely for form’s sake, make much ado, by despatching letters and issuing warrants for the arrest of the culprits. The murderer will naturally not be

forthcoming; and as the plaintiffs will be strong in their displeasure, you will of course have some members of the clan of the Hsüeh family, together with a few

servants and others, taken into custody, and examined under torture, when your servant will be behind the scenes to bring matters to a settlement, by bidding

them report that the victim had succumbed to a sudden ailment, and by urging the whole number of the kindred, as well as the headmen of the place, to hand in a declaration to that effect. Your Worship can aver that you understand perfectly

how to write charms in dust, and conjure the spirit; having had an altar, covered with dust, placed in the court, you should bid the military and people to come and

look on to their heart’s content. Your Worship can give out that the divining spirit has declared: ‘that the deceased, Feng Yüan, and Hsüeh P’an had been enemies

in a former life, that having now met in the narrow road, their destinies were consummated; that Hsüeh P’an has, by this time, contracted some indescribable

That as the calamity had originated entirely from the action of the kidnapper, exclusive of dealing with the kidnapper according to law, the rest need not be

interfered with, and so on. Your servant will be in the background to speak to the kidnapper and urge him to make a full confession;

and when people find that the response of the divining spirit harmonizes

with the statements of the kidnapper,

they will, as a matter of course,

entertain no suspicion.

“Your worship,” remarked the Retainer smiling, “displayed, in years

“Your worship,” remarked the Retainer smiling, “displayed, in years gone by, such great intelligence and decision, and how is it that today you, on the contrary,

become a person without any resources! Your servant has heard that the promotion of your worship to fill up this office is due to the exertions of the Chia

and Wang families; and as this Hsüeh P’an is a relative of the Chia mansion, why doesn’t your worship take your craft along with the stream, and bring, by the

performance of a kindness, this case to an issue, so that you may again in days to come,

be able to go and face the two Dukes Chia and Wang?”

“What you suggest,” replied Yü-ts’un, “is, of course, right enough; but this case involves a human life, and honoured as I have been, by His Majesty the Emperor,

by a restoration to office, and selection to an appointment, how can I at the very moment, when I may strain

all my energies to show my gratitude, by reason of a

private consideration, set the laws at nought? This is a thing which I really haven’t the courage to do.”

“What your worship says is naturally right and proper,” remarked the Retainer at these words,

smiling sarcastically, “but at the present stage of the world, such

things cannot be done. Haven’t you heard the saying of a man of old to the effect

that great men take action suitable to the times. ‘He who presses,’ he adds, ‘towards what is auspicious and avoids what is inauspicious is a perfect man.’

From what your worship says, not only you couldn’t, by any display of zeal, repay your obligation to His Majesty, but, what is more,

your own life you will find it

difficult to preserve.

There are still three more considerations

necessary to insure a safe settlement.”

“But who would believe that the world is but full of disappointments!

“But who would believe that the world is but full of disappointments! On the succeeding day,

it came about that the kidnapper again sold her to the Hsüeh family! Had he disposed of her to any other party, no harm would anyhow have resulted; but this young gentleman Hsüeh, who is nicknamed by all,

‘the Foolish and overbearing Prince,’ is the most perverse and passionate being in the whole world. What is more, he throws money away as if it were dust. The day on which he gave the thrashing

with blows like falling leaves and flowing water, he dragged (lit. pull alive, drag dead) Ying Lien away more dead than alive, by sheer force, and no one, even up to this date,

is aware whether she be among the dead or the living. This young Feng had a spell of empty happiness; for (not only) was his wish not fulfilled, but on the contrary he spent money and lost his life; and was not this a lamentable case?”

When Yü-ts’un heard this account he also heaved a sigh. “This was indeed,” he observed, “a retribution in store for them! Their encounter was likewise not accidental; for had it been, how was it that this Feng Yüan took a fancy to Ying Lien?

“This Ying Lien had, during all these years, to endure much harsh treatment from the hands of the kidnapper, and had, at length, obtained the means of escape; and being besides full of warm feeling,

had he actually made her his wife, and had they come together, the event would certainly have been happy; but, as luck would have it, there occurred again this contretemps.

“This Hsüeh is, it is true, more laden with riches and honours than Feng was, but when we bear in mind what kind of man he is he certainly,

with his large bevy of handmaids, and his licentious and inordinate habits, cannot ever be held equal to Feng Yüan, who had set his heart upon one person! This may appositely be termed a fantastic sentimental destiny,

which, by a strange coincidence,

befell a couple consisting of an ill-fated young fellow and girl!

But why discuss third parties?

The only thing now is how to decide this case,

so as to put things right.”

“How could I possibly know?” answered Yü-ts’un. “And yet,”

“How could I possibly know?” answered Yü-ts’un.


“And yet,” remarked the Retainer, as he laughed coldly, “this is a person to whom you are indebted for great obligations; for she is no one else than the daughter of Mr. Chen, who lived next door to the Hu Lu temple. Her infant name is ‘Ying Lien.’”

“What! is it really she?” exclaimed Yü-ts’un full of surprise. “I heard that she had been kidnapped, ever since she was five years old; but has she only been sold recently?”

“Kidnappers of this kind,” continued the Retainer, “only abduct infant girls, whom they bring up till they reach the age of twelve or thirteen, when they take them into strange districts and dispose of them through their agents. In days gone by,

we used daily to coax this girl, Ying Lien, to romp with us, so that we got to be exceedingly friendly. Hence it is that though, with the lapse of seven or eight years, her mien has assumed a more surpassingly lovely appearance,

her general features have, on the other hand, undergone no change; and this is why I can recognise her. Besides, in the centre of her two eyebrows, she had a spot, of the size of a grain of rice, of carnation colour,

which she has had ever since she was born into the world. This kidnapper, it also happened, rented my house to live in; and on a certain day, on which the kidnapper was not at home, I even set her a few questions. She said,

‘that the kidnapper had so beaten her, that she felt intimidated, and couldn’t on any account, venture to speak out; simply averring that the kidnapper was her own father, and that, as he had no funds to repay his debts, he had consequently disposed of her by sale!’ I tried time after time to induce her to answer me,

but she again gave way to tears and added no more than: ‘I don’t really remember anything of my youth.’ Of this, anyhow, there can be no doubt;

on a certain day the young man Feng and the kidnapper met, said the money was paid down; but as the kidnapper happened to be intoxicated, Ying Lien exclaimed, as she sighed: ‘My punishment has this day been consummated!’ Later on again, when she heard that young Feng would, after three days, have her taken

over to his house, she once more underwent a change and put on such a sorrowful look that, unable to brook the sight of it, I waited till the kidnapper went out, when I again told my wife to go and cheer her by representing to

her that this Mr. Feng’s fixed purpose to wait for a propitious day, on which to come and take her over, was ample proof that he would not look upon her as a servant-girl. ‘Furthermore,’ (explained my wife to her), ‘he is a sort of

person exceedingly given to fast habits, and has at home ample means to live upon, so that if, besides, with his extreme aversion to women, he actually purchases you now, at a fancy price, you should be able to guess the issue,

without any explanation. You have to bear suspense only for two or three days,

and what need is there to be sorrowful and dejected?’

After these assurances,

she became somewhat composed,

flattering herself that she would from henceforth have a home of her own.

When Joanne found out that her baby had been placed with a

When Joanne found out that her baby had been placed with a couple who had not even graduated from high school, she refused to sign the adoption papers.

The standoff lasted weeks, even after the baby had settled into the Jobs household. Eventually Joanne relented, with the stipulation that the couple promise—indeed sign a pledge—to fund a savings account to pay for the boy’s college education.

There was another reason that Joanne was balky about signing the adoption papers. Her father was about to die, and she planned to marry Jandali soon after. She held

out hope, she would later tell family members, sometimes tearing up at the memory, that once they were married, she could get their baby boy back.

Arthur Schieble died in August 1955, after the adoption was finalized. Just after Christmas that year, Joanne and Abdulfattah were married in St. Philip the Apostle

Catholic Church in Green Bay. He got his PhD in international politics the next year, and then they had another child, a girl named Mona. After she and Jandali divorced

in 1962, Joanne embarked on a dreamy and peripatetic life that her daughter, who grew up to become the acclaimed novelist Mona Simpson, would capture in her

book Anywhere but Here.

Because Steve’s adoption had been closed,

it would be twenty years before

they would all find each other.

Jandali was the youngest of nine children in a prominent Syrian

Jandali was the youngest of nine children in a prominent Syrian family. His father owned oil refineries and multiple other businesses, with large holdings in Damascus and Homs, and at one point pretty much controlled the price of wheat in the region.


His mother, he later said, was a “traditional Muslim woman” who was a “conservative, obedient housewife.” Like the Schieble family, the Jandalis put a premium on education. Abdulfattah was sent to a Jesuit boarding school, even

though he was Muslim, and he got an undergraduate degree at the American University in Beirut before entering the University of Wisconsin to pursue a doctoral degree in political science.

In the summer of 1954, Joanne went with Abdulfattah to Syria. They spent two months in Homs, where she learned from his family to cook Syrian dishes. When they returned to Wisconsin she discovered that she was pregnant. They were both

twenty-three, but they decided not to get married. Her father was dying at the time, and he had threatened to disown her if she wed Abdulfattah. Nor was abortion an easy option in a small Catholic community. So in early 1955, Joanne traveled to San

Francisco, where she was taken into the care of a kindly doctor who sheltered unwed mothers, delivered their babies, and quietly arranged closed adoptions.

Joanne had one requirement: Her child must be adopted by college graduates. So the doctor arranged for the baby to be placed with a lawyer and his wife. But when a

boy was born—on February 24, 1955—the designated couple decided that they wanted a girl and backed out. Thus it was that the boy became the son not of a

lawyer but of a high school dropout with

a passion for mechanics and his salt-of-the-earth wife who

was working as a bookkeeper.

Paul and Clara named their new baby Steven Paul Jobs.