Founded in 1955, Shockley Semiconductor was the brainchild of William Shockley. When he was ready to leave Bell Labs, he decided to form a company to build transistors. Funded by Beckman Instruments, the company opened for business in Palo Alto, CA, near Stanford University. Shockley pulled together a team of talented young men who have been referred to as the greatest collection of electronic geniuses ever assembled.
The lifetime of the company was short. Shockley's managing style drove eight of the employees away within a year. The company was never a big money maker and was sold to Clevite Transistor in April of 1960. While it may not have been a success financially, its impact was large. Shockley Semiconductor was the first semiconductor company to arrive in that area of California -- it gave birth to Silicon Valley.
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