Farewell, Gene Kleiner

Silicon Valley lost another of its quiet titans last week, when Gene Kleiner passed away. Kleiner led the famous “traitorous eight” who fled Shockley Semiconductor and effectively started the semiconductor industry, then founded with Tom Perkins the eponymous venture capital giant that still bears their names.

We live in perilous times for Silicon Valley–post-bubble pessimism and the threat of outsourcing cast a pall over the optimism that has made the Valley the world’s greatest engine for technological and economic growth. Losing the gentle wisdom of wise men like Bill Hewlett, David Packard, and Gene Kleiner makes the challenges that face us even greater.

I heartily encourage all of you to take some time and consider the lessons we can learn from the history of the Valley, and to thank those that came before us.

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