"Q&A With Adam Fisher"

"Q&A With Adam Fisher"

Book: Valley of Genius 

Photos Courtesy of Adam Fisher

Author: Adam Fisher

Author Bio:

"Adam Fisher grew up in Silicon Valley playing Atari, programming computers, and reading science fiction. He still lives in the Bay Area but now spends his time thinking about the future, tracing its origins, and writing about it - for Wired, MIT Technology Review, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine.

Valley of Genius is his first book, and the author would like to thank you personally for reading it! Visit him at ValleyofGenius.com for audio clips, rare photos, outtakes, and other neat Silicon Valley stuff..."


1.  What attracts so many companies to Silicon Valley?

The weather and the opportunity. Both are incredible!  


2.  Venture Capitalist, Paul Graham, has stated that in order to create a new Silicon Valley, “I think you only need two kinds of people: rich people and nerds. — because they're the only ones present when startups get started.” Do you agree?

I do agree. You need the people with the ideas (the nerds) and then the money to bet on those ideas (thus rich people, who can afford to lose their riches on bad bets). 


3.  What was the craziest thing you learned about Silicon Valley that didn’t make the book?

I could tell you -- but then I would have to kill you! :-)


4. Who would you say is on the Mount Rushmore of Silicon Valley?

Nolan Bushnell, Steve Jobs, Jim Clark, and Elon Musk.


5.  What are some negative stereotypes about the Silicon Valley that you found are not true?

That it's all about money and power. 


6.  What wave that struck the Silicon Valley would you say had the most influential impact, the hardware of the 1970s and 80s, the Internet of the 1990s, or Social Media in the early 2000s and 10s?

 It's definitely the Internet and all that the connectedness enables, hands down. 


7.  You write about the values of Silicon Valley. Values such as financial values, technical values, and artistic values. What value would you say resonates with you most?

The humanistic values: the burning desire to create something that enables human flourishing. 


8.  Do the big tech companies of Silicon Valley directly influence tax bills and other legislation on Capitol Hill? If so, should Big Tech be more careful about their interactions with Capitol Hill

All big companies directly influence legislation. And so forget about Big Tech, I think that it is Capitol Hill that should be more careful about issues of regulatory capture in general... because the most important thing is a level playing field.


9.  With cities like Austin and Seattle becoming ever more popular with new startups and existing companies, how do you see the Silicon Valley shapeshifting in the upcoming decades?

I think there will be many "Silicon Valleys" springing up, with the one in Northern California being first among equals, because it will continue to be the center of the venture capital business. 


10.  How different would the United States look today if the Silicon Valley never came to be?

It would be poorer, less influential, and less interesting... in short, more boring but  possibly more sane. 


11.  Is there such a thing as a “Golden Age” of the Silicon Valley, and if so, when do you think it was?

There were several: Early Atari, early Apple, early Internet. Sadly we are in a not-so-Golden Age right now... but everything in Silicon Valley is cyclical, so soon it will return,  I trust. 


12.  What’s your best advice for getting over writer’s block?

Make writing your business, so if you don't write, you don't eat. 


13.  What’s the best book you have read this year so far?

I'm reading The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson right now and can't put it down! 


14.  What’s the best advice you have ever received on happiness?

"It's not the destination, it's the journey" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


15.  Do you plan on writing more books in the future? 

Most definitely!


Places To Find More From This Author:

Linkedin: Adam Fisher

Twitter: @adamcfisher


Get Your Copy of Valley of Genius Today!

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