William Shockley brought America's hot minds to California to work on silicon-based transistors, but when his demands became unreasonable, they all quit - and went on to do great things without him.
Before Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, there was the "Fairchild Eight," a team of young geniuses who discovered an everlasting treasure in the sands of Palo Alto. Travel back to the 1950s and witness the dawn of the electronics revolution, as told by the forefathers who built Silicon Valley from the ground up. This innovative film, by the writer of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, reveals how determination, jealousy, and the sheer joy of making the impossible possible drove these men to build the future and reinvent the American Dream.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel on air.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.