How the government built Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley has long been seen as the bread basket of commercial technology. But in this episode of our Project 38 podcast, author Margaret O'Mara describes how the federal government helped create that global technology engine and how its role continues today.
O'Mara is the author of the newly-released book "The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America" that details the history of the technology industry, American politics and the connections between both worlds.
In our conversation here, O'Mara discusses lessons learned along the way and why the relationship between industry and government may ebb and flow but will never fade away.
While amounts of government funding in research grants and contract spending has been important, the greater impact was on how the government spent those funds to foster an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Her book explains how the companies and technologies developed, but also the people and relationships that drove the tech world forward.
The world is certainly different. But what the government wants from the Valley and what the Valley wants from the government remain critical to national security and economic growth.