On August 9, 2014 in Mountain View, the Computer History Museum exhibited “Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985-2000.” This collection is just a sample of the 250,000 images taken by photojournalist Doug Menuez taken during that period.
Thirty years ago, Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple, an organization he had helped build. It did not stop him. He created Next computers. The genius of Steve Jobs was bringing out the genius of others and making the most of it. He recognized the talents of Doug Menuez from his images in newspapers and magazines. Jobs gave him complete access. He did not tell the photographer what cameras to use or who to take pictures of. The result was a series of remarkable historic images capturing the people who changed the world.
Menuez sees a bigger picture from all the little ones. There is a trend from open, inclusive cultures based on sharing to closed, exclusive cultures based on greed and exploitation. Organizations that used to meet in community college classrooms now meet in gated mansions. While this might create jobs in other countries, it does not help most people in America. Without middle class jobs there are few paths to success for the next Steve Jobs.
We owe a debt to people like Menuez who had the foresight to take these images. Imagine if you had an independent photojournalist who was willing to accurately document every important event in your organization. Of course, you would have credit their work and they could make money from the images in magazines etc. but the publicity and legacy it would promote would be worth it.
Real visionaries show us what they see. If history is written by the winners, it is also photographed. This exhibit is an inspiration to archive and display my own collection of Silicon Valley history.
Copyright 2014 DJ Cline All rights reserved.