The Oral History Of Regis McKenna

Pavol Kutaj
2 min readDec 14, 2021


The aim of this page📝 is share some notes from the Oral History of Regis Mckenna talking at length about his experience of the creation of Silicon Valley from the 1963 up until 2010s.

1. pt 1

  • 1h:2min 1963, coming to California as a salesman
  • 1h:18min 1966, joining GME that split from Fairchild Semiconductor — selling mainly to the military market
  • 1h:25min A general point on how technology is created — tech business in Silicon Valley — from experimentation and handcrafting, similar to the story of Airbnb in the Masters of Scale podcast
  • 1h:36min Factors of success for experimenting startups: It is not just know-how. You need the right backing — First, Fairchild. HP labs backed by HP. Commercial enterprises support their labs. Startups were failing a lot. More recently VC community.
  • 1h:40min On leaders in Silicon Valley in the late 60s. Difficult to say. Fairchild had a long tail of people with expertise. Semiconductors were the business.
  • 1h:45min On culture of Silicon Valley in late 60s. The start is microelectronics and applying circuitry into machine tools. Different kinds of instrumentation — medical, sonograms, etc. Circuitry became more sophisticated.
  • 1h:50min Why risk-taking and innovation took roots in SV and not anywhere else. Characters were appearing against the eastcoast bunch like IBM, etc. — the characters are renegade west coasters (as expressed in 1984 Apple Commercial).
  • 1h:58min Moving from GME to National Semiconductor after GME was bought by Philco and got destroyed.

2. links



Pavol Kutaj

Today I Learnt | Infrastructure Support Engineer at with a passion for cloud infrastructure/terraform/python/docs. More at