An Opera About Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was beloved by millions, as it was made clear when he died.  The man, the myth and the legend epitomize much about Steve.  And now we have two new movies out about him.  The Man in The Machine was a well done documentary that captured much of what I have read about Jobs and his personal life.  Interestingly, I believe Jobs is discussed so much in the press because of a marketing strategy that Regis McKenna adopted early on- to humanize Jobs, and make him personal and accessible.  That worked well, especially since they were marketing a personal computer.

So- if you happen to be in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, you might want to check out “The Revolution Of Steve Jobs”, starting in 2017.  This beats the graphic novel that was written about him.  I’m just waiting for one of those portrait paintings like the one of Kramer to become popular as well.


Beer Brewers in San Jose

Did you know that California leads the country in craft beer production?

251(we like to collect local memorabilia, such as this porcelain cap for a local bottling company)

Did you know that breweries were a significant part of Silicon Valley’s economy over 100 years ago?


There were several breweries, but the largest was the Fredericksburg Brewery.


Photo credit:  History San Jose  (You can order prints from History San Jose from their archives)

You can now visit that old Fredericksburg/Falstaff  location and do some wine tasting, as the J. Lohr  Winery is located on the site of the old brewery:

We are seeing the re-emergence of San Jose as a center for beer brewers, something that ended about 100 years ago.  Here is a great article by Scott Herhold about the origins of the brewery business in the area:


Current NEW craft breweries in San Jose include:

Clandestine Brewing:

Strike Brewing Co:

Mission Creek Brewing Co:

Santa Clara Valley Brewing:


And here is a nice summary of the history of historic Fredericksburg Brewery:

Can We Get INSIDE Apple or Facebook?

The most commonly asked question we hear is “Can we visit inside Google/Apple/Facebook”?  The short answer is no.   Silicon Valley companies do not open their doors to groups, and they especially don’t open their doors to tour companies.  They will, however, arrange tours for the right kind of group with the right kind of connections.  If you have a connection at any of these companies, by all means try to get a personal tour.  If you are able to get a short tour inside a company due to your own connections, we are happy to integrate it into our broader tour of Silicon Valley.  Some of the customers that we have seen successful getting inside tours include convention attendees, business owners or media.

One of the most famous examples of Silicon Valley secrets being stolen is the inside tour that Jobs was given at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), in exchange for selling Xerox 100,000 shares of Apple.  Once Steve saw the graphic user interface and mouse, he went back to Apple and incorporated it into the Macintosh. Graphic User Interface, commonly referred to as GUI, formed the personal computers we know today.   When understanding GUI, think of WIMP- window, icon, menu and pointing device, which is the most usual configuration.

The tour given to Steve Jobs was a revolutionary moment in Silicon Valley history.  It was a perfect example of Silicon Valley innovation:  building on and improving the ideas of others- some would say by stealing ideas.  It also perfectly demonstrates why tech companies don’t relish the idea of entertaining tour groups.   Apart from the inconvenience/secrecy issues hosting such a group impose, it detracts from their primary mission.  They are in business to make money, after all.  Not a lot of work gets done entertaining groups.

For those of you interested in learning more about the PARC/JOBS story, here is Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker Piece on the PARC tour and the Creation Myth:

And here is another in depth review about  what actually happened on those tours:


Since you can’t go inside the companies, what do we offer on our tours?  We will take you inside the Computer History Museum, the Intel Museum, the Apple Employee Store and the Symantec  Corporate Cafeteria (lunch cost is additional).  We will take photos at the Googleplex and Facebook and drive by Linked In and NASA.  We customize each tour to ensure that you see as much as possible while in Silicon Valley!