The dot-com boom and subsequent bust was the most spectacular and formative periods in recent history, shaping much of what the current landscape of technology looks like. Photojournalist Doug Menuez was at the center of it all to capture the phenomenon. Afforded insider access to the most prominent figures in Silicon Valley during this time, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Ballmer and more, Menuez was able to capture the highest highs and lowest lows of those involved in this whirlwind of technological ambition and innovation, resulting in a series of intense photos spanning 15 years that have been compiled into his new book, Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985-2000. Read an excerpt below, and head to Mashable for more images from the book.
The people I photographed were on a mission. In the early days, money was secondary to inventing impossibly cool, new technology that would improve our lives. Their idealism and passion combined with patient, long-term investors did lead to lots of failures, but it also allowed staggering, unprecedented successes to flower.
And history mattered — Steve Jobs understood this and pumped the giants who’d built the Valley for all their knowledge, which shaped his later success. Today’s entrepreneurs and innovators could surely benefit from the lessons within the history of the digital revolution while we figure out how to catch the next wave to the next tech revolution. It’s coming, and it’s going to be mind-blowing. I can’t wait.