Nearly every day while I'm staying with friends in Palo Alto, I pass by the famed Hewlett-Packard garage where Dave and Bill tinkered at 367 Addison Street and admire the magnolia tree out front as well.
"Dave Packard had gone to Schenectady to work at General Electric. He was told that there was no future in electronics at General Electric and that he should instead concentrate on generators, motors and other heavier equipment."
The rest of HP story of the early days is fascinating in terms of how scrappy any early venture and adventure is, and I've linked to it here.
The actual historical plaque marking "The Birthplace of Silicon Valley" at the house gives much praise and credit to a mentor and professor for encouraging them to make their art right where they were. I was intrigued by professor Terman and so looked him up:
.... Frederick Terman reflected, "When we set out to create a community of technical scholars in Silicon Valley, there wasn't much here and the rest of the world looked awfully big. Now a lot of the rest of the world is here."
When once asked whether he wanted his university [Stanford] to be a teaching institution or a research institution, he replied that "it should be a learning institution". -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Terman
I found that statement quite inspiring for me. I'm not into teaching, lecturing, imparting, nor researching as much as continual learning, experimentation and exploration.