Revolution in The Valley by Andy Hertzfeld
  • Title: Revolution in The Valley
  • Subtitle: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made
  • Author(s): Andy Hertzfeld, Lothar Hertzfeld, Steve Capps
  • Publisher: "O'Reilly Media, Inc."
  • Year: 2005
  • ISBN-10: 0596007191
  • ISBN-13: 9780596007195


“Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made” by Andy Hertzfeld is a captivating account of the development and creation of Apple’s iconic Macintosh computer. Targeted at technology enthusiasts, history buffs, and Apple fans, the book offers an insider’s perspective on the early days of Apple and the team of brilliant engineers who worked tirelessly to bring the Macintosh to life. Through a series of anecdotes, personal recollections, and behind-the-scenes stories, Hertzfeld paints a vivid picture of the challenges, triumphs, and innovative spirit that defined the Mac’s development.

The book’s primary target audience is technology enthusiasts and Apple aficionados who seek an in-depth understanding of the Macintosh’s genesis. Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original members of the Macintosh team, provides firsthand insights into the development process, including technical hurdles, creative breakthroughs, and the collaborative nature of the team. His storytelling captures the passion and dedication that Steve Jobs and his team poured into creating a revolutionary computer. Additionally, the book appeals to history scholars and researchers interested in the history of technology and the birth of personal computing. “Revolution in The Valley” serves as a valuable historical record of the events, people, and decisions that led to the Macintosh’s successful launch, offering valuable lessons on innovation and the impact of visionary leadership in the tech industry.

Book Review

“Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made” by Andy Hertzfeld is a delightful and nostalgic journey through the early days of Apple and the creation of the revolutionary Macintosh computer. As one of the key members of the Macintosh team, Hertzfeld provides an intimate and authentic account of the challenges, triumphs, and camaraderie that defined this iconic project.

One of the book’s strengths is its ability to transport readers back to the 1980s, offering a firsthand look at the vibrant and innovative culture at Apple. Hertzfeld’s writing style is engaging, humorous, and infused with genuine passion for the work they were doing. He shares anecdotes that capture the spirit of the team and their relentless pursuit of perfection. For example, Hertzfeld recounts the hurdles they faced in designing the original Macintosh’s memory system and how Steve Jobs pushed them to achieve the seemingly impossible: “Steve was excited about the prospect of more memory, and so he kept pushing me, asking ‘How many chips will it take? Can you make it fewer? How many chips will it take now? Can you make it fewer now?’ He was driving me crazy, but he was instilling the value of minimalism in me at the same time.”

The book also sheds light on the personalities and dynamics within the Macintosh team, showcasing Steve Jobs’ visionary leadership and his relentless pursuit of excellence. It reveals how Jobs’ intense passion and charisma inspired his team to overcome obstacles and deliver groundbreaking innovations. Another memorable example is when Hertzfeld recalls Jobs’ vision for the Macintosh user interface: “Steve believed that the primary role of the computer was to be a ‘bicycle for the mind,’ and that the way the computer would change the world was by empowering the individual, not the institution. He wanted the Macintosh to be as ‘insanely great’ as he believed it could be.” This profound vision and commitment to user experience were instrumental in shaping the Macintosh’s iconic graphical user interface, which changed the course of computing history.

In conclusion, “Revolution in The Valley” is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of Apple, the birth of the Macintosh, and the creative process behind one of the most significant technological innovations of our time. Andy Hertzfeld’s personal insights and anecdotes offer a unique and intimate perspective on the people and events that shaped the early days of Apple, making it an invaluable resource for technology enthusiasts, Apple fans, and anyone curious about the human side of innovation.

Word Count: 422

Target Audience

“Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made” by Andy Hertzfeld is targeted at a diverse audience interested in the history of technology, the early days of Apple, and the creation of one of the most influential computers in history. The book is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Technology Enthusiasts and Apple Fans For technology enthusiasts and fans of Apple, “Revolution in The Valley” provides an inside look into the development of the Macintosh, offering detailed accounts of the engineering, design, and creative process that led to its revolutionary features. Readers who are passionate about the history of computing and the iconic Macintosh will appreciate the firsthand anecdotes and insights from one of the key members of the Macintosh team, Andy Hertzfeld. The book celebrates the ingenuity and spirit of innovation that shaped the early days of Apple, making it an engrossing read for technology enthusiasts who want to learn more about the birth of a computing icon.

  • History Scholars and Researchers “Revolution in The Valley” is recommended for scholars and researchers interested in the history of technology and the development of the personal computer revolution. Andy Hertzfeld’s detailed accounts and firsthand experiences provide valuable primary sources for those studying the early days of Apple, the influence of Steve Jobs, and the dynamics of the tech industry during that era. The book offers a historical context for understanding the impact of the Macintosh on the future of computing and its lasting legacy in the tech world.

  • Creatives and Innovators The book appeals to creatives and innovators who are curious about the design and creative process that went into creating the Macintosh’s iconic user interface. Andy Hertzfeld’s stories of collaboration, problem-solving, and pushing the boundaries of technology offer valuable insights and inspiration for those looking to harness creativity and innovation in their own projects. The book’s emphasis on the human side of innovation and the importance of vision and leadership make it a compelling read for those seeking to understand how groundbreaking products like the Macintosh come to life.

  • Apple Employees and Tech Industry Professionals For current and former Apple employees, as well as professionals in the tech industry, “Revolution in The Valley” provides a unique perspective on the company’s early days and the culture that defined Apple’s approach to product development. The book highlights the passion, dedication, and teamwork that contributed to the success of the Macintosh project, offering valuable lessons for those working in the tech industry today.

In conclusion, “Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made” is recommended reading for a broad audience interested in the history of technology, the story behind Apple’s Macintosh, and the spirit of innovation that shaped the tech industry. Andy Hertzfeld’s engaging storytelling and firsthand accounts of the Macintosh project make it an accessible and insightful read for technology enthusiasts, history scholars, creatives, industry professionals, and Apple fans alike. The book offers a fascinating and nostalgic journey back to the early days of computing, celebrating the visionaries and engineers who dared to dream big and change the world through technology.