Fearless geniuses – an exhibition by Doug Menuez

The award-winning photographer Doug Menuez (www.menuez.com) based in New York had the privilege to document in his photographs the digital revolution taking place in Silicon Valley in California; the revolution that has completely changed the world. He started his project called Fearless Genius (www.amazon.com/Fearless-Genius-Digital-Revolution-1985-2000/dp/1476752699) with Steve Jobs in 1985, when Jobs had lost the power struggle with Apple’s management at the time.

Bill Gates

Jobs, who was setting up a new company, NeXT, with the aim of building a supercomputer that would transform education, put great trust in the photographer, who was allowed to take photos of Jobs almost anytime. As soon as the other big guns in Silicon Valley learnt that Menuez had free access to protograph the genius forced out of Apple, they granted the same complete access as Jobs had. So Menuez was able to take photos of any of the gurus. He photographed more than seventy leading companies and innovators including Gordon Moore and Andy Groove (Intel), John Warnock (Adobe), Bill Joy (Sun Microsystems). He was there in the Valley in the 1990s too, at the time of the internet explosion. Menuez completed his project in 2000, when the dotcom bubble burst, and an extraordinary historic era came to an end.

Stanford Libraries hold the photography archives of Menuez, which includes 250 thousand negatives. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View made a selection of these negatives, and presents the photos at the exhibition Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985-2000. The exhibition is open to visitors from 9 July to 7 September. The book with the same title was released on 3 June.