That is the new and excellent history by Leslie Berlin, substantive throughout, here is one good bit of many:
In March 1967, Robert and Taylor, jointly leading a meeting of ARPA’s principal investigators in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told the researchers that ARPA was going to build a computer network and they were all expected to connect to it. The principle investigators were not enthusiastic. They were busy running their labs and doing their own work. They saw no real reason to add this network to their responsibilities. Researchers with more powerful computers worried that those with less computing power would use the network to commandeer precious computing cycles. “If I could not get some ARPA-funded participants involved in a commitment to a purpose higher than “Who is going to steal the next ten percent of my memory cycles?”, there would be no network,” Taylor later wrote. Roberts agreed: “They wanted to buy their own machines and hide in the corner.”
While piecing together a timeline of the Valley’s early history—picture end-to-end sheets of paper covered in black dots—Berlin was amazed to discover a period of rapid-fire innovation between 1969 and 1976 that included the first Arpanet transmission; the birth of videogames; and the launch of Apple, Atari, Genentech, and major venture firms such as Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital. “I just thought, ‘What the heck was going on in those years?’ ” she says.