1957年，27岁的戈登•摩尔刚从加州理工学院（Caltech）毕业不久就被威廉•肖克利招入麾下，加入了由其创办的肖克利半导体实验室（Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory）。肖克利曾因参与发明晶体管而荣获诺贝尔奖，然而他晚年提出的一些颇具争议的优生学观点却让他成了“社会的弃儿”。但在当时，他网罗了科技界的年轻英才，组建了一只梦之队，其中包括28岁的鲍勃•诺伊斯。然而，这些天才明星们却无法忍受他们的老板，于是，不到一年时间，摩尔、诺伊斯和其他六人便离开了肖克利。怒不可遏的肖克利称他们是“八叛逆”。后来，这八个人成立了仙童半导体公司（Fairchild Semiconductor），可最终“八叛逆”也先后离开仙童半导体，由此又诞生了更多公司。成立仙童十年之后，由于无法忍受企业惰性，摩尔和诺伊斯也选择了离开。1968年，他们创办了另外一家公司——英特尔（Intel），最终这家公司成为半导体行业的翘楚。
自1998年退休之后，现年83岁的摩尔便把自己的主要精力投入到价值数十亿美元的戈登与贝蒂•摩尔基金会（Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation），该基金主要关注环境保护、科技、病患护理和旧金山湾区的生活。摩尔在英特尔工作了30年，期间超过10年担任CEO。在此期间，他提出了大名鼎鼎的“摩尔定律”，即计算机芯片上可以容纳的晶体管数量每18至24个月将翻一番。
摩尔出生的小村庄位于太平洋海岸，毗邻硅谷。现在，摩尔大部分时间都居住在夏威夷。他与妻子，现年62岁的贝蒂，在硅谷还有一栋豪宅。在硅谷的家中，他的书房里到处都是书籍、钓鱼的照片和各种奖杯，还有一个安装在地板上的巨大地球仪。最近，摩尔接受了《财富》杂志（Fortune）戴维•A•卡普兰的采访。摩尔回顾了他在科技界的充实生活，他的创业精神，他的好运，钓深海旗鱼的经历，还有他的慈善事业，以及参加比尔•盖茨与沃伦•巴菲特发起的“捐赠誓言”活动（The Giving Pledge ，即所有超级富豪同意捐赠一半财产）的经过。
Gordon Moore has been present at the creation of three legendary companies of Silicon Valley. You could call him one of the founding fathers of the place. Yet he calls himself the ultimate "accidental entrepreneur."
At 27, not long out of Caltech, he was recruited in 1957 by William Shockley, who was creating Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory. Shockley -- he won the Nobel Prize for co-inventing the transistor but was a pariah by the end of his life because of his strident views on eugenics -- had put together a dream team of young technical talent that included 28-year-old Bob Noyce. But Shockley's stars couldn't stand their boss, and before the year was out, Moore, Noyce, and six others -- the "Traitorous Eight," Shockley supposedly branded them -- left. They launched Fairchild Semiconductor, which itself became a company to leave, in turn begetting dozens of companies. A decade after founding Fairchild, frustrated again by corporate inertia, Moore and Noyce themselves bolted Fairchild. Their next startup, in 1968: Intel, a leader of the microprocessor industry.
Moore, now 83, retired in 1998 to devote his energies to the multibillion-dollar Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which focuses on conservation, science, patient care, and life in the Bay Area. In his 30 years at Intel (INTC), he served as CEO for more than a decade. Along the way he came up with what's widely known as Moore's law, which states that the number of transistors the industry can place on a computer chip will double every 18 to 24 months.
Born near Silicon Valley in a small village by the Pacific, Moore now spends most of his time on Hawaii. He and his wife of 62 years, Betty, do keep a stately home in Silicon Valley. There, in his study -- surrounded by books, fishing photos, awards, and a giant floor-mounted globe -- Moore recently spoke to Fortune's David A. Kaplan. Moore reflected on a life well-lived in science, entrepreneurship, serendipity, fishing for deep-sea marlin, and philanthropy, and on joining Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's The Giving Pledge (in which the super-wealthy agree to give away half their wealth).
He talked about Noyce, Shockley, Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs -- and that while he surely was un assuming, he was as fiercely competitive as any other early Valley rebel. Edited excerpts:
Q: As you look back on more than 60 years in the Valley, what surprises you?
A: Oh, no -- we planned it all from the beginning! Well, I was initially surprised that people wanted the transistors we built back in the Fairchild days. And the development of the technology is so far beyond anything we could have imagined.
Was that something you stopped worrying about?
I had to worry a bit about it. I remember once giving a talk describing all the large increases in capacity we were putting in place and scaring the analysts, who wondered who was going to use all that stuff.
What about today?
I'm not close enough to it. I see the same things outsiders see: Intel putting in tremendous capacity, and the market is growing in portable devices, where Intel hasn't had a very strong position. I read that there are more of those portable devices than people in the world. That's unbelievable.
When you observe the Valley today, do you still recognize its culture, its values, its ethos?
I think so. It continues to evolve, but basically it's still a place to do startups. A few become very successful.
Have the people changed?
They have generally different skill sets now. Software applications are where all the big deals seem to be. I don't understand why things like Facebook (FB) and other social media deals get the attention they do -- not being on Facebook myself, I guess.