It might surprise you to learn that the birthplace of silicon valley is the birthplace of HP. Hewlett-Packard is where silicon valley began. To get a picture of success in early silicon valley, and see what I could learn about the history of HP, I recently read The HP Way. It's written by David Packard and tells the story of HP, his story, and the philosophies he and Bill Hewlett had in building HP.
The philosophies Hewlett and Packard had for HP were quite different from how business ran in their day and even today. Some elements are quite counter cultural to corporations. Yet, these elements lead HP to success. For example, their desire to be flexible with someones time and their overall care for people. The flexibility was long before the Internet and connected age. People have busy lives from family obligations to hobbies. When you trust people, something that has an entire chapter dedicated to it, you can afford them flexibility.
The big take away for me was a picture of a counter cultural company that had significant success while caring for its customers, employees, and even the share holders. For that, I consider this a useful read.