To ask these things is not to demean Noyce's talents, but rather to wonder how many other would-be Noyces were frustrated? How many other legends just missed? Jack Dorsey and Steve Jobs and Bob Noyce: all brilliant, hardworking people. But how many brilliant hardworking people were just in the wrong place at the wrong time? How many encountered a system that made it harder for them? How many people from uneducated families or inner cities, immigrants or the grandchildren of slaves never found themselves in a position to show their awesomeness? How many women were forced to act as mere appendages to their husbands -- as Berlin's research shows that Noyce's first wife was? William Shockley, the man who originally brought Noyce to Silicon Valley once "dismissed a potential recruit with a jotted notation in his notebook that he 'did not want a man whose wife was annoyed about it all.'" These were not conditions in which it was equally possible for all people to flourish. And yet we hand down these stories from generation to generation as if everyone had an equal shot at success.