TitleMentor Graphics oral history panel session
|Bruggere, Tom, Panelist|
|Fairbairn, Doug, Moderator|
|Langeler, Gerard, Panelist|
|Moffenbeier, David, Panelist|
PublisherComputer History Museum
Place of PublicationWilsonville, Oregon
Copyright HolderComputer History Museum
DescriptionThis oral history is a panel discussion among the three founders of Mentor Graphics, an Electronic Design Automation (EDA) company formed in 1981. The founders, David Moffendeier, Gerry Langeler, and Tom Bruggere discuss their personal backgrounds and how they each came to work at Tektronix (Portland OR) in the late 1970’s. They describe the process of coming together as a team and leaving Tektronix to form Mentor Graphics.
After raising startup capital, they quickly formed an engineering team, developed a detailed product plan and raced to complete their first product in time to demonstrate at the 1982 Design Automation Conference (DAC). They continued the story of how the company grew, sometimes in the face of fierce competition from other startups, and became the leading vendor in the EDA space.
The oral history concludes with the discussion and dissection of the fateful decision to make a major change in their product - dubbed version 8.0. This product release was nearly two years late, which resulted in the company losing its leadership position, sustaining its first layoffs, and breaking its string of 30+ profitable quarters.
Nonetheless, the Company recovered and is still a leading player in the EDA space. The founders have gone on to other successful careers, which are touched on briefly here.