Don Valentine, pioneer Silicon Valley venture capitalist who founded Sequoia Capital in 1972, speaks out on one of my favorite subjects in a CNET interview:

Which company or technology is most underrated but has or will have a huge influence?

“I’ve always been mystified by the critically important disc drive industry, without which the PC is a useless device. You have to be brilliant in electronics, you have to be brilliant in magnetics and you have to be brilliant in mechanics to get all that memory capacity in a very little place and do it for next to nothing. That market has never been rewarded financially for its brilliance. Yet the contribution is huge. Cell phones, handheld products, PCs…they all go nowhere without that fundamental storage capability.”

Disk drive vendors are the unsung heroes of the the computer revolution. Face it, storage geeks: storage ain’t sexy. Necessary, yes. Sexy, no.

Oh well, we can’t all be rock stars.