Patent protection has been granted over the years to some truly off-the-wall ideas, including a hair comb-over and basmati rice. Some that seemed like shoo-ins at the time were later overturned, including the famed ENIAC computer.
There's a world of difference between corporate IT and the tech culture at a start-up. Four execs who made the jump tell you to expect long hours, little structure -- and, just maybe, greater job satisfaction.
He won't take full fatherhood credit for fear of winding up "in a cartoon somewhere," but Kahn was responsible for the initial system design of the Arpanet and helped convince Vint Cerf to come to work with him.
Just 29 years old at the time, Tomlinson says he was trying to figure out a way to send e-mail among people on different computers. In the early 1970s, e-mail was possible only between people using terminals connected to the same...