You may not realize it, but the work of Bob Metcalfe affects many aspects of your life. Whether it’s how you collaborate with co-workers, share data between all the devices in your house – or just want to host a LAN party, Bob’s work is everywhere.
In 1973, at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, he invented Ethernet, the local-area networking (LAN) standard on which he shares four patents. Since then, he founded the 3Com Corporation, helmed IDG’s InfoWorld and currently serves as the General Partner of Polaris Ventures.
When the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance to interview Bob as part of the interview series with individuals who have created killer innovations. What proceeds is a fascinating chat that covers the gamut including…
- Working on the Xerox Palo Alto, what is considered the first personal computer, and networking them together.
- The origins of Ethernet
- What it was like in the early days of Silicon Valley
- The origins of 3Com and banking on the future of Ethernet.
- Talking about Metcalf’s Law and the value of one’s network.