Bob Metcalfe, “Ethervation: Innovation lessons from 43 years of Ethernet”

April 28, 2016

Bob Metcalfe, Internet Pioneer

Metcalfe has been an Internet Pioneer since 1970 at MIT, Harvard, and Stanford. He invented Ethernet at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in 1973 and founded 3Com Corporation in 1979. Ethernet became the industry standard packet plumbing of the Internet. Today, more than a billion Ethernet ports ship per year, if you count Wi-Fi (which Bob does).

At various times at 3Com, from 1979 to1990, Bob was Chairman, CEO, VP Sales and Marketing, General Manager of the Software, Workstation, and Hardware divisions, and when he left in 1990, VP of Corporate Marketing. 3Com raised venture capital starting in 1981, went public in 1984, had $5.7B in revenue in 1999, and in 2010 became part of HP.

Bob spent the 1990s as CEO, Publisher, columnist at InfoWorld, and VP Technology at its billion-dollar parent IDG. Bob spent the 2000s as a General Partner of the billion-dollar venture capital company, Polaris Venture Partners, where he is now Emeritus Partner. In 2011, Bob became Professor of Innovation in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Bob is an Emeritus Life Trustee of MIT, where during 2015-16 he is MIT Visiting Innovation Fellow. His principle interest is in the startup ecosystems surrounding research universities.

Bob is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and in 2005 he received the National Medal of Technology for his “leadership in the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet.” “Bob says his mission is to help Austin, and now “Baustin”, be better "Silicon Valleys.”