Research direction is important.

 

A few thoughts after reading the article – An Early History of the Internet (Kleinrock, 2010) from IEEE Communication magazine.

Three famous pioneers in packet-switching network (i.e. a generic form of Internet) – Leonard Kleinrock (UCLA), Paul Baran (RAND) and Donald Davis (NPL, UK). Kleinrock was the student of the Shannon (Yes. He is the founder of information theory!) and his work was mainly on mathematical underpinning and simulation experiments. Meanwhile, Baran and Davis focused on the engineering and the architecture issues. However, only Kleinrock (and his colleagues) managed to roll out ARPANET (former state of Internet); while Baran failed to convince AT&T and US Air Force about his work and Davis was frustrated by the UK government.

The lessons I learned are (though you may not agree with me):
1. To success you need a good direction and a supporting agency .
2. Don’t be afraid if your work is not favored by public. (Packet switch network is weird in early days!)
3. Do maths and simulation. Math and simulation proof/results are important!