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“When you’re being innovative, there are always skeptics.”So says Dr. Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of the world’s leading provider of wireless technology and services, Qualcomm.
Jacobs knows this lesson well. In 1985, Qualcomm was a small company providing R&D to the government. But its real goal was to become a fully integrated, research-to-manufacturing business. So, Jacobs and his six co-founders began to cast about for an opportunity in digital satellite communications. They determined that the transportation industry offered the best commercial potential, and so spent the next three years developing a system that would enable trucking firms to closely track their drivers’ progress and drivers and dispatchers to send messages to one other.
“Everyone was very skeptical that we could have a very small terminal that fits on a truck be low cost, and yet work over satellites designed for very...