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Sweaty ball caps, determination, and hard work

Bob Metcalfe shared with us his favorite tchotchkes (yiddish for what we call schwag today) and this 30 year anniversary ball cap stood out - its sweaty continence suggests the determination and hard work it took Bob and others to build 3Com. Bob worked tirelessly during its first decade, in a variety of roles including founder and first CEO. 3Com had 6 CEO's that followed Bob's footsteps over its 30 year history, and we cover the lessons in leadership, strategies, innovation, and more in our upcoming 3Com book.

“One of the basics I learned — this metaphor only works for people who know how to drive a car with a manual transmission — is that when you’re in a high-performance, rapidly growing company you’re constantly shifting gears. People redline. You put them in a position, the company outgrows them, they redline and you have to shift. It’s pretty brutal sometimes, when you have to let people go or reassign them or tell them they’re not able to do a job that they’d succeeded at. That’s one of the many lessons of building a company and growing it.”

From an interview with Bob Metcalfe in 2017 with Broadband Library, at

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