One of the founders of the telecommunications company 3Com, and the inventor of Ethernet. According to 3Com, Metcalfe came up with the basic principles behind ethernet while attending college at Harvard, and wrote his ideas into his dissertation, which was then rejected. Years later, while working in the research division of Xerox, his group was assigned the project of linking his research center's computers. After refining his ideas, Ethernet was born.

Three years after the birth of Ethernet, Metcalfe left Xerox to help start 3Com. Since then, 3Com has been largly responsible for making ethernet nearly ubiquitous in most networking systems today.