Suppose commercial quantum computers are 10 years away. Should we wait until then to start developing QC software? No! The software must be ready at the same time as the hardware. It will take many years to invent and refine the software that powers QCs. A good analogy is Pixar. It took many years to invent and refine the computer graphics software that powers Pixar.
- 1973- Dick Shoup begins writing SuperPaint. Shoup eventually fired from Xerox PARC for working on SuperPaint.
- 1974- Alvy Ray Smith collaborates with Shoup on Superpaint.
- 1975- Alex Schure, eccentric millionaire, hires Smith and Ed Catmull to work on graphics software (for Tubby the Tuba) at NYIT (New York Institute of Technology).
- 1979- George Lucas hires Smith and Catmull to start new computer division (Graphics Group) of LucasFilm
- 1984- John Lasseter, artistic genius, leaves Disney to join Graphics Group.
- 1986- Steve Jobs buys Graphics Group for $10 million.
- 2006- Disney acquires Pixar for $7.4 billion
Moral for investors: Gathering and nurturing a cohesive talent pool for a worthy endeavor takes time and patience, but it pays off handsomely.