Judith Estrin is going back to her roots. The three-time entrepreneur recently left her post as Cisco Systems' chief technology officer to launch Packet Design Inc., with husband Bill Carrico. Packet Design has high hopes--to make the Internet run faster, better, and cleaner.
Why become an entrepreneur again?
At Cisco, I couldn't say, "O.K., we're going to go do this." The CTO at Cisco drives the tech strategy, but doesn't actually own the research and development budget.
Why will Packet Design work?
I wanted to bring lab folks together with product people, and give them more time to solve problems. Most corporate labs have not been successful. They become disconnected from the product and the customer.
Why will you leave the commercialization of your ideas to spin-offs?
Once you start shipping a product, you're loyal to that product. We want to keep solving new problems. And if we have a good idea and someone wants to buy us, Packet Design doesn't need to be acquired. Someone can buy the new company.