U.S. Business: One Way to Do It

Though electronics companies frequently start with little more than an idea and a basement workshop, Scientific-Atlanta's beginnings were inauspicious even by those standards. Founded in 1951 by six Georgia Tech staffers to produce some items developed in Tech's labs, it began with an initial capital of $600 and a corner in an Atlanta air-conditioning warehouse. Its founders were so unwilling to chance their futures that they kept their teaching jobs, hired as general manager a Union Carbide physicist named Glen P. Robinson Jr. Robinson worked the first year without salary, and the company lost $4,000 on its first job. When five...

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