One day in the spring of 1983, when I was having lunch with Richard Feynman, I mentioned to him that I was planning to start a company to build a parallel computer with a million processors. (I was at the time a graduate student at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab). His reaction was unequivocal: “That is positively the dopiest idea I ever heard.” For Richard a crazy idea was an opportunity to prove it wrong—or prove it right. Either way, he was interested. By the end of lunch he had agreed to spend the summer working at the company.

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