This semester I've pulled out alot of hair over my 'microprocessor design' course and was thinking. These R&D industry leaders must be damn smart - but what made them choose to work in industry rather than being an academic and pursuing research in that sense? I have many professors that spent years in industry developing the unthinkable and came back to teach. Yet some stay back and end up joining R&D teams the continuously push the technological threshold. Obviously besides the salary, how does one choose to remain an academic or wish to stay in industry and contribute to research that advances technology today?