Check out "The Dream Machine" sometime for a great book on the early days of the Internet-focused part of the story
The best program managers are "freewheeling zealots" with big ideas. The staff has been called "100 geniuses connected by a travel agent." And the boss describes his agency as a home for "radical innovation."
It's DARPA -- the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a dinner for 1,700 alumni, friends and partners Thursday night in Washington.