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Help's A Firewall Away
Flash back to December 2002. Barely in his 20s, self-taught network engineer and help-desk staffer Joel Bomgaars is frustrated because firewalls prevent him from accessing PCs of users needing help. At his cubical at systems integrator Business Communications Inc., he has an epiphany: Instead of accessing the user's computer, have the user request help by going to a Web site. That would clear the firewall hurdles, because firewalls only block incoming messages. The idea worked, and Bomgaars was able to connect with a user within 10 seconds.
Fast forward three years: Bomgaars, now 25, is CEO of upstart NetworkStreaming Inc., which is pulling in millions of dollars a year on an appliance based on the 2002 brainstorm.