Along the same lines, Fairchild, the first big semiconductor company and training ground for countless startup founders, recently celebrated its 50th birthday.
I've often thought that if you really, really grokked the transistor, you'd be all set to contribute to large swaths of electrical engineering. I'm certainly not as facile with all its behaviors as I'd like. How long would it take to really understand, thoroughly and intuitively? A year? Four years? A career?