Startup companies have littered the pages of history books for this and many other industries, bursting onto the scene in an explosion of promising technology, often only to vanish just as quickly. Many are heavily financed, as investors gamble that these new companies may be the next best thing. And sometimes, a few survive, to carry on the torch for their technology. As an example, several years ago superconducting technology companies were many, literally "coming out of the cold" with their visions of a low-loss, supercooled electronic world. Of those many startups, Hypres is among the few to have survived, through intelligent management and careful partnering mainly in the military sector. And Superconductor Technologies, Inc. also deserves a mention for helping to further the cause of superconductor technology.

This is just one example of a technology that at one time looked like the solution for signal losses in cables and for achieving signal transmission at millimeter-wave frequencies. High-frequency technologies continue to emerge, each with its own promise. But none of them will ever sell itself, or even survive, unless it can do something cheaper and better than an entrenched technology, such as good old microstrip and stripline or low-loss coaxial cables at room temperature. Even the best new technologies must be applied intelligently before they can win any kind of a following.