From the Wall Street Journal
About four years ago, Russ Kappius--mountain-bike enthusiast, winner of six Masters racing titles, and a research geophysicist/software developer--became obsessed with bicycle hubs. He wanted more speed and responsiveness, but wasn't sure how to get it.
His 'Aha!' moment came when a demo part from one of the bicycle industry's major suppliers arrived in the mail. "When I saw it, I got an idea for a new hub-drive system," says Kappius. "I did a patent search and quickly learned that there wasn't anything out there that covered what I was thinking."