People who want to be successful technologists have to learn how to become salesperson, according to one of the men who founded the internet.

Speaking at the O2 Campus Party, Cerf admitted that he'd previously had very little time for people who could talk the talk, but that he had learned over the years how important it was to convince others of a project's worth.

"You have to work out how to be a salesman," he said. "I used to think salesmen were this terrible thing, but now I understand that sales and marketing is about getting everyone else to do you want them to.

"So we need to get in front of these young people - people who have been successful at science and technology and are excited about it and have made a difference and make them realise that this kind of thing can make a world-shaking impact."

Next big thing

Cerf believes that people need to stop worrying about inventing the next big thing and focus on fixing something that is wrong.

"Now I have to tell you we didn't start out to have this big impact - we started out trying to solve a problem," he added.

"You don't start out by saying 'I'm going to change the world', the right thing to do is start out and say 'I'm going to solve this problem' and if you solve it successfully you go to the next step and the next step and so on."