If you happen to have a taste for researching esoteric technical subjects, the web naturally offers a cornucopia of material. Especially, it seems that many if not most of the PhD theses of the last thirty years are online. If find one of these theses interesting, you might be tempted to further Google the author. Naturally, you find some authors have a trajectory, winding up famous as professors or otherwise. A larger number have a shorter trajectory and many show few references beyond the initial thesis. As you would expect in capitalist academia, which sorts the masses from the celebrities in all of its competitive fields. Of course, academia is as steep a competitive “climb” as popular music or professional athletics.
But whatever approach a given young thinker might have had on a given problem naturally followed the trajectory of said thinkers’ career.