Lots of times I say it doesn't matter if you get credit if your idea succeeds, because if you believe in it, you probably care more about the idea than your own recognition.
And more specific to geeks and technology, it doesn't matter if you're first, especially if you have the common geek trait of being unwilling to promote yourself. (It's a trend that affects even the best among us.) If you don't feel that what you do matters more than you getting credit, then maybe there's a chance to try something more ambitious.
I'm reminded of all this by a story that has very little to do with technology, except in the sense that some software bugs almost killed us all. Because there's a man alive today who singlehandedly refrained from destroying the world when his orders, and the data available, suggested he should do so. And somehow he's not a household name.
But I don't think Stanislav Petrov regrets his choice just because he didn't get famous from it.