Technology executives, startup founders, and venture capital investors have become rock stars in the business world. Companies like Google and Apple have made their mark and have become two of the most respectable companies in the worlds, with their leaders deemed as icons of innovation. Internet startups like Facebook and Twitter have become part of our everyday routine, and the people behind these websites have inspired other Americans to launch their own companies in the hopes of becoming the next Zuckerberg or Jobs. These people have been responsible for the way several of our technological advancements have come to fruition, from mobile phones to business telephone systems.
But, apart from Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, there are probably close to 50 influential minds that are responsible for the technology that we possess and take for granted these days.
Who are these influential people in the tech world?
Pete Cashmore from Mashable – Pete Cashmore is the CEO and founder of Mashable, one of the most popular tech blogs in the world. Everything you need to know about tech, social media, and the digital world can be found in Mashable. Mashable has more than 20 million visitors a month and has been dubbed as a must-read site by PC Magazine and Fast Company. It is also ranked as one of the most influential media outlet by Klout. Mashable was founded in 2005 as a blog that focused on up-to-the-minute news about social networks and digital trends. Since its birth, it has grown to be one of the most profitable blogs in the world. By 2011, Pete was named as one of Ad Age’s 2011 influencers, one of the top 100 in Time Magazine in 2010, and a web celeb. He was named Briton of the Year by the Telegraph in 2010. When asked about his challenges, he said “Not only did I not have connections, I wasn’t in [Silicon] Valley. But I did have an outsider perspective, and as it turned out that was an advantage because there’s a mass market that wants to know what the coolest gadgets are and how to use Facebook, Twitter and other [technology] to get ahead.”
Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) – Behind every great man is a woman, or at least that’s how the popular adage goes. Zuckerberg may be the voice and face of the world’s most popular social networking site, but Sandberg is the real reason why Facebook still holds its position. She is seen as a powerhouse that drives one of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley.
Leah Busque from TaskRabbit – Got a job that you don’t want to do? Why not let others do it? This was the core message of Leah Busque, Founder and CEO of TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit is an online platform that connects users who need to get a job done with those who are willing to perform the service. the service is accurately described as “eBay for real-world labour”. So, how mundane are the tasks that people are willing to get done? Well, it does allow you to connect with someone who’s willing to pick food for you in odd hours of the night. Busque previously worked as a software engineer for IBM and has been described as a pioneer in “service networking.” After being founded in 2008, TaskRabbit has raised more than $37M in venture capital funding and have now expanded their service to New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles from San Francisco. In an interview from LifeHacker, she recalls the best piece of advice given to her. She said “One of my first advisors for TaskRabbit was Scott Griffith, the former CEO of ZipCar. When I first told Scott about the idea for TaskRabbit, he told me, “I think you’re onto something. See how far you can take it.” Not a day goes by that I don’t remember those words. “
Jeff Bezos from Amazon – Jeff Bezos is considered a tech visionary. The 49 year old New Mexico native started out selling books over the Internet in 1990s. 2 decades later, he now reigns over the largest e-commerce empire that has, what people say, is the redefinition of consumer experience. Today, a lot of people are now doing their online shopping in Amazon, from groceries to household items. In 1999, Bezos was named as Time’s Person of the Year. Over the years, Bezos is worth over $20B and has pushed Amazon to keep up with the likes of Apple in digital content – from streaming videos to e-books to online apps. The Amazon Kindle tabletis one of the strongest contenders in the industry, giving the Apple iPad a run for their money. Meanwhile, the company spends at least tens of millions to build giant processing centres all across the USA and the world. This move may have irked Stock Market investors, but it has increased the company’s stock price by as much as 30% over the last 2 years. You can’t imagine how customer service with business telephone systems would’ve evolved without him.