Every gadget and technology that affects your every day life has taken years if not a lifetime of hard work in research, design and development. We've charted the top 50 people responsible for implementing today's best technologies.
29. Jonathan Ive
Aside from its showman/CEO Steve Jobs, Apple tends to keep its employees out of the limelight, but Apple VP and design guru Jonathan Ive has broken that mold. That's appropriate, since he broke another mold too, killing off the beige boxes and bricklike pocket gizmos that had become standard-issue in the tech industry. Ive's designs for the original iMac and for the iPod got people thinking about tech products as fashion accessories and decorative items instead of as impersonal and purely utilitarian objects.
30. Jeff Bezos
Long scorned by Wall Street, Amazon.com, the creation of Jeff Bezos, is today the one internet service that many people can't live without. But Bezos hasn't stopped at hawking Harry Potter on the web. His company has also become one of the leading providers of web services, online storage, and by-the-hour CPU rentals, as Bezos pushes Amazon toward becoming a platform that anyone can use to sell anything that Amazon.com itself doesn't.
31. Meg Whitman
A longtime Hasbro marketing executive, Meg Whitman went from the child's toy box to the grown-up's as CEO of eBay. Whitman joined the online auction site in its infancy and over the course of a 10-year run shepherded it into one of the most successful businesses on the web. (She retired in March of this year.) Aside from squabbles over policy changes and the baffling purchase of Skype, eBay's run has encountered few speed bumps. That success, some say, might lead her to run for governor of California in 2010, but Whitman denies harbouring any such ambitions.
32. Bill Joy
A legend in tech circles, Bill Joy was chief scientist for Sun Microsystems for more than 20 years, where he oversaw numerous critical technology advances, the most important of which was the development of Java, the first major programming language designed for use on the web.
Still, Joy's greatest achievement is probably an academic project he worked on at Berkeley: the development of Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a major flavour of Unix; even Mac OS X uses BSD as its basis. Today Joy spends his days worrying about the evils of technology, such as bad robots and Grey Goo (a scenario where renegade nanomachines run amok and destroy the world).
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