Last month Newsweek released a double issue with the cover story, “The 100 Most Powerful Digital Disruptors” (7/2/12–7/9/12, pp. 22–33).  The 100 individuals were grouped among 10 categories such as opinionists, revolutionaries, innovators, and virologists.  One category was visionaries, with the tagline, “everything these C-suiters accomplished looks obvious—after the fact.  That’s one key to their success” (p. 28).  Newsweek did a good job coming up with its list.

First place among visionaries went to the amazing Jeffrey Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.  Way back in 1994 (ancient in Internet time), Bezos saw the genesis of what would become his online behemoth.  Shopping for books–and a lot of other things–has never been the same since.

Mark Zuckerberg was given third place as the founder of Facebook.  Originally begun in his dorm room as a way to network among his college buds, Facebook has now gone public and is approaching nearly a billion users.

Number five on the roster was Ben Silberman, the founder of Pinterest.  Some consider Pinterest to be the hottest Web company of 2012.  I have had people tell me it has completely revolutionized how they look at the Internet.  Who would have thought “a digital scrapbook with a social bent” (p. 28) could have such an effect?

In this top ten visionaries section, Newsweek included a sidebar awarding “Lifetime” status instead of rank to Bill Gates as the cofounder of Microsoft.  Like it or hate it, Microsoft has shaped and formed the world’s technological landscape forever.  Gates is a force—permanently.  Newsweek summarizes Gates’ standing:

“America’s wealthiest man got that way by focusing on software, not hardware, powering the PC revolution with Windows and Office.  Now a philanthropist, Gates lobbies billionaires to pledge half their fortunes to charity.” (p. 29)

Just so you’re not left in any suspense, here are the other names and their ranks:  Lawrence Page, cofounder of Google (2); Reed Hastings, founder of Netflix (4); Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX (6); John Donahoe, CEO of eBay (7); Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga (8); Dave Morin, founder of Path (9); Brian Chesky, founder of Airbnb (10).

Before any great venture can begin, you must have a vision.  Once the vision is present, people are inspired and empowered to move forward and see that vision fulfilled.

scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″
style=”border:none; width:450px; height:80px”>

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

Leave a Reply