Visioning Our Future
The article looks at 20 CEO’s who have changed the way we live. At the top of the pile is Steve Jobs. The 1984 advert came 7 years after an earlier ad contained a snapshot of the Jobs’ philosophy: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”. Personal music, phones, tablets have all been revolutionised by Apple. Cars may be next.
Second on the list is Jeff Bezos. Amazon is by some distance the most successful on line retailer and has almost single handedly changed the way much of the planet shops. Bezos apparently chose the Amazon name to match his boundless ambitions.
Elon Musk is next. If Amazon changed how we shop, then Paypal changed how we pay. It may be that Paypal does not have the dominance that Elon Musk would like, so perhaps that’s why his ambitions now cover Tesla cars and SpaceX. His lithium battery Gigafactory will be second largest building by volume in the world.
So the top 3 visionaries are technology innovators. Fourth place is given to Oprah Winfrey. Not a technical guru but someone dedicated to empowerment by self improvement.
Next is Larry Page. The search algorithm (Page Rank) that he started in 1998 with Sergey Brin now powers much of the knowledge management on the planet. Google is derived from googolplex, a number so ambitious in size that it cannot be imagined (10 to power 10 to power 100). The impact is that the google product name is one of the very few that has now become a verb, alongside hoover and taser.
In the next 5, only Howard Schultz from Starbucks is not a technology guru. In the next 10, the same applies to only Ted Turner (CCN), Walt Disney and Sam Walton (Walmart). These 4 are outnumbered by the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison.
A look through the list of such CEO’s that changed how well live reveals a number of common characteristics. Ambition in abundance, clear vision, uncompromising execution. But also timeliness – perhaps some good fortune to be in the right place at the right time.
It’s been said that changing the work with technology is therefore as easy as ABC: application, brainpower – and chance.
If you’ve liked this commentary why not link to it and see further articles