Fortune Magazine has published a list of what they deem the greatest entrepreneurs of our time. What had to be a difficult task given the advances in technology over the past twenty years, the editors produced a formidable list that finds Apple co-founder Steve Jobs at the top. Given the time period for which this list represents, there are a number of individuals from the technology sector represented including the founders of Microsoft. The magazine calls Jobs “the quintessential entrepreneur”. What’s most interesting about the list were the qualities that separated Jobs from the rest of the pack.
“Visionary. Inspiring. Brilliant. Mercurial.”
As you would imagine, Jobs had plenty of high-profile company on this list that included Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. One entry from outside the tech sector was Starbucks founder Gordon Bowker.
The editors of the magazine were particularly impressed with Jobs disdain for traditional, focus-group driven market research. They called Jobs ‘radar-like’ feel for emerging technology and ability to transform these into ‘insanely great’ products to be the differentiator among others on the list. When questioned by a reporter for Popular Science about research conducted before launching the Macintosh, Jobs responded, ” Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?”
While at Apple, Jobs was responsible for several products that included the original Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and most recently, the iPad. All of which had a reverberating impact on how the technology we all use today.