As the US gears up for its independence day on July 4, Izwan Ismail lists some of the nation’s most successful technopreneurs who have helped to shape the information and communications technology industry across the globe
1. The late Jobs was probably one of the few American businessmen, designers and inventors who changed the way personal computing and entertainment is done, via his iPod/iPad/iPhone ideas. Through Apple, he was widely recognised as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computing revolution.
2. He is one of the most influential figures in the computer era with his successful line of Windows operating systems. The company he founded, Microsoft, remains the world’s largest personal computer software company.
3. If there is an award for the father of social networks, this young technopreneur billionaire deserves it. The Facebook site he founded with three other friends is currently the world’s largest social networking site.
4. He founded Apple Computer with Jobs and Ronald Wayne. Wozniak created the Apple I computer and co-created the Apple II computer in the mid-1970s which contributed significantly to the microcomputer revolution of that era.
5. Bezos played a key role in the growth of e-commerce as the founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com, an online merchant of books and, later, of a wide variety of products. Under his guidance, Amazon.com became the largest retailer on the World Wide Web and the model for Internet sales.
6. He is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation, one of the world’s leading enterprise software companies. As of this year, he is the third wealthiest American, with an estimated fortune of US$36.5 billion (RM116.4 billion).
7. This entrepreneur, venture capitalist, software engineer and multi-millionaire is best known as co-author of Mosaic, the first widely-used web browser, and co-founder of Netscape Communications Corp.
8. He founded Atari Inc and has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame and the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame. He was named one of Newsweek’s 50 Men Who Changed America. Bushnell started more than 20 companies and is one of the founding fathers of the video game industry.
9. Cerf is recognised as the Father of the Internet. His contributions have been acknowledged and lauded, repeatedly, with honorary degrees and awards.
10. He is the co-founder of Intel Corp and author of Moore’s Law, which propounds how the number of components in integrated circuits had doubled every year from the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958 until 1965. The law is now used in the semiconductor industry to guide long-term planning and to set targets for R&D.