- 29 Jan 08, 09:28 GMT
The results are in, the votes have been counted and I can now reveal the top 45 most influential figures in technology over the last 150 years.
But before I do, I should point out that I was part of the panel that helped compile the list. And when I say “panel”, I mean I was invited to cast my votes alongside other tech journalists, including hacks from IT Pro and The Inquirer, ZDNet, among others.
We didn’t vote en masse, we all have individual votes from a long list of about 70 names, which contracted and swelled as we immediately struck out some names – eg Richard Branson – and added others, such as Don Estridge, who led the team behind the original IBM PC. We all gathered to discuss the names, but in truth there was minimal debate and I have no idea how the others voted.
Here’s the top 10:
Tim Berners-Lee – Founder of the modern-day World Wide Web
Sergey Brin – Co-founder of Google
Larry Page – Co-founder of Google
Guglielmo Marconi – Inventor of the Radiotelegraph system
Jack Kilby – Inventor of the Integrated Circuit and Calculator
Gordon Moore – Co-founder of Intel
Alan Turing – played a major role in deciphering German Code in WWII
Robert Noyce – Co-founder of Intel
William Shockley – Co-Inventor of the Transistor
Don Estridge – Led the development of the IBM computer
So who’s in and who’s out?
Microsoft’s Bill Gates is in. “Of course he is,” you say. But on the night there was a strong lobby from some journalists that his influence has not been that great on the technology industry. But he is not as high up in the list as Steve Jobs, for example. Right or wrong? And Mr Jobs is much higher in the list than his Apple partner Steve Wozniak, the engineering brains behind the first Apple computers.
Tim Berners-Lee is top of the pile – but was this more a reflection of a British voting panel? Certainly, he was the favoured candidate among dot.life readers when I first blogged about the poll.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is out. So what? Well, he made the long list.
There’s no Clive Sinclair, the British home computer pioneer.
George Boole, the father of modern computer arithmetic, is in. How many people would have thought of him immediately?
The inventor of the transistor, William Shockley, is at number 9 while Jack Kilby, the inventor of the integrated circuit is at number 5.
Interestingly, the inventor of Ethernet poll, Robert Mecalfe, polls higher than Vint Cerf, the co-creator of TCP/IP, the underlying architecture of the net.
Shawn Fanning, creator of Napster, makes the cut, and Philip Rosedale, creator of Second Life, doesn’t.
The whole exercise was organised by Intel. And two of the firm’s co-founders made the top 10 - Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce. And the whole list has been put in front of Sean Maloney, who passed comment.
"It’s fitting that the people who have influenced the internet turn up in the top three of the list,” said Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel. “This emphasises the way the world is heading and that the internet is our industry’s demand driver.”
Here’s the full list. Remember don’t blame me: I was just one of the judges!
The 45 most influential people in technology:
1. Tim Berners-Lee
2. Sergey Brin
3. Larry Page
4. Guglielmo Marconi
5. Jack Kilby
6. Gordon Moore
7. Alan Turing
8. Robert Noyce
9. William Shockley
10. Don Estridge
11. Doug Engelbert
12. Robert Metcalfe
13. Vint Cerf
14. Steve Jobs
15. Andrew Grove
16. Seymour Cray
17. Pierre Omidyar
18. Shawn Fanning
19. Dennis Ritchie
20. Ted Hoff
21. Linus Torvalds
22. Shuji Nakamura
23. Dave Packard
24. Jean Hoerni
25. William Hewlett
26. John Logie Baird
27. George Boole
28. Martin Cooper
29. John Pinkerton
30. Grace Hopper
31. Bill Gates
32. Herman Hollerith
33. Thomas Watson
34. Jeff Bezos
35. Meg Whitman
36. Ada Lovelace
37. Nolan Bushnell
38. Claude Shannon
39. Charles Babbage
40. John Chambers
41. Philo Farnsworth
42. Steve Wozniak
43. Larry Ellison
44. Michael Dell
45. Maurice Wilkes
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