The Next Steve Jobs? 5 Tech Visionaries to Watch
It's now been over a year since Steve Jobs died. Jobs was a visionary: a man who had not only a unique take on the world around him, but who was also driven to use his unique combination of skill sets, interests, and motivations to remake that world.
With the passing of such a luminary in the tech field, a question inevitably presents itself: Who is the next Steve Jobs? Some would argue that the question itself is flawed. His strength, they would posit, is that he was a true original. Whoever picks up the mantle of innovation that was left behind when he passed away won't be the "next" anyone, except him/herself.
This is indeed a valid argument. Another problem inherent in our search is that it's limited to known quantities in the tech field, and there's no guarantee that the next Steve Jobs is on that list; it's just as likely someone toiling away in a college lab or basement somewhere. But hey --- we might as well give it a go, right? If nothing else, you can get to know a little bit about the people who are at the forefront of creating that next big thing -- you know, the one that doesn't exist yet -- that you won't be able to live without a couple of years from now. So your Atlanta IT company brings you 5 tech visionaries poised to change the world.
As the founder of Amazon.com, Bezos has the tech cred and the experience. As of September 2012, he's #11 on the Forbes 400 and has a net worth of $23.2 billion, so he's got the clout and the resources. And his interests are not just relegated to traditional tech pursuits: He is the founder of Blue Origin, a private spaceflight company working to make space travel accessible to more people.
Rubin may sound like an odd contender for the title of "the next Steve Jobs," as he is the founder of Android, Inc., which has become a major headache for Jobs's company, Apple. But Rubin's ability to bounce back from setbacks (At an early stage in Android's development, he was in danger of being evicted until entrepreneur Steve Perlman stepped in with an envelope holding $10,000 in cash) and his tenacity in bringing a game-changing tech development like the Android platform to market give him a spot on the list.
This entrepreneur/inventor is the co-founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors. He runs SpaceX, a space transport company. He's only 41. If that's not enough, he also provided inspiration to Jon Favreau in bringing life to the character of Tony Stark in the Iron Man movie franchise. If we can't nominate Tony Stark to fill Jobs's shoes--Being fictional can be a real bummer sometimes--we can nominate the closest thing he has to a real-life counterpart.
What if the next Steve Jobs isn't a "Steve" at all, but a "Stephanie"? Or a Marissa, rather. At only 37 years old, Mayer recently became the new CEO of Yahoo! after a long stint at Google (She was the company's twentieth employee). An important attribute of any game-changer is the ability to prioritize, and Mayer seems to have her priorities set. "I think that for me, it's God, family and Yahoo—in that order," she says.
Facebook. Do we really have to say anything else? Zuckerberg lacks the charisma of a Steve Jobs, but that hasn't stopped him from bringing Facebook to a billion people. Yeah. BILLION. That number alone makes him a given on this list.
Can you think of other tech visionaries who could be the next Steve Jobs? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Image credit: Ben Stanfield