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"The 50 People Who Matter Now"

Business 2.0 is out with a list of "The 50 people who matter now":

The names presented here weren't selected on the basis of fame, net worth, or the accomplishments of yesteryear.

Instead, our goal was to identify people whose ideas, products, and business insights are changing the world we live in today -- those who are reshaping our future by inventing important new technologies, exploiting emerging opportunities, or throwing their weight around in ways that are sure to make everyone else take notice.

It's great to see three highly deserving friends make the list:

Rank: 13
Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake
Co-founders, Flickr
Why They Matter
: As the creators of Flickr, the phenomenally successful photo/social-networking site, the husband-and-wife team has become the poster couple for the Web 2.0 movement. But that's not why they appear here. Flickr was acquired by Yahoo last year, and now Butterfield and Fake have been deployed to spread some of Flickr's social-media DNA throughout the company. That means finding new ways to emphasize human-powered keyword tagging and filtering, on everything from your own search results to travel itineraries and restaurant reviews. Incorporating the subjective nuances of human judgment into its search results has become an essential part of Yahoo's strategy to compete against Google, its algorithm-obsessed rival. Thanks to the Flickr kids, the search wars are shaping up to be a battle of man vs. machine.
Rank: 22
Reid Hoffman
Angel investor and CEO, LinkedIn
Why He Matters
: Want to launch a Web 2.0 startup? Be prepared to kiss Hoffman's ring. In his day job, Hoffman is the co-founder of LinkedIn, the online haven for business networkers. But on the side, he's also an angel investor with a knack for spotting young companies with big potential. Thus far, he's supplied insight and investment money to a remarkable number of successful startups, including Digg, Facebook, Flickr, Last.fm, Six Apart, Technorati, and Wink. And while the cash is nice, Hoffman's imprimatur has become even more important if you want to be seen as a player in today's Internet game. If he likes your idea, good fortune is likely to follow. If he doesn't, it may be time to rethink your business plan.
Some of the people whom Business 2.0 considers to matter less than Stewart, Caterina, or Reid include:
  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
  • Ed Whitacre, Chairman and CEO of AT&T
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com
  • Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Group
Congratulations to all three of you!


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