Business 2.0 The 50 People that matter now.

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  1. YOU – Why You Matter: They’ve long said the customer is always right. But they never really meant it. Now they have no choice. You — or rather, the collaborative intelligence of tens of millions of people, the networked you — continually create and filter new forms of content, anointing the useful, the relevant, and the amusing and rejecting the rest. You do it on websites like Amazon, Flickr, and YouTube, via podcasts and SMS polling, and on millions of self-published blogs. In every case, you’ve become an integral part of the action as a member of the aggregated, interactive, self-organizing, auto-entertaining audience. But the You Revolution goes well beyond user-generated content. Companies as diverse as Delta Air Lines and T-Mobile are turning to you to create their ad slogans. Procter & Gamble and Lego are incorporating your ideas into new products. You constructed open-source and are its customer and its caretaker. None of this should be a surprise, since it was you — your crazy passions and hobbies and obsessions — that built out the Web in the first place. And somewhere out there, you’re building Web 3.0. We don’t yet know what that is, but one thing’s for sure: It will matter.
  2. Sergey & Larry (Google Founders) Why They Matter: Success hasn’t really changed the Google guys all that much: They’re still Stanford computer geeks to the core. That’s why the company has become a magnet for like-minded geniuses — witness the Silicon Valley billboards with brain-teasing number puzzles that turn out to be Google recruitment ads. It’s also why their PageRank algorithm remains the best mousetrap in search, why their groundbreaking pay-per-click advertising model brought in a stunning $6 billion in revenue last year, why Google’s market cap hovers comfortably above $100 billion, and why their ongoing project to organize all of the world’s information is taken seriously. What Page’s famous list of his 100 most interesting projects lacked in focus, it more than made up for in ambition. The same is true of Brin’s long-term strategy — organizing all that information into a database that will act as a kind of global brain for all human knowledge. Technically, the pair run the world’s top technology company as a triumvirate with CEO (and resident adult) Eric Schmidt. But what the geeks want, they usually get. After all, there are plenty of CEO types who could replace Schmidt. But who on earth could possibly replace Sergey and Larry?

Lets start a 50 People that matter to The Web/Business2.0 in South Africa list. Mark Shuttleworth has to feature somewhere on the South AFrican list. Anyone have any ideas?

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