Andy Carvin

Senior Strategist, NPR

  • Andy Carvin is a pioneer. First hired in 2006 to help the public-radio network embrace social media, Carvin became a “one-man Twitter news bureau.” His efforts reached new heights during the Middle East’s Arab Spring uprisings. As protests lit up Tunisia and then Egypt in early 2011, Carvin was averaging 400 tweets a day sharing photos, videos, and eyewitness reports of violence in the streets. “I see it as another flavor of journalism,” Carvin told The Washington Post of his work. “So I guess I’m another flavor of journalist.”

    #3 in Virologists Combined score: 63.2

Vint Cerf

Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

  • Lauded as the Internet’s “founding father,” Cerf is one of Google’s key assets: a digital deity and futurist, renowned for his technical genius and trusted for his candor. Vint Cerf was a lead programmer on ARPANET (forerunner of the modern Internet), led the creation of commercial email at MCI, and served as chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages domain names. An outspoken advocate for net neutrality, he travels globally, preaching the open-Web gospel. His online aspirations have gone extraterrestrial: Cerf works with NASA on the Interplanetary Network, which aims to extend the Internet into outer space.

    #1 in Evangelists Combined score: 78.6

Jonathan Chait

Writer, New York Magazine

  • The longtime New Republic lion found a new den this year at New York magazine. Many feared he’d lose his bloggy touch, or be forbidden from explaining wonky issues of electoral strategy and domestic policy with clever Simpsons references. Fear not, commentariat: Jonathan Chait has never been better. With sparkling prose and an even sharper wit, Chait will make you laugh, offend you, and persuade you—often in fewer than 500 words. Best of all, he’s a liberal who isn't afraid to skewer fellow liberals' hypocrisies or cowardice.

    #9 in Opinionists Combined score: 60.6

Chaos Computer Club

Hacker Collective

  • By its own definition, Chaos is a “galactic community…which strives across borders for freedom of information.” Started in the early ’80s in Germany, the group has dedicated more than three decades to promoting net neutrality, digital privacy, and free speech on the Web. Late last year Chaos published the source code for a virus used by the German government to spy on citizens. The group holds an annual conference, Chaos Communication Congress, which is attended by thousands and features talks and workshops over the course of four days in December on “technology, society and utopia.”

    #5 in Revolutionaries Combined score: 52.6

Brian Chesky

Founder, Airbnb

  • One of the companies launched through Paul Graham’s Y Combinator startup incubator, Airbnb is a “hospitality exchange service” that allows users to rent living space on a short-term basis. Chesky cofounded it in 2008 with Joe Gebbia, a classmate from his years at the Rhode Island School of Design. The site now boasts vacancies in 19,000 cities and 192 countries. Since June 2010 Chesky has been hopping from one Airbnb home to another, in an attempt to “grasp the full impact and experience” of his company.

    #10 in Visionaries Combined score: 46.8

Bram Cohen

Chief Scientist and Cofounder, BitTorrent

  • His name is practically blacklisted in Hollywood, but it’s widely revered online. Bram Cohen is the creator of the BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing system used by millions to transfer large files over the Internet (or as the music and movie industries would put it, steal). First released in 2001, BitTorrent was the largest single source of all Internet traffic for many years, until it was surpassed by the video-streaming site Netflix in May 2011. Cohen’s day-to-day, now, is to keep the service available and accessible for millions of users.

    #3 in Builders Combined score: 65.4

Ron Conway

Investor, SV Angel

  • Conway is known as one of the Valley’s “super-angels,” a crew of investors capable of pouring millions into startups and delaying the need for venture capital. He was an early investor in Google and PayPal, as well as today’s social media heavyweights Facebook, Twitter, and social image-sharing site Pinterest. He’s also known for investing in every graduate of Paul Graham’s Y Combinator program. He invests through SV Angel, the company he started with David Lee.

    #2 in Angels Combined score: 82.6

Tim Cook

CEO, Apple

  • For more than 14 years, Cook was Steve Jobs’ right hand man at Apple (Jobs once said that he searched for a chief operations manager for nine months before finding Cook, a man Jobs said he saw “eye to eye with”). Since Jobs’ death last August, Cook has impressively filled his predecessor’s shoes with hardly a stumble. The former IBM and Compaq exec, known in his own right as a visionary master of supply-chain intricacies and product distribution, has found ways to complement Jobs’ inspired sense of product design with a global manufacturing and delivery system so efficient that Apple’s stock price has soared 50 percent on his watch.

    #5 in Innovators Combined score: 63.2

Susan Crawford

Professor, Cardozo School of Law

  • A scholar who turns political heads, Susan Crawford is a noted commentator on the intersection of law and tech. She has served as President Obama’s special assistant for science, technology, and innovation Policy, as well as a member of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Council on Technology and Innovation. As the founder of OneWebDay, an Internet celebration held annually on Sept. 22, Crawford hopes to explain arcane issues of tech policy to the average citizen.

    #10 in Evangelists Combined score: 55.8

Jake Davis (aka Topiary)


  • Linked to Anonymous, and an alleged founding member of the hacker group LulzSec, Jake Davis is a Scottish teen hacker. Best known for planting a story on that reported Tupac Shakur had been found alive in New Zealand, LulzSec also contributed to hacks with a political bent, including a collaboration with Anonymous to reveal racism and corruption among Arizona cops. Davis was arrested last year by British police and charged with five crimes—including criminal conspiracy and assisting criminal activity—for accessing computers belonging to News Corp., Sony, the U.S. National Health Service, and the Arizona state police. He was released on bail and is scheduled to enter his plea on June 25 and faces possible extradition to the United States.

    #3 in Revolutionaries Combined score: 54.4

Nick Denton

Publisher, Gawker Media

  • Never one to shy away from controversy, Nick Denton has built Gawker Media from an apartment operation in 2002 to a media conglomerate of his own design that operates eight Web-based news-and-opinion properties. Today, Gawker Media is by far the most popular blog network on the Web, worth an estimated $300 million. Denton’s flagship,, took a hit in page views last year when many readers left after a site overhaul, but it still manages to pull in nearly 20 million views per month.

    #8 in Virologists Combined score: 56.2

John Donahoe

CEO, eBay

  • Donahoe took the helm of eBay in 2008, following Meg Whitman’s tenure, after working for two decades at Bain & Co. He has also served as interim CEO of PayPal since the beginning of this year. Under his leadership, eBay has increased profits, sold off Skype to Microsoft, and acquired Germany’s largest lifestyle retailer. And PayPal introduced a mobile payment system to challenge competitor Square, a mobile payment company started by Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey.

    #7 in Visionaries Combined score: 50.0

Jack Dorsey

Cofounder and Chairman, Twitter; Founder and CEO, Square

  • Who would have thought 140-character text messages could help fuel citizen revolutions around the world? Jack Dorsey, cofounder and chairman of Twitter, specializes in “simple ideas with outsize impact,” as Wired put it last year. His latest outsize venture, the mobile payment startup Square, centers on a small plastic square that fits into your smartphone’s headphone jack. Square users already accept $2 billion a year in credit-card payments. Funded with cash from Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, and Visa, as well as Richard Branson, Square is muscling in on larger companies like PayPal that are vying to run small-business transactions.

    #2 in Innovators Combined score: 75.2

Ross Douthat

Columnist, The New York Times

  • It’s tough to be young and right wing—especially on the Times’s opinion pages. But since 2009 Ross Douthat has won plaudits for his forceful but clear-eyed columns, evocative of an old-school, egg-headed conservatism. Douthat has also embraced the blogosphere with gusto, sparring with co-columnist Paul Krugman, defending his columns line by line, and beating up on the WashPost’s Dana Milbank. While far from a movement conservative, Douthat is a key intellectual asset to the conservative movement. And he’s smart enough to avoid being consumed by its demons.

    #4 in Opinionists Combined score: 66.0

Matt Drudge

Editor, The Drudge Report

  • Matt Drudge’s high-water mark should have been in 1998. The former 7-Eleven night-shift manager blew the lid off a White House scandal by reporting on the existence of a pending Newsweek story about a White House intern’s involvement with President Clinton. One day later, his site, The Drudge Report, had found a name: Monica Lewinsky. Fifteen years later, Drudge is still driving headlines and talk-show commentary with his agenda-setting headlines and an eye for the wackiest news. One recent study suggested that his site drives more traffic than Facebook and Twitter … combined.

    #2 in Virologists Combined score: 67.2

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