2009 – A Year In Tech: Most Influential Tech People

First, I would like to wish you all a very happy new year and thank you for all the support in the past three months. Instead of posting just another “Things That Not All Programmers Know” post as in the first day of the past two months, I decided to do something different. 2009 was a big and long year in technology, with a number of rises and falls that probably outnumbers those of any previous year. So, throughout the month of January, I am going to write a new series; 2009 – A Year In Tech, where I will make lists of the best (and worst!) everything related to technology in 2009.

This week I am starting with the people! The following is a list of the top 5 people that I believe made the biggest impact in the technology world throughout the course of 2009:

5. Omar Hamoui:

Omar Hamoui is the founder, CEO, and a member of the board of directors of AdMob. AdMob is a mobile advertising marketplace that allows advertisers to connect with mobile publishers and create ads, choose landing pages, and target their ads with plenty of detail. In 2009, Google acquired AdMob for $750 million in stock. Susan Wojcicki, Vice President of Product Management at Google said regarding the acquirement: “AdMob is the quintessential Silicon Valley startup, generating impressive year on year revenue growth, and we’re excited to welcome this talented team to Google”. For an Arab entrepreneur, Omar Hamoui has come a long way, and that is why he is number five on my list.

4. Mark Zuckerberg:

Show me someone who does not know him and I will show you something who does not know what a social network is! Mark is the co-founder and CEO of the very addictive and fastest growing social network on the Web: Facebook. Mark was able to turn Facebook from a Harvard-exclusive meeting space to the most used social network. Facebook currently has over 350 million active users, 70% of which live OUTSIDE of the US, statistics show that half of Facebook users log on to the site at least once on any given day, and spend more than an hour a day on the site. Mark’s policies have been the subject of much controversy this year due to the recent privacy and terms of service changes.

3. Steve Jobs:

Co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. Despite his health issues that caused him to take a six-month leave of absence, and the following speculations that he may never return to Apple, he returned to make Apple stronger than ever before and enhance its position in the market with a new and improved iPhone, new and fancier iPods, a new lineup of Macintosh computers, including the amazing ultra-thin MacBook Air, and a new iTunes with a much more appealing look. These new products, specially the iPhone 3Gs, which is predicted to sell more than 50 million units, definitely livened up Steve’s career, killing all rumours about the end of his future at Apple.

2. Steve Ballmer:

Steve Ballmer is the CEO of Microsoft Corporation. Because of the several imperfections in Windows Vista, Microsoft had lost the goodwill and confidence of most of its customers and investors. However, all of that changed with the release of the robust Windows 7 in 2009, which included a massive array of new features while being fully compatible with applications and hardware with which Windows Vista was compatible and, at the same time, continuing on the path of the incremental upgrade to the Microsoft Windows line. Ballmer was able to restore the faith of the Microsoft fan base with the new OS, not to mention Bing, the Microsoft search engine that is causing bad dreams for Google!

1. Evan Williams and Biz Stone (Ev and Biz):

Co-founders and CEOs of Twitter; a social network and micro-blogging Web site that enables its users to write updates in up to 140-character statuses. Despite being launched in 2006, Twitter became a wide-ranging media platform for documenting major events in 2009, especially after the crash landing of the US Airway Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, whose very first picture was posted on Twitter. Several celebrities were attracted to Twitter, such as Ashton Kutcher, who challenged CNN to a popularity contest on who to reach 1 million followers first! US president Barrack Obama also used Twitter in his elections campaign and currently as the US president. In short, Ev and Biz are the one behind a social network that achieved a superstar status and got more than 5 million people hooked on in a very short period, and for that, I believe that they were the most influential tech people in 2009.

So, what do you think? Do you think someone there does not deserve their spot? Was there someone left out? Let me know your opinion.

Next: worst tech products of 2009.



One Response to 2009 – A Year In Tech: Most Influential Tech People

  1. Usama Fath says:

    Happy new year Ahmed, I hope that twenty ten be a peaceful year for you and for all humans. I’m not gonna agree or differ in your opinions, I’ll just wish to see you in a list such that at near time, with your glasses and fancy smile :)

    Happy new year, Ah by the way that does not mean i might be at the top of that list


    Usama Fath

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