Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Agenda Setters

I thought you might be interested in the Agenda Setters 2007. I did have an involvement by inputting my views and suggestions but I wasn’t on the panel. That task fell to my friend James Bennet from E&Y.

When asked, all those months ago, I admit that I put Mark Zuckerberg from FaceBook top of my list and it seems I was not alone. Zuckerberg is the out and out winner. My other obvious suggestion, Steve Jobs, is at #2. I am particularly pleased that Ashley Highfield from the BBC is in there (again) at #5. I thought I was the only one who appreciated what he had done to bring the Archers to me, first, by “Listen again” and now by Podcast. Also the inclusion for the first time of names from India like Nandan Nilekani (Infosys) and Azim Premji (Wipro). I had the honour of a very long one-to-one interview with Premji recently and I came away with a feeling a great respect for this proper gentleman.

You should also note the inclusion of two bloggers on the list. Michael Arrington (TechCrunch) and Cory Doctorow (BoingBoing). Like it or loath it, blogging is highly influencial today. I don’t think a lot of companies really get that. Many I meet still think the bloggers are an irrelevant irritant. But they can make or break reputations faster than any other media. Anyway, bloggers are an important feed into the established media nowadays

Perhaps the most interesting feature though is the ‘omissions’. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are nowhere to be seen. Bluntly, that resonates with me. Microsoft makes little real effect on my life anymore. I likened them recently to the transmission system in my car. I know it’s important but I only really notice it when it goes wrong. From a performance and reliability viewpoint, there is nothing more I need. What really turns me on about my car is the styling (Microsoft doesn’t do ‘style’ as we all know) and the sexy gadgets.

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