Steve Jobs named 'Greatest Entrepreneur of Our Time' by Fortune

By on March 26, 2012, 12:30 PM

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has earned the top spot in Fortune magazine’s list of the top 12 entrepreneurs of our time. Jobs bested Microsoft’s Bill Gates, FedEx’s Fred Smith and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in a list that surprisingly doesn’t include a single woman.

Jobs was largely successful because he strayed from the beaten path when developing a new product. He believed that market research and focus groups limited a company’s ability to create a great product. When asked about how much market research was done to lead the development of the iPad, Jobs said, “None. It isn't the consumers' job to know what they want. It's hard for [consumers] to tell you what they want when they've never seen anything remotely like it."

As the Fortune piece notes, the former CEO relied on his intuition when making important business decisions and demanded only the best from his employees. Small details pertaining to the user experience were often put in higher regard than most companies would bother with.

The majority of individuals that made the top 12 list did so based heavily on economic and social impact. Other key categories for admission include those who have inspired employees and other entrepreneurs with their world-changing vision and have a record for innovation.

The rest of the top 12 list looks like this:

2. Bill Gates  (Microsoft)
3. Fred Smith (FedEx)
4. Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
5. Larry Page & Sergey Brin (Google)
6. Howard Schultz (Starbucks)
7. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
8. John Mackey (Whole Foods)
9. Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines)
10. Narayana Murthy (Infosys)
11. Sam Walton (Wal-Mart)
12. Muhammad Yunus (Grameen Bank)




User Comments: 32

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Hmmm...he definitely deserves to be high on the list. But not everyone has an iPhone/iPad/i-whatever. But damn near everyone I know has been to Wal-Mart at least once and usually several times. Just sayin...

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

No.1 is kind of hard choice and so is 2 and 3 but if you ask me, Steve shouldn't be in the first spot but rather top 5 / 10.

Google, majority use this, FedEx not so much outside of US. How was this list collected, by networth or?

Iv yet to read the article, no time right now :3

marinkvasina marinkvasina said:

TomSEA said:

Hmmm...he definitely deserves to be high on the list. But not everyone has an iPhone/iPad/i-whatever. But damn near everyone I know has been to Wal-Mart at least once and usually several times. Just sayin...

I haven't even been 10 000 km near a Wal-Mart, just sayin.

MilwaukeeMike said:

There's usually a bias in things like this towards someone who has passed away. Polls always put JFK as a great prez, but he wasn't if you compare on anything besides opinions. I'd put Jobs in the top 10 easily, but number 1? He got fired from his own company, that's not really best of our generation.

Jobs created the home PC in the Mac, and then gave away the entire industry to IBM and Windows because he refused to let anyone else make Apple computers. We should all be using Apple computers right now, and we're not because Jobs screwed it up in the 80's. Jobs failure is the reason Bill Gates is even on the list.

And Zuckerberg shouldn't be on the list. his company just went public very recently, so his career is really still unknown. Also, facebook wasn't entirely his idea if i remember right (i didn't see the movie)

psycros psycros said:

This list is based on nothing but stock values.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

There's usually a bias in things like this towards someone who has passed away. Polls always put JFK as a great prez, but he wasn't if you compare on anything besides opinions. I'd put Jobs in the top 10 easily, but number 1? He got fired from his own company, that's not really best of our generation.

Jobs created the home PC in the Mac, and then gave away the entire industry to IBM and Windows because he refused to let anyone else make Apple computers. We should all be using Apple computers right now, and we're not because Jobs screwed it up in the 80's. Jobs failure is the reason Bill Gates is even on the list.

And Zuckerberg shouldn't be on the list. his company just went public very recently, so his career is really still unknown. Also, facebook wasn't entirely his idea if i remember right (i didn't see the movie)

I agree somewhat. But I don't think Jobs really had a failure at Apple. I don't know the history nearly as well as many others do, so I'm just speaking in generalizations here.

Since Jobs got ousted, I would think that he didn't really have control of the company he (co)founded. But at the point that that happened, there was no real certainty on where the computer industry was going. Jobs' vision wasn't in the board of director's vision then, and they had more influence than him at that point, so he got removed. Much later though, his vision was the way of the future, and he got brought back. So I don't think it is really fair to say he failed and lost his company. Because his initial 'failure' wasn't of his doing, it was the board of directors.

Now if you say it was his fault because he let the board have more power than him, then maybe you have an argument, but I'd counter that Apple and the computer industry wasn't big then, so it wasn't a big enough 'failure' to counter the rest of his life.

Guest said:

Oh what a crock.

Some person who made some white items (this world can surely do without) is "Greatest Entrepreneur of Our Time" ? ! ?

Would the "press" just STFU about Apple and their silly pointless products already !

I bet the true greats of our time are turning in their graves right about now. I am going to put up a shrine for that block of lard I have in the fridge.

Good Day all ha ha ha ha ha ha

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Oh what a crock.

Some person who made some white items (this world can surely do without) is "Greatest Entrepreneur of Our Time" ? ! ?

Would the "press" just STFU about Apple and their silly pointless products already !

I bet the true greats of our time are turning in their graves right about now. I am going to put up a shrine for that block of lard I have in the fridge.

Good Day all ha ha ha ha ha ha

I'm sure you are a troll, but I'll bite just because I've got some free time.

Jobs didn't just make some white items.

In fact, a lot of people that want to hate on Apple say that Apple doesn't make anything, they use other tech. So which side do you want to be on?

Regardless of what Apple makes, their influence on modern technology is undeniable. Blackberrys were 'the' smartphone before the iPhone, for many years they (blackberry) were the leader, how much did it advance?

Music players before that, sure there were mp3 players before the ipod, but they weren't widely used.

Tablets now, they are an industry now that didn't exist before the iPad.

Ultrabooks too.

Unibody laptops, backlit keyboards, ffs just look at any modern high end PC laptop, they are totally based on what Apple was doing years before.

RubinOnRye RubinOnRye said:

Sorry but number 1 should have been Mark Zuckaberg mostly because almost everyone in the world has a Facebook account and Facebook really has revolutionized marketing, community and communications.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Surely Bill Gates should be top of this list? 90% of people viewing this article are going to be using one of his creations.

Anyways this list is a bit US-centric... as always

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Most of Steve's entrepreneur stuff came a long time ago.

In the past 20 years I would call him a great simplifier.

He took what was out there and made it accessible/usable to your average person.

Incredible human being, he will me missed.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

RubinOnRye said:

Sorry but number 1 should have been Mark Zuckaberg mostly because almost everyone in the world has a Facebook account and Facebook really has revolutionized marketing, community and communications.

Id say that or most likely Google. Every person that I know uses Google as their default search engine. While Facebook is good an all, it has bad practices (privacy issues etc...).

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

amstech said:

Most of Steve's entrepreneur stuff came a long time ago.

In the past 20 years I would call him a great simplifier.

He took what was out there and made it accessible/usable to your average person.

Incredible human being, he will me missed.

Incredible human being is rather an overstatement. Sure he was great as to what he has done as you already pointed out but Incredible is bit of a stretch... guess to each of their own.

My favourite Apple Product, either the iPod (30GB Video or Touch) and possibly the iPhone, although the GS2 is amazing. Oh and lets not forget OSX, iOS but that is not just Jobs work, that would be ignorant.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

He was a huge influence in the realm of personal computers, helped evolve computers and their designs, advocated 3D animation (Pixar), brought a unique company back from the dead, gave us some interesting products and brought us a whole new level of trolls and fanboys...

... But he certainly wasn't #1, at least not in terms of universal importance.

That's a hard decision to make though, so to each his own.

Guest said:

He is recently dead. We have a habit of making the recently dead, greater than they actually were.

Time will eventually decide his place in history.

TechM633 said:

Here is how I think that list should look.

1. Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) - 2nd richest company in the world. Also the biggest company in the world.

2. Bill Gates (Microsoft) - As goes Microsoft, so goes the rest of Technology. They are the "gold standard" of technology.

3. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) - Probably the biggest single change to the way we communicate. Ever.

4. Larry Page & Sergey Brin (Google) - They mapped the world and brought it to your screen. Regardless of their politics, they have made information more readily avaliable, than the other search engines combined.

5. Jeff Bezos (Amazon) - Major change in the way we buy and sell products. Many companies have had to alter the way they market, thanks to amazon. He turned the internet into a marketplace.

6. Steve Jobs (Apple) - He did indeed make major changes to the tech industry with major inovation to the smartphone and introduction to the tablet industry.

7. Ray Croc (Mcdonalds) Whether you like fast food or not, the creation of Mcdonalds changed the food industry forever, worldwide.

8. Wayne Huizenga (Blockbuster, Autonation and Waste Management) He created 3 successful enterprises in not one industry, but three. That is the mark of a true enterprenuer. And a good one.

9. Pierre Omidyar (Ebay) - Virtually started the idea of E-commerce.

10. Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines) - Cheaper flying and unassigned seats. If you fly at all, you will appreciate this guy. Well, pre-911 anyhow. lol.

11.Howard Schultz (Starbucks) - Who else created a billionaire business off coffee? Brilliant, seems to me.

12. Richard Branson (Virgin Group) I have lost count on how many companies are under this name. A true enterpreneur.

....Anyhow, thats how my list would have looked.

Guest said:

If he was still alive he would most certainly NOT be on the top 5. Images of nostalgia and grandeur are apparent here, time will place him much lower on the totem pole.

Guest said:

Not to be sexist but why is it surprising that no woman made it to the list? i mean women have great ideas and accomplished a lot of things, but they have been only a TINY portion compared to men. And i doubt it has to do anything with "oportunities".

Timonius Timonius said:

Hmmm... whoever invented the grill cheese sandwich is the top of my list. ie. who really cares? These lists are all subjective, there is no straightforward and obvious criteria.

Guest said:

As a non-American, I think it's fitting that Forbes gave Jobs 'Greatest Entrepreneur of Our Time' simply because it is appropriate for a nation that puts money above everything else including humanity. Jobs was instrumental in enslaving thousands of Chinese workers in order to sell overpriced status-symbol gadgets to the easily-misled, yet felt no need to give anything more than approximately nothing to any worthwhile cause or charity.

It is no surprise that most Americans worship such a typical capitalist.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Why are we assuming that Fortune is above "click bait"?

They probably chose the person whose face on the cover will ensure them the most amount of people who are not regular readers that will pick up the magazine.

All those tech guys are really good choices, IF you ignore the fact that vast majority of the world's population does not own a phone or computer.

Wal Mart is far more of a success story as far as entrepreneurial success is concerned.

Guest said:

You know ... there is a world outside the U.S. ;)

Guest said:

+1 to TechM633's list. Its far better and more presicely.

Guest said:

would the "press" just stfu about apple and their silly pointless products already !

+1

i bet the true greats of our time are turning in their graves right about now. I am going to put up a shrine for that block of lard i have in the fridge.

+1

To be honest: fsck entrepreneurs. I don't really care if some orifice made billions selling plastic gadgetry to the masses. As ever the people that really brought us this technology and indeed more useful technology, are behind the scenes, faceless and nameless... but no continue worshipping your idols...

Guest said:

Well TomSEA, not everyone lives in USA...USA is not the WORLD. although some would like to think so...so not everyone has been to a Wal-Mart...Just saying...

Zilpha Zilpha said:

I was bored of Steve Jobs before, now I'm just getting nauseated.

DanUK DanUK said:

Mmm i'm surprised to see someone like Branson didn't make the cut!

Guest said:

When I read this title I had to run to the garbage can to puke.

Steve Jobs NEVER ORIGINALLY INVENTED ANYTHING.

EVERYTHING he was ever associated with was either a stolen idea, or a re-packaging of something existing. Going all the way back to his Xerox tour which he never should have been allowed to do in the first place, that woman employed there that warned them what her suspitions were was right.

If anything Steve Woz should be entrepreneur over Jobs, at least he built the Apple II, jobs did nothing but submit the system for application.

-suing companies to stop their far superior products from sale because they know they'll get destroyed once they do go to sale (Android handsets outselling 4 for every 6 handsets sold for example)

-Horrible factory working conditions for years

-Horribly overcharging for inferior products compared to other choices within the same price range

-Willing to lose all investors' holdings in the company for a fishing expedition in a whirlpool

-Literally EVERYTHING is closed-source/proprietary, giving you the flexibility of granite

And so on and so on.......

Tygerstrike said:

To Guest @ 1130

Not all Americans worship money. Its the medium that makes the whole world go around. Do you have a job? Do you work for coin of your relm? Then you are no different then 99% of Americans. We go to work, we get our money, we pay our bills ect. ect. ect. We have families, we go to our respective places or worship, we go to the store and buy food. Sound familiar? Its Media and Govt. who make these rediculous lists. Stop lumping all of America in as one group. It only goes to show that you are the person with a problem because you choose to generalize a group or nation and go no farther.

Steve Jobs was an a$$. Period. He was a spoiled little brat who ran his company his way and threw temper tantrums when he didnt get his way. Top 10 for Apple bottom 90 for the person who ran it.

Guest said:

Load of load an looks like a billionaire wannabe sock puppet.

If Steve Jobs died before he returned to Apple he'd be deemed a failure.

1. He gamed the new liver community with his jet or he would have died several years ago before the ipad/ipod.

2. Apples wealth depends on 3rd world dictators to provide slave labor in police states to manufacture his products.

3. He never shared the wealth and horded cash from his investors which only changed because he died.

4. He didn't invent this stuff he stole ideas from his employees and called them his own. Nor did he invent touch screens, phones, digital camera.

So to sum up his 'success' was built upon the backs of modern day slaves. This blog might as well praise Rockfellor as Captain Awesome of all Time TM because he used the Chinese slaves in American to build his railroad system.

RH00D RH00D said:

To the two guests before me who felt the need to let out their nerd rage, guess what? This has nothing to do with business practices, or ethics, or whether products were over priced, or whether products were good or bad. This is about **entrepreneurship** and how good each of those people were at it. Steve Jobs was an outstanding entrepreneur, end of story.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Mmm i'm surprised to see someone like Branson didn't make the cut!

Branson's just about our best card for the UK, and to some degree i think he deserves a place also.

I mean how many billionaires have hit their backside on a window ledge being lowered of a tall building on live TV and laughed about it?...and let's not forget the Only Fools and Horses cameo.

What a guy...

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