Written by wyncode on 12th March 2014, 10:56 AM
With every chance for greatness, there is the risk of utter failure.
But for entrepreneurs, that’s part of what makes the world exciting. And taking a gamble on an idea that could change the world is worth the risk.
Nobody is perfect, people make mistakes, and things don’t always go as planned. But then when you least expect it. Pow! Everything falls into place and you’re a tech billionaire. Or at least that’s the dream.
Just ask the all of the inventors, coders, and business moguls of the world who have changed it for the better.
Here are ten technological entrepreneurs who have made the world a better place.
10. John Breen – Inventor of FreeRice
FreeRice is a quiz-game based website that donates 10 grains of rice to a variety of charities through the World Food Programme for each correct answer you give. The site’s mission is simple “Play and feed hungry people.” Billions of grains of rice have been generated through a simple ad-based click-to-donate code that displays a sponsored ad below the correct answer.
9. Randice Lisa Altshul – Patent Holder for Disposable Cell Phone
This prolific inventor and patent holder broke big on the scene when she invented the Miami Vice board game as a 20-something kid. But her biggest positive contribution to the world at large is more likely her “disposable cell phone,” which is about the size of a credit card, made of recycled paper, has an hour’s worth of minutes, costs about 20 bucks, comes with a magnetic stripe on which you can store monetary value, and also serves as an internet hot spot.
8. Steve Huffman – Co-Founder of Reddit
How did two law school dropouts turn a $12,000 technology grant into a website that gets more page views than the New York Times? Coding. Steve Huffman and his buddy Alexis Ohanian’s lack of design skills do not negatively impact the seamless functionality of their website. And though it may be filled to the brim with pics of cats, it’s also home to a massive network of users who have been known to economically rally behind underdog causes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.
7. Maria Telkes – Bio Physicist and Solar Pioneer
This amazing bio-physicist, prolific inventor of thermal devices, and solar pioneer moved to the United States from her native Budapest, Hungary then immediately got to work at the Cleveland Clinic, with Westinghouse, and eventually MIT. She created the first thermoelectric power generator. She invented a portable water desalinator for use on life boats. And, her masterpiece, the heating system for the world’s first fully solar house.
6. Kevin Systrom – Co-Founder of Instagram
He went to Stanford, studied management and engineering, interned at the company that spawned Twitter, worked at Google for a couple of years, and then co-founded a little mobile photo social network called Instagram. Now, people around the world can make and share photos in meaningful, artistic, newsworthy, and monumental ways, share them with a global audience instantly, and positively impact that way that stories are told and people communicate.
5. David Bohnett – Founder of Geo Cities
This little Silicon Valley website basically perfectly exemplifies the early 90s dot com startup acquisition template. They built a massive user base and then sold it off to Yahoo. But GeoCities had an even more powerful impact that’s slightly more subtle. You see, the site offered free page building to anybody on the world wide web in the 1990’s. And it is where many of today’s biggest technological titans first experimented with HTML, coding, building web sites, and germinating their futuristic ideas.
4. Sean Parker – Founder of Napster
Sean Parker may have had his own GeoCities website before building the first major peer to peer file sharing app, Napster. Later he’d have a heavy hand in bringing Facebook to life, and today he is a global jet setter, and technological elite on the vanguard of the industry. Napster changed the world for the better by breaking down the walls of corporate monopoly. Yes, it did encourage piracy, but that’s not all it did. More importantly it created a new paradigm in the way that we make and share data.
3. Bill Gates – Founder of Microsoft
Gates has always been a both a creative visionary and a businessman. Windows isn’t just an operating system, it’s the world’s biggest operating system, and it started as nothing more than a dream in the head of a young dude from Seattle. But, Bill has done even more to change the world through his philanthropy than with his creation. The way he spends his billions is even more import an than how he made them in the first place, and for that, he should be commended.
2. Tim Berners Lee – Invented the World Wide Web
He is not an entrepreneur in the strict sense of the word, but he thinks like one. Berners Lee is the guy who came up with HTTP, HTML, and the WWW standing for world wide web. When he created a proposal for a networked pool of information that could grow and evolve with its users, his boss wrote “Vague but exciting” on the cover. The internet has leveled many artificially constructed social playing fields and made it so that almost anybody almost anywhere in the world can talk to everyone or no one all at once. It has made the world smaller, the universe bigger, and the possibilities endless.
1. Grace Hopper – Computer Programmer
This amazing woman was not just a United States Navy Rear Admiral. She was a computer scientist, and an integral programmer of Harvard’s Mark I computer. She sparked the idea for and helped create COBOL, an early programming language. She came up with the term “debugging” when removing a moth from one of the room sized computers she helped build. Also, she is the Godmother of the internet. She told her bosses at the Defense Department that it’s better to use small computers that talk to each other than massive centralized ones. And so she set in motion a chain of events that would one day lead to here and now, where coding is much more accessible to the common everyday anybody. Even you.
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