The list from Inc:
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com, because “optimism is essential”
Betsey Johnson, Betsey Johnson, for her stylish life
Russell Simmons, Rush Communications, for his powerful example
Scott Cook, Intuit, because he learns, and teaches
Sergey Brin & Larry Page, Google, for their integrity. And, well, for Google
David Neeleman, JetBlue, for creating an airline fit for humans
Tom Stemberg, Staples, for doing it exactly right
Jack Stack, SRC Holdings, for going naked
Judy Wicks, White Dog Enterprises, because she’s put in place more progressive business practices per square foot than any other entrepreneur
Davin Wedel, Global Protection, because he’s a lifesaver
Pat McGovern, International Data Group, for knowing the power of respect
Steve Jobs, Apple Computer, Pixar, because we like to be seduced
Lance Morgan, Ho-Chunk, because a man must make his own arrows–Winnebago proverb
James Goodnight, SAS, for saying no to Wall Street (repeatedly) and yes to the people who really matter
Stella Ogiale, Chesterfield Health Services, for doing good while doing well
Rhonda Kallman, New Century Brewing, for seizing opportunity– again and again
Laima Tazmin, LAVT, because she’s a lot like other kids–and then again…
Laura & Pete Wakeman, Great Harvest Bread, for living a little –no, a lot
Andra Rush, Rush Trucking, for rolling up her sleeves
Kathleen Wehner, Cirrus Aviation, for refusing to quit
Frank Venegas, Ideal Group, because he parlayed a little bit of luck into a lot of good fortune for others
Dan Wieden, Wieden + Kennedy, because he’s a true independent
John Sperling, Apollo Group, because he stirs the pot, and apparently always will
John Stollenwerk, Allen-Edmonds, for his commitment to U.S. workers. We also love the shoes
Mel Zuckerman, Canyon Ranch, for showing the way
Inc also asks some questions to entrepreneurs:
What sacrifices have you had to make en route to success?
What inspired you to strike out on your own in business?
What would you like to be known for?
What was the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
Is entrepreneurship getting more difficult?
What quality or skill is the most critical to success as an entrepreneur?
What would you be doing if you hadn’t started your business?
What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone starting out?
Will think about answering these in my case in a Tech Talk series.