The Most Interesting People of 2013


The Most Interesting People of 2013

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  December 26, 2013

INTERNET TELEPHONY recently polled industry analysts and other experts for their input on the most interesting people of 2013.

Many of the names that surfaced are familiar ones. But our analysts’ reasoning for these selections were what was really interesting. Here are some of the responses.

“The most interesting person to me this past year is Tony Fadell,” said Craig Clausen of New Paradigm Resources Group. “Among other things, Tony was the lead inventor of the iPod when he was with Apple (News - Alert). He is now CEO of Nest, a Silicon Valley startup. 

“What’s intriguing (and impressive) to me is that Mr. Fadell is now taking common household appliances most people rarely give much thought about and turning these into devices that incorporate additional sensors and intelligence allowing them to ‘learn’ users behaviors to provide not only improved performance but also enhanced functionality,” he said. “Fadell’s current work initially focused on thermostats and has moved onto smoke detectors – those simple boxes that sit on our ceilings, unnoticed until we go through the semi-annual ritual of changing their batteries when clocks are adjusted due to daylight saving. With the additional sensors and intelligence Fadell has built into them, as well as their ability to be networked and communicate with one another, these devices are the first steps in moving toward the development of a system that creates a truly smart home environment.”

For Ovum (News - Alert) analyst Mike Sapien, Apple’s new leader Tim Cook is the most interesting person of 2013. Cook is noteworthy because he is at the helm of the iconic Apple, directly following in the footsteps of Steve Jobs (News - Alert), said Sapien, but it’s more than just that.

“[He was] able to create his own persona as well as manage Apple at a critical time,” noted Sapien.” Plus, he also was just promoted for the passage of a bill against workplace discrimination. [He has] just a wide range of interests – and the impossible job of replacing a legend.”

The next and final person of the year nominee also replaced a legend. In this case we’re talking about Steve Ballmer, who long ago took the reins at Microsoft (News - Alert) from founder Bill Gates. This year, however, Ballmer announced plans for retirement.

Phil Edholm of PKE Consulting LLC, noted that the announcement that Ballmer will be leaving the CEO role at Microsoft “puts one of the foundation stones of most organizations IT infrastructure in a state of transition.

“Who comes in to run Microsoft and their vision of the company over the next decade will have a huge impact on IT and organizations,” said Edholm. “The acquisition of Nokia (News - Alert)'s handset business and the movement to hardware after years of being a software vendor is the icing on the cake of interesting.”

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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