A reflection on technology thought leadership in 2012.
by Peter High, published on Forbes.com
As 2012 draws to a close, I have gathered what I believe to be the best technology writing and interviews from the year. I have divided the articles into the categories of people, organizations, and ideas. As you put your feet up in front of the fire this holiday season, consider giving these articles and interviews a look and listen.
Elon Musk has been called the reincarnation of Thomas Edison. One of his companies is shooting for the stars (or at least for Mars), and another hopes to revolutionize the auto industry. In this Bloomberg Businessweek profile entitled “Elon Musk, the 21st Century Industrialist“, Ashlee Vance provides a solid snapshot of this dynamic leader. (To get an insider’s perspective on Tesla Motors, listen to my interview with Tesla IT head, Jay Vijayan.)
I am admittedly a devotee of Charlie Rose, and there are three tech-centric interviews of his from the past year that are worth watching:
- In June, Rose spoke with Internet revolutionary Marc Andreessen about the many technology revolutions he has seen and led.
- In October, Rose spoke with Bill Maris and Kevin Rose of Google Ventures on their mission to find disruptive ideas.
- Just prior to the election this year, Rose interviewed Nate Silver, who describes his statistical analysis of polls, what ultimately were his correct predictions for the major elections of the year, and his book, The Signal and the Noise. As others have said, Nate Silver was the real winner of the last election.
Mary Meeker was an early advocate for and investor in the dot-com companies of the late ‘90s. She is back, and this Forbes profile by Eric Savitz entitled “Meeker: new Job, But Still Queen of the Net” provides interesting insights into where she sees the next big things emerging from her perch at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
With all of the articles written about big data, Charles Duhigg’s New York Times Magazine article “How Companies Learn Your Secrets” does an outstanding job at digging deep into the methods used by Target regarding its approach to data analytics to make better decisions.
I have been interested to see a number of business and IT executives who I counsel gaining a better appreciation for culture. This is not a technology piece per se, but is especially relevant for the department of the company that is most vulnerable to having great people leave for greener pastures. In this Fast Company article, Shawn Parr argues that “Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch.”