At Trace3 we value strong leadership that inspires, innovates, and facilitates great work. That’s why we embrace working with game-changing CIOs supporting their day-to-day business requirements and celebrate them during our annual Evolve Tech Conference. Great leaders come from multiple industries, backgrounds, and areas of expertise and apply thoughtful strategies that transcend technology and time to create a lasting impact. With so many exceptional leaders guiding organizations to new heights, we searched and found five leaders, both historical and contemporary, who helped transform the technology landscape.
- Alice Guy-Blaché – You’ve heard of Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino, but do you know this incredible film director? Arguably the first narrative film director ever, this 1890s innovator worked as a secretary in a photography company. In her free time, she took the once-corporate technology at her job and used it in a new way: films for entertainment. Guy-Blaché accelerated the rise of the silent film industry by recognizing the potential in an existing tool to create something for a wide audience.
- J.C.R. Licklider – This 1960s psychologist and computer scientist dreamed up Cloud computing long before the corresponding technology existed. He wrote papers and drafted plans linking computers (which at the time were little more than calculators) to public broadcasting, hypothesizing that similar networks could function wirelessly, as well. Making connections between existing tools is a key factor in separating the good leaders from the great ones, and Licklider’s ideas massively shaped the way we use the digital space today.
- Hedy Lamarr – Ironically, Lamarr’s invention of WiFi-like radar remains very under the radar compared to her impressive Golden Age filmography, including classics like Algiers and Samson and Delilah. But her most impactful work in the digital space is the “Spread Spectrum,” a technology that was used to manipulate radio waves during World War II and the Cold War. It also formed the basis for Bluetooth and WiFi.
- Satoshi Nakamoto – Perhaps the mystery behind Bitcoin’s creator contributes to its popularity and influence. Disrupting the financial industry is already a major effect, but is likely not the only industry the technology will affect. Whoever this individual or group is, Nakamoto changed the way the world exchanges money by eliminating the government borders behind it, and they did it all through a whitepaper.
- Sherman Fairchild – A pioneer of contemporary Silicon Valley, Fairchild turned his passions for photography and aviation into more than 70 companies, investments, and inventions. In 1959 he introduced the Planar process, a process for the manufacture of semi-conductors which immediately became the industry standard. An enthusiastic hobbyist and innovator, Fairchild’s work is a reminder that it’s never a bad idea to pursue your passions.
We believe each of the individuals listed above qualify as an Outlier. Do you know a technology leader that you would qualify as an Outlier? If so, we welcome you to nominate your Outlier for our annual Outlier Award in 2019. We honor individuals who consistently deliver dynamic innovation and outstanding leadership in the field of information technology via the Trace3 Outlier Award. We know there are those who dare to carve their own path carefully managing risk and utilizing their own ingenuity. These visionaries deviate from the norm to solve challenging problems at the intersection of business and technology. Nominate your Outlier today!