Inc.com

Twenty-Six Entrepreneurs We Love

Here's to the man who taught safety to the helicopter industry. To the woman who wants to save the world through chocolate. To two couples that are finding their own ways to make partnership work. To -- that's right -- Martha Stewart. And to 21 more people who represent the best qualities of entrepreneurship.

From: Inc. Magazine, April 2005 | By: null


26 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs

Inc. magazine goes behind the scenes with 26 entrepreneurs who best exemplify the extraordinary drive, creativity, and passion of American business. Our top 26 list, one for each year of Inc., spans the gamut of the entrepreneurial world, from names you know well, such as Richard Branson, Michael Dell, and Martha Stewart; to Tony Lee, a former janitor who bought out his steel manufacturing employer; to Craig Newmark, who has been almost the antithesis of a dot-commer with his no-frills Craigslist site. No matter what the accomplishment, each entrepreneur profiled here offers a fascinating case study in what it takes to thrive in today's economy.

26 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs

26 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs

  1. Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Omnimedia
    because she took one for the team
  2. Richard Branson, Virgin Group
    because he's game for anything. In fact, everything.
  3. Michael Dell, Dell Computer
    for being brilliantly straightforward
  4. Jim Sinegal, Costco
    because who knew a big-box chain could have a generous soul?
  5. Diane von Furstenberg, Diane von Furstenberg Studio
    for staging an elegant comeback
  6. Julie Azuma, Different Roads to Learning
    for offering hope and help to the parents of autistic children
  7. Fritz Maytag, Anchor Brewing
    for setting limits
  8. Ray Kurzweil, Kurzweil Technologies and other companies
    because he is Edison's rightful heir
  9. Craig Newmark, Craigslist
    for putting the free in free markets
  10. Jack Mitchell, Mitchells/Richards
    because his family business makes an art of customer service
  11. Frank Robinson, Robinson Helicopter
    for whipping an entire industry into shape
  12. Mark Melton, Melton Franchise Systems
    for giving immigrants their shot at the American Dream
  13. Michelle Cardinal & Tim O'Leary, Cmedia and Respond2
    for rewriting the rules for husband-and-wife teams
  14. Mike Lazaridis, Research in Motion
    because someone had to stand up for all those frustrated engineers
  15. Trip Hawkins, Electronics Arts and Digital Chocolate
    for still scrapping
  16. Warren Brown, Cake Love and Love Cafe
    because only in America will someone quit a secure job as a lawyer to start a bakery
  17. Muriel Siebert, Muriel Siebert & Co.
    for being a notable first with a worthy second act
  18. Chuck Porter, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky
    for verging on reckless
  19. Katrina Markoff, Vosges Haut
    for setting a completely unreasonable goal for her business
  20. Barry Steinberg & Craig Sumerel, Direct Tire and Auto Service
    for showing the power of the peer group
  21. Victoria Parham, Virtual Support Services
    for serving as a mentor to military spouses
  22. Tom LaTour, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
    for staying at fleabag hotels so that we don't have to
  23. Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, Mitchell Gold
    for creating a true comfort zone
  24. Izzy & Coco Tihanyi, Surf Diva
    for kicking sand in the face of conventional wisdom
  25. Tony Lee, Ring Masters
    for saving 16 jobs, including his own
  26. Rueben Martinez, Libreria Martinez Books and Art Galleries
    for simultaneously building a business and nurturing Latino culture

Copyright © 2006 Mansueto Ventures LLC. All rights reserved.
Inc.com, 375 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017.