Who do we invite to the UK's tech dinner with Obama?

Summary:The White House just posted a photo of the San Francisco "tech dinner" with US president Barack Obama. It includes Steve Jobs (Apple) and his friend Larry Ellison (Oracle), Eric Schmidt (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), John Chambers (Cisco), Carol Bartz (Yahoo), Reed Hastings (Netflix), Dick Costolo (Twitter) and Stanford University President John Hennessy.

The White House just posted a photo of the San Francisco "tech dinner" with US president Barack Obama. It includes Steve Jobs (Apple) and his friend Larry Ellison (Oracle), Eric Schmidt (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), John Chambers (Cisco), Carol Bartz (Yahoo), Reed Hastings (Netflix), Dick Costolo (Twitter) and Stanford University President John Hennessy. The dinner was held at John Doerr's house: he's a venture capitalist from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

With Obama scheduled to visit the UK, I wondered -- and tweeted about -- who would be invited to a similar dinner in the UK. Perhaps Lord Alan Sugar (Amstrad) and Uncle (now Sir) Clive Sinclair, plus venture capitalist Hermann Hauser, co-founder of Acorn. Perhaps Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox, famous for founding Lastminute.com. Andrew @brookhouse added Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who is perhaps the only world-class contender… but he invented the web in Switzerland and is now based in the USA.

Warren East should certainly get an invitation. Although he didn't design the ARM chip or help found the company, he joined ARM in Cambridge in 1994, only four years after it was spun off from Cambridge-based Acorn Computers.

And as Barry @bazzacollins promptly pointed out: "If Stephen blinking Fry didn't get an invite it would be a miracle."

After that, you might have to scratch around to fill the table. For example, you could invite Mike Lynch and Richard Gaunt, who founded Autonomy in 1996, as a spin-off from a Cambridge University research project. There's also South Africa-born David Potter, another Cambridge man, who founded Psion in 1980 but hasn't been chief executive since 1999.

Simon Bisson, of this parish, tweeted: "I'd vote for Prof Ray Steele and Prof Andrew Blake." However, I think it will be some time before anyone makes a hit movie about them.

Dj Walker-Morgan quipped: "Douglas Reynholm of course..."

Perhaps the UK has actually reached the point where, if we invited Obama to a tech dinner, we'd seriously think about inviting characters from Graham Linehan's sitcom, The IT Crowd.

But if you have any better ideas, you can add them below….

Topics: Tech Industry

About

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first webs... Full Bio

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