My top ten people of the year part 1

Some (not all!) of the standout people I met in 2005 in my travels around Silicon Valley...
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

I thought it might be a good idea to name my top ten people of the year. Everyone does the same year-end prediction lists, but I haven't seen a people list!?

So here is my top ten (plus a few...) people list, as a denizen of Silicon Valley North (San Francisco); and my travels around this seemingly small village of our tech community.

BTW, this is exclusively for my ZDNet readers (with just a link my modest svw site.) Here is my Silicon Valley Watch Top Ten People List, with a few add-ons.

These are presented in no logical order or importance relative to each other. These are people I met in 2005 that interested me...and that I can recall at this precise moment in time. And I hope that they might interest you too :-)

These are all Top Ten...

-Dan Scheinman, head of M&A at Cisco Systems and also head of corporate communications. - Dan is the man at Cisco because M&A is Cisco's bread and butter.

It's one of the most challenging jobs in the industry--growing a company the size of Cisco at the rates Wall Street demands.

-Joe Kraus, head of JotSpot, and former co-founder of Excite, the former "Google" of its times. Joe and I speak the same language--and that is fun. When we met for a summer lunch we raced through 20 topics and we forgot to talk about Jotspot.

Fortunately, Dan Farber had seen Joe the same day and blogged the new Jotspot stuff. I blogged about lunch and linked to Dan's Jotspot update.

This is why I love this medium, as a journalist, there is no point in rewriting stories already so masterfully written. Just link to the best and add your value, which in my case, was the lunchtime conversation.

-Ray Lane former president of Oracle, and now a VC at Silicon Valley's premier league VC firm Kleiner Perkins. I've got to say, that each time I meet with Ray, I more interested in what he has to say.

Ray is a relative newbie to the VC world, and he'll be the first to tell you that. However, he is a quick study and he has a clear view into much of the enterprise software market, and he is starting to pick some winners.

Virsa, is the front runner in the Ray Lane stable. It could very well be  the fastest growing private software company in the world right now.

One standout  trait is that Ray Lane is ready to admit when he hasn't yet made his mind up on certain industry trends--such as platform software. His, is an inquiring mind, and while I disagree with him about certain things, (I don't think IBM needs SAP) his arguments always include plenty of original thinking.

-Max Levchin CEO of Slide and co-founder of PayPal. There will be a lot more to be said about Max, he's barely started his third decade (his second century :-). Watch this space.

-Satish Dharmaraj CEO of Zimbra. The company is one of the standouts of the year. Zimbra, the AJAX company, the one that got ahead of the pack. And Satish is one of the standout people of the year--we speak the same language and I love his attitude.

Tune in for the rest of the Top Ten (or more...)



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