Top 10 techies with Seattle connections

Jul 12, 2010, 2:22 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

Steve Jobs is the smartest person in technology on the planet. He knows that, and Fortune Magazine agrees. Fortune’s ranking of the 50 smartest people puts Jobs at the top, and includes 10 people with connections to Seattle.

The Fortune article notes that Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 when the company was close to bankruptcy and 13 years later it is the world’s most valuable tech company with a market cap of $250 billion.

Local smartest people in tech, and their ranking:

2. Jeff Bezos, CEO of, who “never stops innovating.” He launched Amazon in 1994, turning it into a “massive virtual mall open to other vendors’ wares.”

3. Dr. Mitch Gold, CEO of Seattle-based Dendreon. The company has won approval from the FDA for its drug Provenge, a prostate cancer vaccine that stimulates the body’s own immune system to attack tumors.

8. Indrani Medhi, Microsoft Research India. While more than 1.8 billion people use PCs around the world, another 2 billion people can’t because of illiteracy. That’s where Microsoft Research has made a difference. Medhi is an expert at text-free user interfaces which are “the result of spending more than 450 hours studying 400 low-income subjects in Indian slums, South African farms, and Filipino fishing villages.”

9. Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo. He is the genius behind Nintendo’s beloved brand characters, like Mario and Luigi, Donkey Kong and Zelda. Fortune says he’s “singlehandedly responsible for the modern videogame juggernaut.” Nintendo’s North American headquarters are based in Redmond.

12. Michael Arrington, Founder and co-editor of Techcrunch. Arrington’s local connection is recent – he relocated to Seattle from the Silicon Valley in May. Arrington was a corporate lawyer before he started TechCrunch in 2005.

21. Christophe Bisciglia, Co-Founder of Cloudera. The smartest engineer in tech grew up in Gig Harbor and before he started his own company in California, he taught a class at the University of Washington called “Google 101.” He showed engineers how to program on a cloud-size scale. While Bill Gates wanted a computer on every desk top, cloud computing makes information accessible in many ways.

23. Luke Rajlich, CTO FarmVille. Laugh at FarmVille all you want, more than 20 million people play the online social game every day. Rajlich leads the engineering team. He’s a former Microsoft software engineer. At one time he worked on an early prototype of Windows Vista Meeting Space.

26. Danah Boyd, Microsoft Research. Fortune calls Boyd the smartest academic who’s “made a career of questioning the status quo.” I think she’s one of the most influential women in technology.

35. Nathan Myhrvold, Co-founder, Intellectual Ventures. Myhrvold, from Seattle, was Microsoft’s first chief technology officer and founder of Microsoft Research. He’s brilliant, and personally holds more than 18 U.S. patents and has applied for more than 100.

48. Michael Grimes, Investment Banker, Morgan Stanley. Adding Grimes to the local list of techies is a stretch, but one of the many deals he was behind was huge –’s acquisition of Zappos.

The News Chick Blog

The wife of Seattle attorney Danford Grant moved his car away from one of the alleged crime scenes ...
No Author

Equal justice for Seattle lawyer accused of several rapes?

Has accused serial rapist Danford Grant gotten preferential treatment because both he and his wife are Seattle attorneys?
10 years ago
The Seattle-based I Can Has Cheezburger network now includes 60 humor sites. Many of their 90 emplo...
No Author

Seattle humor network, built with funny cat pictures, becomes a reality TV show

A small Internet empire with a funny name has billions of page views on its network of 60 humor websites based in Seattle. Now, I Can Has Cheezburger has a reality TV show too.
10 years ago
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle. Wa...
No Author

Democracy and dollar signs – 2012 campaign spending

Washington initiative campaigns spent $34 million trying to win your vote, while President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle.
10 years ago
Chef Tom Douglas says Seattle’s restaurants are ‘a little homemade’ compared with...
No Author

Chef Tom Douglas says ‘Seattle is a funny restaurant town’

Chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas, with 13 Seattle restaurants and more on the way, says Seattle is a "funny restaurant town."
10 years ago
Investigation continues into why a commander of the Bremerton-based Stennis carrier group was remov...
No Author

New ‘crazy’ conspiracy theory on Stennis Rear Admiral

The Pentagon shoots down theories about why the commander of the USS Stennis Carrier Group was removed from duty and sent back to the homeport in Bremerton.
10 years ago
Seattle photographer Paul Souders captures an adult polar bear up close in Hudson Bay in Churchill,...
No Author

Seattle photographer comes face to face with a polar bear

A wildlife photographer, who lives in Ballard, has taken thousands of stunning shots. None put him on "a razor's edge" more than a series of photos swimming with a polar bear.
10 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Top 10 techies with Seattle connections