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7 Business Leaders Who Changed the World

Throughout history, empires rose up with the leadership of a few amazing people. History

books are full of innovators who changed everything, from Martin Luther King to Mahatma Gandhi.

For entrepreneurs in search of inspiration, there are also business leaders who have transformed the landscape too. These are the innovators who have changed what we thought we knew about technology, medicine, and countless other sectors, through their ability to think outside of the box.

Today, we’re going to celebrate some of the business leaders that changed the world with their insights and ideas.

Consider these business leaders:

1. Elon Musk. It’s hard to write an article about innovative business leaders without mentioning Elon Musk.

  • Musk came to the US in his early 20s from South Africa, where he studied Physics and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, Elon co-founded, which eventually became PayPal. By 2001, when eBay bought PayPal, Musk was worth over 1.5 billion.

  • Elon didn’t just change the world of finances. He also transformed the way we look at transport too. Musk’s Tesla motors are some of the most innovative electric cars in the world.

  • Elon is also behind the incredible Falcon 9 Rocket and the quest to make space travel more accessible.

2. Reshma Saujani. Reshma Saujani is one of the most important figures in Tech history. She might not have transformed the world with a new codec or computer, but she did help to make technology training more available to female coders.

  • Founder of the Girls Who Code nonprofit group, Reshma has helped to balance the gender issue in the tech industry.

  • Without Suajani, it may have taken years for females to break into the boy’s club of the technology industry. She’s a true fighter for the girl power cause.

3. Andrew Carnegie. Most historians refer to Andrew Carnegie as the man who helped America step into its first industrial revolution. The work of this iconic steel baron helped to expand the middle class in the United States.

  • Carnegie was one of the most important philanthropists of his era, and he’s also one of the richest Americans in history.

  • More than just a wealthy innovator, Andrew was also extremely generous. During the last two decades of his life, he gave away around $350 million, which equates to about $5.2 billion today. Where would America be without this Steel pioneer?

4. Larry Page. Worth a whopping $45.5 billion, Larry Page is a name that often goes under-referenced in discussions of the world’s most important business leaders.

  • However, Page was the man responsible for PageRank, the search algorithm that Google still uses today. Larry is behind the Google technology that powers our searching daily.

  • It’s hard to imagine a world without Google today. When Page started Google with another student from Stanford in 1998, the two probably had no idea what their venture would become. In 2015, Larry also became the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s current parent company.

5. Reed Hastings. Perhaps one of the most recent innovators on our list of business leaders who changed the world, Reed Hastings is the man who co-founded Netflix.

  • Hastings changed the way that we live forever, by offering access to a new kind of entertainment streamed on demand. From Hasting’s idea for streamed television and movie content, countless other companies have emerged to offer similar experiences.

  • Reed Hastings helped to promote the modern “subscription” lifestyle, and in 2017, Forbes even revealed that more people were subscribing to Netflix than cable TV.

6. Bill Gates. Best known for founding Microsoft, Bill Gates is responsible for the largest PC company in the world. The Microsoft PC is easily one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

7. Steve Jobs. Finally, Steve Jobs is best known as the creator of Apple. However, he could also be described as the man who pioneered the smartphone.

  • Before Steve Jobs, we had nothing close to the minicomputers that we have in our pockets today. Steve Jobs made the computer more accessible and exciting than ever before, not just through laptops and desktops, but through pocket-sized devices.

  • Jobs transformed the way that we play, listen, read, and learn on a massive scale. Apple’s smart devices set the stage for the mobile boom that we live in today. It’s no wonder that Steve Jobs is still recognized as one of the most significant business owners of all time.


Thank you for reading our blog!

- Mike Acker

Check out my new book on Public Speaking: Speak with Confidence, published by WILEY.

A breakthrough to develop confidence in speaking, leadership, and life. A follow-up book to my best-selling book, Speak with No Fear

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