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70. Ren Ng

Founder of CEO of Lytro, How To See Differently

In the seconds after Ren Ng took this photo of a friend's daughter, he wondered, Do pictures have to be focused before you take the shot? Pursuing that question reframed his life.

Back in July 2006, Ng wrote a groundbreaking, 187-page dissertation that explored a then-theoretical notion that a camera sensor could capture all light traveling in every direction, allowing a photograph to be refocused after the snap. This February, he transformed theory into a shutterbug sensation: Lytro, his rectangular spyglasslike camera, enables users to capture a picture from virtually all depths and lenses with just one click.

Timeline

  • 2001

    Earns B.S. at Stanford, followed by an M.S. in 2002 and his PhD in 2006

  • 2004

    Builds prototype for his dissertation

  • 2006

    Completes 187-page dissertation; founds Lytro

  • 2011

    Raises $50 million for Lytro

  • 2012

    Launches the Lytro camera

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