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4. Reed Hastings

Chief Executive Officer of Netflix

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Reed Hastings, 49, could have stuck with his first breakthrough idea—Netflix recently mailed its 2-billionth DVD. Instead, he's swiftly embraced streaming online and direct to TV via half a dozen Netflix-ready devices made by LG, Samsung, Microsoft, and others. Hastings says his approach is to "get a mix of inspirations," test innovations, and let the customer decide. So far, it seems to be working: Netflix's stock price has doubled since last November, reaching record highs. — by Anya Kamenetz