Who: Noel Lee
Company: Monster Cable Products Inc.
Has held title for: 22 years
Previous title: Engineer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Back in 1979, Noel Lee was just another laser-fusion engineer and audiophile with a great design for high-end audio cable. Today, his Brisbane, California - based Monster Cable Products Inc. is an industry giant. And Lee is the big guy.
Do you mean "monster" as a noun or an adjective?
Both. From the beginning, I wanted a name that personified the performance of the new cable, and I needed a title that sounded big and powerful. If I say I'm a monster musician, it means I'm really good at what I do. And if I say I'm head monster, that just means I'm the best.
Not to mention it was the '70s when all of this was happening . . .
Right. I mean, I was into the whole music scene. I won't lie to you — I was smoking a lot of stuff in those days. But I have to stress: in those days. Not anymore.
Remember the SATs? Try this. Silver bullet: werewolf :: ______ : Noel Lee.
Oh, God, I don't know. Maybe seeing the sun rise? I tend to stay up really late. Wait, isn't this supposed to be multiple choice?
Do you have a monster role model?
Definitely. King Kong, no question. He's powerful, he wants to dominate the world, and he scales the Empire State Building — all that stuff. But my assistant says I'm more like the Cookie Monster.
A version of this article appeared in the November 2001 issue of Fast Company magazine.