Fast is a state of mind.
If you're fast, you don't accept the status quo. You plan for your moment to shine and when it comes — pow! — run for daylight and don't look back. Being fast is taking on an impossible task and bit by bit making it work. It's imagining a better world (or even one that smells like chocolate). Here are the winners of Fast Company's fourth annual global readers' challenge — every one of them an innovator, dreamer, and doer. Just what did you accomplish in 2004?
Smartly executed great ideas made 2004 a very good year
Jeffrey P. Ansell, 45
President The Iams Co., a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble
Putting Towns on the Map
Tom Buxton, 54
President and CEO, The Buxton Co.
Just Don't Call Them Time Shares
Donn Davis, 42
CEO, Exclusive Resorts LLC
A School for Us
Dennis Littky, 60
Cofounder and codirector, The Big Picture Co.
Calling the Tune
Panos Panay, 32
Founder and CEO, Sonicbids Corp.
A Brand to Go, With Everything on It
Tom Ryan, 48
Executive vice president of branding, Quiznos Sub
John Scharffenberger, 53
CEO and cofounder, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker
The Shoe Fits
Nick Swinmurn, 31
Founder and chairman, Zappos.com Inc.
Michael Van Valkenburgh, 53
Founding principal, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc.
Andrew Zolli, 34
Making their mark with products and services we hadn't imagined
Coming to a Boil
Dwight Aspinwall, 43
Cofounder and president, Jetboil Inc.
Reach Out and Touch Everyone
Tony Bates, 37
Vice president and general manager, Cisco Systems Inc.
Supercharging the Digital Shoebox
Stewart Butterfield, 31 Caterina Fake, 34
President and VP marketing and community, Ludicorp Research & Development Ltd.
Memo to Bugs: Bring It On
Richard Lane, 55
President, Buzz Off Insect Shield LLC
Going to the Mattresses
Kurt Ling, 41
Vice president of innovation, Simmons Bedding Co.
Designing Better Research
Thomas Newmaster, 37
Owner and COO, William Fox Munroe Inc.
Tim Peters, 43
VP and GM, Dell Imaging and Printing, Dell Inc.
Steve Roth, 52
Founder and CEO, MAYA Viz LLC
Soccer Dad Gets Mad
Jeff Skeen, 46
CEO and founder, Full90 Sports Inc.
Nexis for the Rest of Us
Patrick Spain, 52
Founder, Chairman, and CEO, HighBeam Research Inc.
Big moments, immediate results
Cool by Design
John Christakos, 40
President and designer, Blu Dot Design & Manufacturing Inc.
Dollars From Detritus
Stampp Corbin, 44
Founder and CEO, RetroBox
On Best Behavior
Dave Morgan, 41
CEO and founder, Tacoda Systems Inc.
Credit Card Top Cop
Sergio Pinon, 54
Senior vice president of security and risk services, MasterCard International
Internet Video Star
Allie Savarino, 33
Senior vice president, Unicast Communications Corp.
Paging Captain Kirk
Rob Shostak, 56
Founder and CTO, Vocera Communications
The New Joe College
Luke Skurman, 24
Cofounder and CEO, College Prowler
Clay Wilson, 42
Fire chief, SimpleFire LLC
The Power of O
Larry Woodard, 45
President and CEO, Vigilante
True Person-to-Person Calling
Niklas Zennstroem, 39
Cofounder and CEO, Skype Technologies S.A.
They're not there yet, but their ideas are thrilling
Power on Demand
Stephen DeWitt, 38
CEO and President, Azul Systems Inc.
The Brand Matchmaker
Di-Ann Eisnor, 32
CEO, Community-centric Marketing
Juan Enriquez, 45
Chairman and CEO, Biotechonomy LLC
Fast Cars, Fast Company
D. Cole Frates, 36
Cofounder and president, Hydrogen Car Co.
Really Keeps Going and Going . . .
Stephan Godevais, 43
CEO, president, and chairman, Valence Technology Inc.
Big Ideas Come in Small Packages
Dan Rugar, 51
Manager of nanoscale studies, IBM
You Smell Delicious
Caroline Sabas, 30
Perfumer, Givaudan Fragrances
From Lab to Fab
Greg Schmergel, 36
Cofounder and CEO, Nantero Inc.
Tilting at Windmills
Thomas Wagner, 43
General manager of wind technology, GE Energy
Charting a new course for their businesses and industries through innovation
Bruce Chizen, 49
CEO and president, Adobe Systems Inc.
In the Bag
Mark Dwight, 45
A More Popular Banco
Roberto Herencia, 46
President, Banco Popular North America
Changing the Debate
Ray Lauk, 45
Superintendent, Lyons Elementary School District 103
From Pawn to King
Steve Mack, 46
More Than a Symbolic Change
William Nuti, 41
President and CEO, Symbol Technologies Inc.
Reloading the Silver Bullet
Dicky Riegel, 38
President and CEO, Airstream Inc.
Ready for a Close-up
Shane Robison, 50
Chief strategy and technology officer, Hewlett-Packard
The Sounds of Service
Jeff Stone, 47
President and CEO, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group
David Verklin, 48
CEO, Carat Americas
Jenna Whitney, 38
Director of learning & development, Old Navy