Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

4 minute read

The 2005 Fast 50

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?

Peak Performers

Smartly executed great ideas made 2004 a very good year

1 Good Boy!
Jeffrey P. Ansell, 45
President The Iams Co., a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble
2 Putting Towns on the Map
Tom Buxton, 54
President and CEO, The Buxton Co.
3 Just Don't Call Them Time Shares
Donn Davis, 42
CEO, Exclusive Resorts LLC
4 A School for Us
Dennis Littky, 60
Cofounder and codirector, The Big Picture Co.
5 Calling the Tune
Panos Panay, 32
Founder and CEO, Sonicbids Corp.
6 A Brand to Go, With Everything on It
Tom Ryan, 48
Executive vice president of branding, Quiznos Sub
7 Tasty Trader
John Scharffenberger, 53
CEO and cofounder, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker
8 The Shoe Fits
Nick Swinmurn, 31
Founder and chairman, Inc.
9 Homeland Amenity
Michael Van Valkenburgh, 53
Founding principal, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc.
10 Future Shock
Andrew Zolli, 34
Founder, Z+Partners

New Ideas

Making their mark with products and services we hadn't imagined

11 Coming to a Boil
Dwight Aspinwall, 43
Cofounder and president, Jetboil Inc.
12 Reach Out and Touch Everyone
Tony Bates, 37
Vice president and general manager, Cisco Systems Inc.
13 Supercharging the Digital Shoebox
Stewart Butterfield, 31 Caterina Fake, 34
President and VP marketing and community, Ludicorp Research & Development Ltd.
14 Memo to Bugs: Bring It On
Richard Lane, 55
President, Buzz Off Insect Shield LLC
15 Going to the Mattresses
Kurt Ling, 41
Vice president of innovation, Simmons Bedding Co.
16 Designing Better Research
Thomas Newmaster, 37
Owner and COO, William Fox Munroe Inc.
17 Dell-izing Printers
Tim Peters, 43
VP and GM, Dell Imaging and Printing, Dell Inc.
18 Military Intelligence
Steve Roth, 52
Founder and CEO, MAYA Viz LLC
19 Soccer Dad Gets Mad
Jeff Skeen, 46
CEO and founder, Full90 Sports Inc.
20 Nexis for the Rest of Us
Patrick Spain, 52
Founder, Chairman, and CEO, HighBeam Research Inc.


Big moments, immediate results

21 Cool by Design
John Christakos, 40
President and designer, Blu Dot Design & Manufacturing Inc.
22 Dollars From Detritus
Stampp Corbin, 44
Founder and CEO, RetroBox
23 On Best Behavior
Dave Morgan, 41
CEO and founder, Tacoda Systems Inc.
24 Credit Card Top Cop
Sergio Pinon, 54
Senior vice president of security and risk services, MasterCard International
25 Internet Video Star
Allie Savarino, 33
Senior vice president, Unicast Communications Corp.
26 Paging Captain Kirk
Rob Shostak, 56
Founder and CTO, Vocera Communications
27 The New Joe College
Luke Skurman, 24
Cofounder and CEO, College Prowler
28 The Firestarter
Clay Wilson, 42
Fire chief, SimpleFire LLC
29 The Power of O
Larry Woodard, 45
President and CEO, Vigilante
30 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

31 Power on Demand
Stephen DeWitt, 38
CEO and President, Azul Systems Inc.
32 The Brand Matchmaker
Di-Ann Eisnor, 32
CEO, Community-centric Marketing
33 World Explorer
Juan Enriquez, 45
Chairman and CEO, Biotechonomy LLC
34 Fast Cars, Fast Company
D. Cole Frates, 36
Cofounder and president, Hydrogen Car Co.
35 Really Keeps Going and Going . . .
Stephan Godevais, 43
CEO, president, and chairman, Valence Technology Inc.
36 Big Ideas Come in Small Packages
Dan Rugar, 51
Manager of nanoscale studies, IBM
37 You Smell Delicious
Caroline Sabas, 30
Perfumer, Givaudan Fragrances
38 From Lab to Fab
Greg Schmergel, 36
Cofounder and CEO, Nantero Inc.
39 Tilting at Windmills
Thomas Wagner, 43
General manager of wind technology, GE Energy


Charting a new course for their businesses and industries through innovation

40 Documenting Magic
Bruce Chizen, 49
CEO and president, Adobe Systems Inc.
41 In the Bag
Mark Dwight, 45
CEO, Timbuk2
42 A More Popular Banco
Roberto Herencia, 46
President, Banco Popular North America
43 Changing the Debate
Ray Lauk, 45
Superintendent, Lyons Elementary School District 103
44 From Pawn to King
Steve Mack, 46
Chairman, Ztradingindustries
45 More Than a Symbolic Change
William Nuti, 41
President and CEO, Symbol Technologies Inc.
46 Reloading the Silver Bullet
Dicky Riegel, 38
President and CEO, Airstream Inc.
47 Ready for a Close-up
Shane Robison, 50
Chief strategy and technology officer, Hewlett-Packard
48 The Sounds of Service
Jeff Stone, 47
President and CEO, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group
49 Media Maven
David Verklin, 48
CEO, Carat Americas
50 Retailing 101
Jenna Whitney, 38
Director of learning & development, Old Navy