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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?

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?

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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, Zappos.com 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.

Breakthroughs

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.

Milestones

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

Reinventions

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