Juniper Research released a white paper today listing its Top 10 Tech Leaders, Influencers and Visionaries of 2015. Who doesn't love a top 10 list? Of course, the best thing about a top 10 list is that you get to argue endlessly about the rankings, who belongs on the list, and who is overrated. And this list gives us plenty of fodder for debate -- including the utter lack of women in the top 10.
Before we dissect the list as we would the pre-season football polls, let's look at the criteria Juniper chose for compling the rankings. The first thing to understand is that Juniper Research decided to make it harder on itself: The firm isn't recognizing the most influential people of last year. Rather, it's attempting to predict who will be most influential in the 12 months ahead. Predicting the future and then making a top 10 list out of it doubles the fun.
Executives are ranked based on eight criteria: Innovation, scalability, reach, business model, personal capital (personal influence), outside impact, end-user impact, and vision. For the most part, the criteria seem aimed at going beyond growth or results inside a company. Juniper Research wanted to measure impact across a variety of sectors. That makes sense, because we're not judging "best CEO" or "Wall St. MVP." Juniper Research is measuring the impact these execs are having on technology, and tech is a bigger game than the bottom line.
Juniper Research's analyst team created a short list of 20 tech leaders it thought were most likely to score well on the list. Then, the team assigned a score ranking in each category. The total scores were tallied to come up with the list. Out of respect for the leaders on the list, Juniper Research did not make the individual scores public.
One of the most interesting things about the list (I promise, no spoilers), is that it includes traditional tech "leaders" as well as those with design responsibilities. It is clear that Juniper Research took the idea of who imagines and envisions the technology very seriously when putting together the rankings. Some traditional movers and shakers are nowhere to be found, while other names will surprise you.
Check out the list, counted down like any good top 10, and tell us what you think. Who is overrated? Who did Juniper miss? Who should have been No. 1? Let's debate in the comments section below.