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5/29/2015
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10 Tech Stars: Will They Deliver in 2015?

Juniper Research names the top 10 tech leaders and -- as with any good top 10 list -- we quibble with the rankings.
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10. Lei Jun, Xiaomi CEO
Lei has presided over a meteoric rise. In just five years, Xiaomi is the third largest smartphone distributor in the world, despite scant resence in developed markets such as the US and Europe. Unlike Apple, which charges a premium for its handsets, Xiaomi makes little to no money on phones, and instead makes it up in software. Xiaomi began launching its US and European online stores on May 28, and is poised to make a major splash in the next year. Lei is probably the least famous person (at least outside China) on this list, and yet he might be curiously under-ranked. 
(Image: Fortune Live Media via Flickr)

10. Lei Jun, Xiaomi CEO

Lei has presided over a meteoric rise. In just five years, Xiaomi is the third largest smartphone distributor in the world, despite scant resence in developed markets such as the US and Europe. Unlike Apple, which charges a premium for its handsets, Xiaomi makes little to no money on phones, and instead makes it up in software. Xiaomi began launching its US and European online stores on May 28, and is poised to make a major splash in the next year. Lei is probably the least famous person (at least outside China) on this list, and yet he might be curiously under-ranked.

(Image: Fortune Live Media via Flickr)

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David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/31/2015 | 12:14:25 PM
Re: High priced speculation
@asksqn- The problem is all the times the 8-Ball says, "Ask again later." Takes up a lot of time. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/31/2015 | 12:12:35 PM
Re: Geared up
@nasimon- I actually think it had the vision, but not the product. Which is why it bought Nokia. I mean Bill Gates was way ahead of his time with WebTv and other parts of his whole house strategy. The idea was too soon and now to me looks like Roku or Apple TV or insert your favorite smart TV accessory here. Basically, they decided in a way that seemed to make sense for them that they were a software company. That was a highly profitable decision.

They didn't do poorly so much as they were passed by the rise of a new set of hardware. They didn't have the internal skills to do anything about it at first. I think unlike some other companies (IBM comes to mind) they did a great job of responding to threats form multiple areas (their cloud response to Amazon has been fantastic, in my opinion). 

The Surface was also an amazingly good and quick response to the iPad. 

Anyway, I'm not 100% sure it is fair to blame a software company for not being the first to take advantage of a new line of hardware. And when the opportunity sprung up they jumped on it. Ballmer started it. Nadella seems to be keeping them down a good road.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/31/2015 | 12:04:19 PM
Re: Netflix content creator?
@nasimon- Netflix produces shows and pays to have many others produced. Shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Granted, I don't believe anyone is specifically writing scripts inside Netflix's offices, but that's true of a lot of content companies. Netflix curates, pays for, and chooses to produce shows that otherwise wouldn't be produced. I consider that content creation just like if a magazine were produced by a company but written by all freelancers or something.
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
5/31/2015 | 12:19:29 AM
Re: For some reason it's never been in vogue to be a Bezos fan
I agree I love Amazon products and tablets. I think they are underrated and provide cost efficient options for users. I also agree that Elon Musk will be known for enahancing batteries not for Tesla cars. Getting the battery to last and harness the power it needs to power us in a mobile world is the NBT if he can make it work.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/29/2015 | 1:18:45 PM
Re: 10 Tech Stars: Will They Deliver in 2015?
@zerox203- Well, I agree with you that it might seem arbitrary, but I think that is the nature of making lists like these. I think the goal of a list like this should be to inspire people to think rather than to "get it right" and I think they certianly did that.
David Wagner
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0%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/29/2015 | 1:16:27 PM
Re: Elon Musk
@SaneIT- What I love about Musk is the wide playing field. Sure, Johny Ive designes the most beautiful products and millions of people use them. But there's something about a guy who knows how to connect the dots between cars and space and solar panels and batteries that is just a whole different level of vision. It is like the QB that sees the whole field.
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