8 of 10
8. Bret Taylor and Jim Norris
Then: Developed Google Maps
Now: Co-founders (with Paul Buchheit and Sanjeev Singh) of FriendFeed

For Taylor, 27, starting a company with his friend Norris, 26, was a no-brainer. They took comp sci classes at Stanford together, lived together, worked at Google together, and created Google Maps together. Why stick with Norris? "He's smarter than I am," Taylor says. "He's a genius engineer." The friends left Google in June (on the same day, naturally) to start their own company developing storage technology. They both quickly grew bored with the project and decided to launch FriendFeed with fellow ex-Googlers Paul Buchheit and Sanjeev Singh. "On a high level, our company is interested in finding social solutions to problems," Taylor says. "That's something I learned from [Google co-founder] Larry Page. At Google, I learned to go after big, intimidating projects because that's what is worth solving."

NEXT: Salman Ullah and Sean Dempsey
Last updated July 28 2008: 1:44 PM ET
More Galleries
5 biggest share buybacks of 2014 Stock repurchases are booming. These five companies are ready to spend over $79 billion on buybacks. More
10 horrifying corporate mascots McDonald's Happy is part of a long lineage of creatures great and small that shill for products and mortify consumers. Mr. Mucus, anyone? More
5 best cities to launch a career The top spots in the U.S. for new grads to land a job -- and actually enjoy life -- according to financial site WalletHub. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.