Rank: 2
Sergey Brin and Larry Page
Co-founders, Google
Why They Matter: Success hasn't really changed the Google guys all that much: They're still Stanford computer geeks to the core. That's why the company has become a magnet for like-minded geniuses -- witness the Silicon Valley billboards with brain-teasing number puzzles that turn out to be Google recruitment ads. It's also why their PageRank algorithm remains the best mousetrap in search, why their groundbreaking pay-per-click advertising model brought in a stunning $6 billion in revenue last year, why Google's market cap hovers comfortably above $100 billion, and why their ongoing project to organize all of the world's information is taken seriously. What Page's famous list of his 100 most interesting projects lacked in focus, it more than made up for in ambition. The same is true of Brin's long-term strategy -- organizing all that information into a database that will act as a kind of global brain for all human knowledge. Technically, the pair run the world's top technology company as a triumvirate with CEO (and resident adult) Eric Schmidt. But what the geeks want, they usually get. After all, there are plenty of CEO types who could replace Schmidt. But who on earth could possibly replace Sergey and Larry?