When we set out to make a list of the most influential — and interesting — people in the local technology scene, we wanted to do several things. We wanted to highlight the biggest names and themes in the industry. We wanted to identify who’s solving the biggest problems, who’s driving change, and who’s had the most success.
Most of all, we wanted to tell a compelling story about the Massachusetts tech community — where it stands, where it’s been, and where it’s going. Because, while it is a local story, it has tremendous global impact. And it needs to be told with the full richness of personalities and experiences that give the industry its weight and influence.
The end result is our inaugural Tech Power Players 50, a list of leaders selected and ranked by the Globe’s business and technology journalists with guidance from an external advisory committee. It’s all part of a recent expansion of our technology coverage, and we believe it highlights the depth and breadth of the community at a crucial time.
The list is heavy on CEOs, founders, investors, and technologists. They come from startups, big companies, venture firms, and universities. They represent tech sectors that Greater Boston is known for, including software, cybersecurity, robotics, health tech, and climate tech. (We excluded biotech, because it is largely a separate story.)
Our selection criteria were simple, but subjective. All candidates were scored for their economic impact and their broader influence in the local community, with an emphasis on mentorship and efforts to promote diversity and equity. We prioritized recent achievements, particularly during the pandemic, but also recognized career milestones.
To help tell our story, the Tech Power Players 50 are divided into five groups.
The Story (1-10): The top names and themes in the industry. (See Carmichael Roberts at #1.)
The Influencers (11-20): Leaders making things happen across sectors. (See Jody Rose and Jeff Bussgang at #11.)
The Foundation (21-30): The roots of the local scene. (See Desh Deshpande at #21 and Marc Raibert at #26.)
The Idea Makers (31-40): New approaches, new thinking, new industries. (See Silvio Micali at #31.)
The Future (41-50): Where the next wave of innovators is heading. (See Will Ahmed at #41.)
To be inclusive, in some cases we chose to honor two people from the same company in one slot. This means there are actually 60 people on the list, for 50 slots. (No more than two people for any slot.)
So let’s get to it. We encourage you to explore the list and send us your feedback for future editions. Who did we miss? Who should be ranked differently? We hope this project spurs discussions and, perhaps, some debate. To be sure, it is not the final word on the local tech community, just the beginning.
Gregory T. Huang can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @gthuang.