Sultans Of Silicon

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That thud you hear is the sound of totems crashing. For more than a year now the escalating crisis in Asia has toppled a raft of cherished beliefs, including the faith in sprawling, hierarchical firms and stiff-necked business practices. Those who would emerge from the rubble might do well to take their cue from the world's new capitalist royalty--the cyber-elite, those brash visionaries who have revolutionized far more than the world of technology. In many cases their practice--nimble, innovative, irreverent--has proven as far-reaching as their products. And those products now underpin the operation of nearly every industry in the world. In the following pages we have compiled a list of the 50 most influential figures in this new universe of software and silicon--the barons of the future business. What one reads in their varied and blinding success may be nothing less than the future of business.