Several notable names from the search/social/marketing industries are included on the 2013 Time 100, the magazine’s annual attempt to list the most influential people in the world.
There’s no ranking involved — it’s not a countdown, just a collection of movers and shakers grouped together in categories like “pioneers,” “titans” or “leaders.” And each person on the list gets a brief essay written by a guest author — often also someone quite influential in his/her own right.
Of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, her former boss at Google, Eric Schmidt, says “when I think back to our time working together, the gender distinction melts away. She is simply one of the smartest, most talented leaders the tech world has ever known. Google was lucky to have her help us grow into what we became, and Yahoo is lucky to have her taking them someplace new.”
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also made the list, with Gloria Steinem writing that Sandberg “is opposing both external and internal barriers to equality, which is one reason she’s misunderstood in an either/or world.
Another exec from Facebook’s flock made the list: Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. In his essay, TV/radio host Ryan Seacrest says Instagram has “forever changed the way we communicate.”
Other notable tech/search/marketing names in TIME’s list are Apple designer Jonathan Ive (whose essay is penned by Bono), Google Ideas founder Jared Cohen (who just co-authored The New Digital Age with Eric Schmidt) and Kai-Fu Lee, who’s worked with Apple, Microsoft and Google.
No offense to those folks above, but these lists are best not taken too seriously. It seems pretty obvious that Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and someone from Twitter should be included (along with Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook and many others we could list). But just like all of those Rolling Stone magazine lists (500 Best Songs, 100 Best Guitarists, etc.), the point seems to be to generate debate as much as anything.