Bozo Explosion; IdeaFlash; Life and Death; Atul Gawande’s Latest
October 13, 2011
Bob Parsons, Youngme Moon, Dan Pink, Sally Hogshead, Todd Klein — high points
October 27, 2011

Bigger Impact Than Jobs; Runs Pretty Much Everything; Tech Titan Dennis Ritchie

"…keeping you great"


Steve Jobs Stood on the Shoulders of Dennis Ritchie — the week after Steve Jobs died, another tech legend passed away, Dr. Dennis Ritchie, who is the "father of the C programming language" and co-creator of Unix – and brother of EO and YPO member Bill Ritchie, whom many of you know.

Bigger Impact Than Jobs? — Reports Wired magazine "When Steve Jobs died last week, there was a huge outcry, and that was very moving and justified. But Dennis had a bigger effect, and the public doesn't even know who he is," says Rob Pike, the programming legend and current Googler who spent 20 years working across the hall from Ritchie at the famed Bell Labs."

Runs Pretty Much Everything — and this equally glowing tribute in the NY Times last Friday, noting "The tools that Dennis built – and their direct descendants – run pretty much everything today," said Brian Kernighan, a computer scientist at Princeton University who worked with Mr. Ritchie at Bell Labs. Earlier this year, Ritchie received the coveted Japan Prize and was honored at Bell Labs.

But There You Go! — Bill Ritchie, founder of ThinkFun, noted in my email to him "Yeah, Dennis was pretty amazing… but I really didn't have a sense of the scale of it. If I had told you, 'Hey, when my brother's story is told, they're going to say he was more influential than Jobs or Gates,' I expect you would have patted me on the head. But there you go! He's been a top 5 twitter trend since the news broke."

Read Voraciously — not surprisingly, Dennis Ritchie was a voracious reader, according to the NY Times obituary.

See You in Phoenix — it's been a fun week spending time with the members of EO Oklahoma (Oklahoma City and Tulsa are on fire – and full of high tech firms); EO New Orleans – their city is rebuilding nicely and making huge strides in reforming education; and EO Victoria, based in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Next week in Phoenix for our 2011 FORTUNE Growth Summit – see many of you there for a 48 hour "mini-Think Week." Let's learn voraciously!!

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.