in the marketing, media and agency world
If you happened to be frozen in cryonic suspension over the past decade, you missed a lot.
Steve Jobs and the iPod reinvented the music business. Sergey Brin and Larry Page tamed the Web. Ad shop Goodby, Silverstein & Partners rewrote the creativity book. And this thing called social media put amateurs in charge of just about everything else.
Sound like chaos? Not compared to the way the '90s ended, it wasn't. If anything, the last 10 years witnessed something uniquely new for the Web: a measure of rationality. From the overhyped, speculative ashes of the dot-com boom, the Internet saw itself reborn and reorganized—and panting at the end of Google's tight leash. And this time, the business opportunities were real. Sure, social-media sites like Facebook and YouTube might not be raking in the dough—but they're viable tools for the branding, marketing and media execs who are learning to use them.
This time around, they weren't all 21-year-old whiz kids, either. Along with the maturing of the Web came the reassurance that technology means little without a quality brand and experienced leadership to go with it. How else to explain the ongoing dominance of 123-year-old Coca-Cola? Why else would 78-year-old media mogul Rupert Murdoch be at the top of his game?
To wind up the 21st century's first decade, we've spent the past month working on a list of the best and brightest in the branding, marketing, media and agency world in 33 categories over the past 10 years. Check out our choices at the links below, or click here to start with the first category. As a reality check, we sought your input here on this site over the past month. Those results are presented here, next to our selections. Much of the time, we agree. Other times it's not even close. But open exchanges like this were still another feature of the past decade—the reason the Web added that dignified 2.0 after its name.
Happy reading, and we'll see you next year. —The AdweekMedia Editors