There's a common party question about which 5 people would you invite to a dinner party? Often this is amended to include living or dead people, and it's often interesting to hear people tell you who they'd invite and why.
Since most of the people reading this work in technology in some way, I was wondering who you would invite to a party that's related to technology. Living or dead, however tangential, is there a list you can come up with?
I'll give you my list and then a few thoughts. For the list, I'll say Steve Wozniak, Sal Khan, Reed Hastings, Gladys West, and Lawrence Lessig. Maybe not all technologists per se, but all had an influence on my life using technology.
Steve Wozniak because he was a geek hero and he seems like a fun person. Someone that enjoys technology. I had an Apple II early on and always wanted to meet him.
Salman Khan because I think his use of technology to teach others, for free, was incredible. Education is something that's a big part of my life, and I appreciated his lessons helping my kids at times. I think someone that sees the world in this way would be a great conversationalist.
Reed Hastings has been an incredible businessman in the tech world. He founded Pure Software and Netflix, and has been on the boards of Microsoft and Facebook. He has had an influence on education efforts in California. I would love to listen to him talk about business and technology.
Gladys West is a mathematician who worked on a number of topics that built computer models for submarines and analyzing satellite data. She has had quite an influence on the GPS system many of us use every day in our phones. I'd love to know what it was like for someone like her to work and grow in our field.
Not least, just last. Lawrence Lessig is a professor of law, and someone that has worked hard to ensure our legal world better represents fairness and ethics in technology. I've read a number of his books and would be interested in talking about how we ought to view the digital world from a fair rights perspective.
That's my list. What's yours?