Makers & Mavericks
— 2013 —
Michael Acton Smith
Entrepreneur / Creative Director
Mind Candy, Moshi Monsters
Founder of Mind Candy in 2004 and creator of Moshi Monsters in 2007, which became a global hit with 60 million kids learning while playing. His goal is to build the no 1 entertainment company in the world for the new online generation.
El Bulli Foundation
Adrià changed the face of gastronomy with his deconstructivist style: taking known dishes and transforming their form whilst maintaining their essence. He is now setting up El Bulli Foundation, with which he wants to create 100-year legacy.
Founder / Author
Ajaz dropped out of University and founded AKQA, an independent digital creative agency at 21. He is co-author of Velocity with Nike’s Stefan Olander. His vision and his understanding of brands have kept AKQA at the forefront of a fast moving digital world.
Chemist / Traveller
Waterloo Tea will get us to fall in love with tea again. It is committed to an ongoing exploration of the World's finest teas. His teashop is a future glimpse of what teashops will be like. He will change tea.
Entrepreneur / Cofounder / CEO
Former editor in chief of Wired. Author of some important books: The Long Tail; Free. The Future of a radical price. He is currently the cofounder and CEO of 3DRobotics.
Whole Larder Love
His book “Whole Larder of Love” shares his passion for food and his philosophy for a simpler life by living off the land. Think of him as Australia’s version of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Quoddy shoes are handcrafted shoes made in Maine, USA. He is making a shoe that defines his town, while others have outsourced to cheaper producers. The headquarters and heart of the company remains in Perry, on the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay.
The creator of Instapaper, which features a Read later bookmark, making it easy to save and revisit internet pages for the obsessive readers among us. Others copied him but couldn’t make it simpler than him.
He was one of the co-founders of what we know today as Welsh Water. It was the largest ever, non government-backed, corporate bond issue. It created a new model for the ownership and management of public assets, where profits are reinvested for the benefit of the company’s customers. It’s the only Utility company in Britain to do that.
Naturalist / Broadcaster
Naturalist. Broadcaster. Educator. Orator. National icon. He has brought the worlds attention to the impact of people on the planet. BBC’s living planet and life series is what BBC and David are best at.
Sean works with local farmers, ranchers and artisan food producers to pull together a menu of sustainable ingredients and using whole animal and vegetables at Gather, Berkeley, California. Voted Chef of the year by top men’s magazine.
Former Professional Baseball Player / Front Office Executive / Oakland Athletics
He had the body of a winner but not the mind of a winner. His baseball career never amounted to what it could have done. He took this learning and looked differently at the game. His ‘Moneyball’ approach changed baseball.
The American man of letters is an academic, cultural, and economic critic. He has a clear vision for leading a good life, which is based on strong rural communities, local economics, fidelity, and frugality. His appreciation for the natural world is threatened by industrialization and greed.
Biologist / Author
University Of Montanna
3.8 billion years of research and development is what fuels Janine’s biomimicry ethos. She is a naturalist and innovator. Her biomimicry institute looks to learn from nature an adapt it to our world today.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Inventor of The World Wide Web
A British computer scientist that invented the World Wide Web. Oh, just that little thing. ‘This is for everybody’ was a moment in the opening ceremony of the Olympics. He had to write an email from this shed I am writing in right now because the internet wasn’t very good at The Do Lectures. Oh, irony.
Entrepreneur / Investor / Founder
For the best part of a decade the media wrote about how Amazon was going to fail. It didn’t. Now it even lets its rivals sell things cheaper than it does, and people laughed at the introduction of kindle, but now they don’t anymore. He has just bought the Washington Post.
J. Darius Bikoff
Founder / CEO
He came up with the idea of Vitaminwater after he was feeling "run down" and concerned he was catching a cold, so he took some Vitamin C and drank some mineral water. It occurred to him that he could mix them together instead of having to take them separately. He used his personal savings to start. Years later, he sold the business to Coke.
The Whole Earth Catalogue
Founded The Whole Earth Catalogue, a modern day Google. “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish” was its sign off on its last edition. Started Long Now Foundation in 1996 - promoting slower and better thinking, reframing time into 10,000 year block.
Editor / Founder
Editor of Monocle magazine. He is a good old-fashioned lover of print. He started Wallpaper and sold it. But Monocle is what he will be known for. Stylish. Useful. Important. He has a great eye for good design and zeitgeists. His 24 hour radio station is a masterstroke.
Long-term thinker in a short-term world. He is renowned for his value investing philosophy and thriftiness in business investments. He has announced the largest donation to be given to charity after his death, which is to the value of 30.6 billion dollars. Give or take.
Snowboarder / Founder
Not many people can say they invented a sport. Burton continues to be the most authentic and creative snowboarding company. The riders make the decisions. They no longer have to sell lawn mowers in the quiet summer months.
Yvon + Malinda Chouinard
Patagonia: The outdoor gear company committed to making the lowest impact it can. Its influence goes beyond the size of company. Pioneers stay true to their mission, and that is what they have done.
The documentary called September Issue is where you can see the Welsh creative director of American Vogue do her stuff. She creates amazing sets for amazing pictures. Each and every month. But especially September.
Zach Sims & Ryan Bubinski
Codecademy rethinks education as knowledge sharing and aims to share coding knowledge. They believe that Education is broken. And codecademy will reboot education for a changing world.
He is founder of Realmac software. His Clear app is a super simple, super intuitive to do list app. Lots of to do apps get bought and then never used. This one quickly becomes part of your day.
Executive Chef / Founder
25 Mile / Cnwd
Scott returned home after working with the world’s best chefs to set up a great little food company called Cnwd. He’s also executive chef at The 25 Mile that sources its main ingredients from a 25 mile radius. Changing local.
He fly’s below the radar for most people. But he is slowly building a body of work that is making him one of Britain’s most important artists. He is responsible for all the Radiohead covers and poster artwork.
“Dorsey had an idea and decided to pursue it” and created Twitter. Dorsey’s guiding principles are simplicity, constraint and craftsmanship. He is currently busy changing how people pay for things over the phone with Square.
To have one hit can be luck. To have two has to be skill. After leaving Gap, he went and become CEO of J. Crew. J Crew has become one of the most important retailers and makers in the fashion world.
Founder / Designer
It took 5,126 versions that failed before he made one that worked. He is an inventor, industrial designer and founder of Dyson. When his rivals stole his patents, he fought them. Basically, he doesn’t know how to quit.
He started the KaosPilots in Denmark. The goal was not be the best business school in the world but for the world. He is now bringing some different thinking to politics in Denmark, as he is Danish MP for Culture.
Ultra Marathon Runner
He is an ultra marathon runner who has run across America and the Sahara desert. He is a recovering addict. He has been in prison. He is using life’s lesson to help others.
Extract Coffee Roasters
David Faulkner, Lee Bolam, Marc Richards, Samantha Faulkner
If you get great coffee in the UK, chances are it will be roasted by these guys. They will only supply you if you are serious about coffee and you agree to sign up for training.
Inventor / Designer / Founder
Nest is a learning thermostat. It learns from your behaviour and heats your home accordingly. Tony has brought apple thinking to heating your house. Nest looks beautiful. And saves energy. It’s twice beautiful. The next smoke alarm is now out.
Co-founder of TechStars. A startup school in Boulder, Colorado. Writer of Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City. Managing Director of Foundry Group. Blogger. Marathon runner.
Red trousers aside, the Bristol Mayor is making change. Bristol introduced its own pound to promote independent shops and keeping the money in the city. It has been widely accepted. Next up, congestion in the city.
The 4-Hour Work Week
Author of The 4-Hour Work Week and 4 Hour Body. New York Times Best Sellers. Angel investor and advisor to tech startups. Have big goals is his thing. He also converts them too.
Online Performace Artist
He was a pioneer of the Vlogging format and is considered one of the most influential and visionary people in the field, inspiring such shows as the vlogbrothers, Philip DeFranco and Wheezy Waiter. He is currently the Executive Vice President of Video at BuzzFeed.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle Coffee was set up by Freeman to cater for his hankering for the taste of real, fresh coffee. It sources the finest organic beans and roasts them on vintage equipment, and those beans are in your hands within 48hrs.
President / Co-founder
He is president and Co-Founder of 37signals, which created basecamp and campfire. His mantra is to do amazing things, not many things. He believes tech companies need to deliver revenue. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is the company's only investor.
Movember is an initiative to raise awareness for men's health by having men grow moustaches every November. It began as a bet in a bar in 2003. Now, it's a worldwide movement that raises huge sums for prostate cancer.
He is not on this list just because of his ability to play football, but also because of his loyalty. Loyalty is a rare thing in football. He put the club before his own ambition. Joins a small list of one club players like Tom Finney etc.
He has written 14 best selling books. He has written over 5000 blog posts. He is an entrepreneur, marketer and a full-time doer. He is always shipping. He is always making people think different. That’s for sure.
Viaweb / Y Combinator
Created Viaweb that became the software that built Yahoo stores. He created Y Combinator, which is changing the world of Startups’ Combinator has funded over 550 startups including Dropbox, Airbnb, Codeacademy.
Foo Fighters / Nirvana
We have been buying his music for over a decade through Nirvana and Foo Fighters. But after watching his SXSW talk we got to know the man behind the music: The musician comes first. Yup, indeed.
Ole Martin Hansen
Hansen & Lydersen
Ole Martin keeps 4 generations of family tradition going in the Hansen and Lydersen smokehouse in London, smoking Norwegian sourced fresh salmon to order to 80-year-old principles originating in Norway.
Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey
Founded in 1948 by Edith Heath. Beautiful ceramics and tableware made onsite at the factory and designed to last a lifetime. Sold direct to the customer.
5th Generation Baker
Hobbs House Bakery
He believes handmade bread is for everyone. Tom is a 5th generation baker at Hobbs House Bakery and is using his TV programmes to spread the word about the importance of real bread.
Wieden and Kennedy
She is creative director of one of the most creative advertising agencies in the world: Wieden and Kennedy. Her instinct, her drive, her bravery around ideas has made her indispensible over in rainy Portland.
Environmentalist / Founder
He ditched a career in nuclear physics to start Oak Village, his wooden furniture company. Thirty years on he’s one of Japan’s leading environmentalists. After the tsunami in March 2011 he led a team of volunteers to collect acorns. The saplings will be replanted in the spring.
Senior Vice President Of Design
A Zen like focus on resolving complexity into intuitive devices is not an easy thing at all. Beauty comes from utility. A lot on his shoulders at the moment, but he had a great teacher.
John, Nick and Melissa
This is a small batch production house that specializes in the manufacturing of single needle jeans. John, Nick and Melissa are the Jack/Knife Family.
This is the name given to a photographer and artist whose identity is unconfirmed, he is graffiti artist who fly-posts large black-and-white photographic that fit into their environment on the streets which is the largest art gallery in the world.
Perry Chen / Yancey Strickler / Charles Adler
A crowdfunding site which puts together creators and backers to help projects come to life. Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform. It is changing the way creative projects are funded. And not a bank in sight.
Co-founder / Entrepreneur
Vimeo / DIY.org
He started Vimeo and loved building it. Then he sold it. And he missed it. He is now building DIY.org a place for kids to get skills so that they can be awesome. Because the best way to learn is by doing. He is building something that he will never sell.
Linden Street Brewery
Micro brewery’s are a big idea. And Adam is a pioneer. Linden Street Brewery, located in an 1890’s brick warehouse, is bringing back lost West Coast brewing traditions to Oakland. One pint at a time.
Pixar struggled in the beginning. Then Pixar got lucky. A genius bought it and he soon worked out there was another genius in the building. As Steve Jobs said to John Lassetter: Just make it great.
Alison and David Lea-Wilson
Alison and David’s sea salt business started in a saucepan of water simmering on the family aga and has grown into Halen Mon. They harvest, dry and pack the salt crystals by hand for its customers all over the world.
She founded Collette in Paris 15 years ago. It quickly became a melting pot of fashion, design, music, and food. She became an important curator a long time before the word curator become important.
Grenson started making shoes in 1866. In recent times it fell upon tough times and was bought by Tim. He has turned it into a real success story. It has two great factories. One in Britain. One in India. Both making great Grenson shoes.
Labour Party Politician
Former London Mayor
The Labour party may not love him, London may no longer love him. But he changed things. From former London mayor introduced the congestion charge and approved the London Bike Scheme. And championed London 2012 bid.
Before the word Glamping had entered our vocabulary, James Lynch was busy pioneering Fforest in West Wales which meant they had to invent a new word for what he had created at this iconic venue. Fforest is what the escape button on the computer was designed for.
Albion is a free BMX monthly magazine that is changing the action sports publishing world. In theory, a free magazine shouldn’t be this good. But former BMX champion has never played by other peoples rules.
Rick and Michael Mast
Mast Brother Chocolate
Two brothers and artisan chocolate makers entirely committed to their craft. Mast Brothers chocolate is hand produced from the bean to the bar in their Brooklyn shop. Patience, simplicity and discovery sums up their revolutionary yet traditional approach.
Jerad and Justin Morrison
These siblings have turned sourcing and roasting coffee into a holistic experience. Sightglass aims for traceability from the hand that picks the coffee cherry to the hand that serves the cup. Sightglass is changing coffee.
Through Toms shoes he has invented a brand new business model. One for one. You buy one, and they give one to kids in the third world without one. He is now doing the same with eyewear to give people sight to those without.
Magnus use local produce in the kitchens of Fäviken, turning survival in a pretty unforgiving part of Sweden into a gourmet experience. Fresh ingredients are sourced and hunted locally during the summer months and then preserved for the harsher winter months.
World Record Breaker
“The Flying Scotsman” broke the world hour record in July 1993 and April 1994. He was known for his unique riding positions and developing bicycle design with parts from a washing machine. He joined a professional team in France and was fired before the first race.
Sushi Master / Head Chef
He’s considered to be the finest sushi maker in Japan. Sukiyabashi Jiro runs a humble 3 michelin-starred restaurant. The Jiro dreams of sushi documentary shows his quest to perfect art of sushi.
The ex Fat Duck, ex Per se, ex head chef at Noma struck out on his own in Copenhagen. He has created a fun place that just happens to serve exceptional food.
She is helping to change how coding is viewed in UK. She is Co-founder of Decoded which promises digital enlightenment and to teach a novice to code in a day.
Dr Steve Peters
Olympic Cycling Team
He may not be as famous as some of the sports people he has helped. But there are many top rugby players, Olympic swimmers and cyclists who swear by him. His ‘Chimp paradox Model’ book is a seminal read - taming the mind of fear for greater performance.
Founder /Online Curator
Online curators are the modern day newspaper editors. They create audiences from sharing. Maria is the self-proclaimed “curator of interestingness”, writer and hard worker. The brains and energy behind brainpickings.org.
Author / Publisher
Black Irish Dogs
His motivational books are the best out there. He is author of The War of Art, Do The Work, Warrior Ethos. His publishing company is called Black Irish Dogs. Its motto is: Get in the ring.
They are here because of their music but here also because they just won’t rest, they won’t stand still, they won’t live off what they did yesterday. In a world that seems to love vanilla, they are the antidotes to it.
Head Chef / Founder
Rene changed how we think of Denmark. Changed how we think of Copenhagen. Changed how we think of local food. Noma has been voted the world’s best restaurant three years running since 2010.
Author / Pioneer
Lean Start Up Movement
He pioneered the Lean Startup movement. A new-business strategy, which directs startup companies to allocate their resources as efficiently as possible lean and agile principles applied to innovation. ‘Fast decision making, Fast failure’ is the best way to succeed.
Founder of Future Cinema in 2005. His aim is to change the cinema experience. To bring cinema to life by creating a social cinema experience where the audience can connect with each other online and at the event.
Tartine Bakery & Cafe
Tartine is not a bakery but a shrine to bread in America. Chad has learnt from and collaborated with the best bread bakers around the world, and continues to create by blending traditional techniques and ingredients in new and different ways.
Sir Ken Robinson
Education In The Arts Advisor
The education system hasn’t changed since the industrial revolution. But the world has changed. Ken’s books and talks made us realize our schools are failing to recognize creativity; we’re failing to prepare the next generation for the challenges that lie ahead.”
Tina Roth Eisenberg
Online Editor / Blogger
She is best known as Swissmiss, a blog that started in 2005 as a personal visual archive. It gets over a 1 million unique visitors each month. Since then she has started ‘Creative Mornings’ that is in 60 creative cities. And, Tatly, a designy temporary tatoos shop. She builds teams around her ideas. Yup, ‘Trust breeds magic’.
He was the interpreter between Steve Jobs and the World. He gave Apple their voice. Author of Think Different and named the iMac. Now a best selling author of Insanely SImple.
Scrapbooks are cool. Ben took that idea and applied it to the internet. He is co-founder of Pinterest, where pictures get pinned to boards and liked. It has become a great resource for reference material.
Start With Why
Author of the book: Start With Why. His book is perhaps the most articulate reason why you should find your purpose, find your love, find something that matters. His goal is to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.
Roy is Roy Jeans. Roy makes them. Roy markets them. Roy ships them. Roy mends the machines. Roy is Roy Denim. Roy answers the phone. He is a true one-man band. And, oh, what a band.
Entrepreneur / Founder
He is an outspoken entrepreneur and understands what being a true risk taker means. He is best known as founder of the Eden Project which went on to be Britain’s biggest visitor attraction outside of London. But he won’t stop there.
Photographer / Filmmaker
If anyone has seen his film The Dark Side of the Lens, then you will understand why he is on this list. A surfer, photographer, filmmaker who devoted himself to the thing that matters most to him: surfing.
Michael Hovarth & Mark Gainey
They are founders of Strava. A social fitness app, which allows users to track and compare performance and activities. It started in 2009 and has proven to be slightly addictive for many cyclists.
He emailed us to ask if he could come and learn from us. He went back home and started an amazing denim brand called Noble Denim. I think we learnt as much from him.
Founder of Linn, the maker of Linn Sondek LP12 turntable, which is still regarded by many as the finest sounding turntable in the world. Linn keeps everything in house to ensure control over everything and continues to push music forward.
The Alpine Review
Louis–Jacques Darveau & Patrick Tanguay
Publisher & Editor
The Alpine Review - a bi-annual, comprehensive magazine that tracks changes in thought, systems and creations around the world. A thing of beauty.
Envrionmentalist / Co-founder
North Face / ESPIRIT
Environmentalist, Conservationist, and former business co-founder of The North Face and ESPIRIT. He set the standards for rock climbing equipment design but sold his stake in both businesses to found the Foundation for Deep Ecology (1990) and The Conservation Land Trust (1992).
Raspberry Pi Foundation
A charity created to promote study of computer science in schools. He helped create a single board computer to support this aim.
CEO / Author
From his Dad’s liquor store, he become obsessed with collecting wine. He started winelibrary.com, which grew like crazy. Now best known for his media company and his best selling books like The Thank You Economy. And is new one: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World.
His studio is one hell bent on doing great creative work. But I think he is re-inventing himself as an educator and motivator for the creative classes and this maybe life-defining legacy. Every creative should sign up to his weekly ‘Burning Questions’.
Veg Box Pioneer
Riverford Organic Farm
Guy has worked the land for 26 years. Riverford Organic Farm pioneered the organic veg box scheme. It has grown to 40,000 boxes a week and employs 500 people. He has got big by sticking to his beliefs.
White Hat Hackers
Unknown individuals who break into systems to point out security flaws or bring attention to a good cause. Hackers stay anonymous unless hired specifically as white hat hackers.
Olympic Gold Medalist
Bradley Wiggins – A master of both track and road cycling who has shaped his career as a professional cyclist since the age of 12. He won an Olympic medal and the Tour De France. Not a bad year. Perhaps our most articulate athlete.
Blogger / Twitter / Medium
He is best known as one of the co-founders of Blogger and Twitter. But he is not stopping there. He has started a new publishing platform called Medium, which is going to change online publishing. Medium is going to become one of the most influential platforms in the world.
Fred Wilson - A New York City based venture capitalist and blogger. His blog is one of the most influential out there. Wisdom in spades. He is a founder of Union Square Ventures which focuses on tech and digital investments.