Computer geeks aren't really like other people. We dream more of benchmarks and gadgets than red carpets and paparazzi.
That doesn't mean, however, that the tech world is without its rock stars. Intel likes to joke about it, but there really are larger-than-life characters whose imposing presence rivals that of any ego this side of Howard Hughes.
This week, we count down some of the biggest egos in the IT business.
Honourable mention: Steve Wozniak
Iain Thomson: I've got real doubts about this one, but Shaun insisted. As my co-worker pointed out, Woz seldom turns down an interview, always has a pithy quote and is usually pretty free with his personal appearances. His Dancing with the Stars episode proved that.
But my big disagreement is that, while Woz may have an ego, he has the skills to back it up. The guy is a genius when it comes to engineering and computers. I take my hat off to man who writes out an operating system longhand and then makes it work.
Shaun Nichols: As I will point out multiple times on this list, having a big ego doesn't mean you're a bad guy. The geek-crush we have on Woz has been well-documented. But that doesn't mean he can't go on this list.
The public loves Woz and, let's face it, Woz loves the public. He never turns down an interview or a chance to go on TV and give his opinion on Apple or anything else in the tech world. Maybe it's because Woz is an incredibly nice guy who just loves helping people out, or maybe it's because, like nearly everyone else on the planet, he likes getting attention and feeling important.
And Iain, genius skills and massive ego usually go hand in hand. When someone has prodigious skills and no ego behind them, there's usually a mental disorder involved.
mention: Dan Lyons
Shaun Nichols: How do you pin a huge ego on a guy who spent the better part of a year trying to hide his identity? Yes, Dan Lyons did spend most of his time as Fake Steve Jobs trying to remain anonymous, but when the spotlight came he most certainly did not shy away from it.
The formerly unknown Forbes editor was unmasked as the brilliant mind behind the satirical Apple blog, and then lept wholeheartedly into the world of geek fame. Book deals, a move to Newsweek and even a speaking engagement at Google were some of the perks Lyons gladly soaked up.
This isn't to rag too much on El Jobso Fake-o. The man has a family to take care of and the journalism profession isn't exactly a gold mine these days. Most of us would have milked such an opportunity for all it was worth.
Namaste, Dan. I honour the place where our list and your 15 minutes of fame become one.
Iain Thomson: Yes but, journos with egos is never a good mix. We're supposed to be impartial, unless we're let off the leash for an article like this. That said, I have a soft spot for Lyons. The Fake Steve Jobs blog was so funny and on the ball that I think he's due the plaudits.
The question remains what he will do with this fame. I'm hoping he'll reap the plaudits and then go back to journalism. If he takes the star route we'll see how big his ego really is.
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