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Tech Leaders You Might Not Know About, That You Should

Tech Leaders

Every day, there’s something new that’s tech — new tech companies, new tech trends, new tech solutions. But the tech thing there’s more of than anything else is tech hot takes. If you’re like us, you’ve probably had to hear a lot of bad ones. That’s why we asked our co-workers, customers, and partners, “Who are the tech leaders you’re listening to?”

This is the result. We’ve curated a list of people from across the web with incisive opinions, interesting points of view, or who just plain give good advice on topics ranging from AI to app dev to running companies. 

Nick St. Pierre

Today, Nick St. Pierre is a creative director for Original Creative Agency (OCA), a design/branding/marketing/production studio whose clients include mega-star rappers like Kendrick Lamar and tech companies like Amazon.

On Twitter (uh, X), his bio reads, “publicly exploring #AI & sharing learnings.”

That’s an understatement. St. Pierre might be the foremost “Midjourney influencer” on the platform. His prolific output includes daily guides, live demos, and in-depth discussions with his followers about everything you can create with AI.

Even if you’re not “pro-AI,” or even if you’re not a designer, St. Pierre’s work is a bellwether for the industry-wide (well, everything-wide) AI transformation.

Wes Kao

Although she’s a two-time co-founder, entrepreneur Wes Kao might be more famous for her wildly successful newsletter on becoming a “sharper marketer, founder, and builder.” 

Software engineers, designers, CMOs, and CEOs all rave about her insights. She’s been variously described as “incisive,” “unique,” “indispensable,” and “inspirational.”

Kao’s a regular conference speaker, podcast guest, and lecturer. In 2023, she left her online learning startup, Maven, to focus on her newsletter… and “to take some time to relax.” Fair enough!

Max Lynch

Max Lynch, co-founder of Ionic, brings a little more of a down-to-earth vibe to the role of tech CEO. That’s probably because he’s a proud Midwesterner.

His unfiltered takes on Bay Area culture and software development have made him popular with developers and C-suiters alike.

Lynch is also a vocal advocate for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs are websites that look and feel like any other mobile app you can download from the App Store or Google Play when you visit them on your phone. But developers circumventing its App Store isn’t something Apple, in particular, likes the sound of, leading it to behave in ways some call “restrictive.”

Lynch calls it “purely evil.”

In 2023, after over a decade at Ionic, Lynch left to form a new company, Teamsake, focusing on building software solutions for remotely distributed teams.

Jem D’jalel (Jem Jelly)

Is Agile finally dead?

Don’t let Agile Coach Jem D’jalel, better known by his moniker “Jem Jelly,” even hear you pose the question — he’s a ferocious defender of Agile and Scrum (in his own words, he’s “scared of no one”). When he’s not rebutting critics, he’s doling out daily advice on becoming a better agilist across LinkedIn and TikTok.

@agilerooms Replying to @Bonnie Cetin #scrummaster #computerscience #agile #scrum #projectmanager #softwareengineer #developer #technology #jobs #dailyscrum #agilecoach #adayinthelife ♬ original sound – TheAgileRooms

Jelly, whose coaching career spans nearly two decades, has become a go-to resource for anyone interested in implementing Agile methodologies like Scrum, Kanban, or Extreme Programming.

Christina Farr 

Christina Farr is a health-tech journalist turned health-tech venture capitalist. Farr has a simple enough explanation for her career switch: “I wanted to kind of be on the inside.”

Not that she’s done writing. Almost 20,000 subscribers read her Substack, Second Opinion, for articles like “The inside story of why this once high-flying digital health startup failed” and “How health-tech founders can survive a brutal 2024.

If you’re not involved in health tech yourself, you won’t be left out. Most of what Farr has to say about topics like “hustle culture” and investing is vertical agnostic.

Shiva Nathan

Before he founded Onymos, Shiva Nathan was the resident security expert at Intuit. As its Head of Platform & Services, he oversaw the development of projects like the TurboTax mobile app.

You can check out his commentary on the intersection of privacy and tech on LinkedIn. He’s also an expert contributor to DevOps-focused publications like Dark Reading and Database Trends and Applications.

You can also catch him participating in events throughout the Bay Area, like 10Fold’s Media SharkTank.

Tech leaders everywhere, at every level

Former Cisco CEO John Chambers said, “If you don’t innovate fast, disrupt your industry, disrupt yourself, you’ll be left behind.”

We think our list of handpicked tech leaders has the potential to help you “disrupt yourself.” From designer Nick St. Pierre to VC Christina Farr, we selected people who are bold, visible, and whose voices are loud enough to cut through all the noise.

The good thing is there are so many of those kinds of people that we could never list them all, so keep listening out for them.

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