They're Rockin' The World

I figured that assembling a dozen busy executives from around the world for a joint photo would mean plenty of headaches. The last thing I expected was a dance party. But that's just what happened--as you can see from the cover of this, the inaugural version of our list of the most influential people in electronic business.

When the 12 Netheads--from Seattle, Silicon Valley, New York, Pittsburgh, and even Japan--arrived in San Francisco, the rock music was cranked to the rafters. For our group, this wasn't just background music. They broke loose and gave us a look at the energy powering the e-business revolution. CEO Jeff Bezos was irrepressible--so much so that we asked him to move off the top of a tiered platform onto the bottom step for fear he might tumble over the side with his high kicks. Investors would not have been happy. Yahoo!'s Tim Koogle went Saturday Night Fever with not one, but two fingers aloft. And where else would you see eBay's Meg Whitman doing the frug?

It was a hoot. Even putting it together wasn't such a teeth-gnashing task. Getting the planets aligned took a little more than one week. By contrast, coordinating a photo shoot two years ago with 12 of Silicon Valley's finest--including Andy Grove, Steve Jobs, and Scott McNealy--took one month. Ah, finally, we see the upside of Internet time. Our thanks to the rockin' Netheads and to photographer Alan Levenson, who captured the spark behind the Net phenomenon.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.