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As an entrepreneur, he founded the now largest company on the planet, founded a company that sold for $400m, and took Pixar from almost nothing to a $7bn acquisition by Disney.

As an inventor, he's the main name (though with significant help and industrial design by others) behind the iMac, iPod, iPad, iPhone - all dominant leaders in their respective sectors.

It's curious that you'd put Larry Ellison's achievements above all of that.

I stopped while typing and thought who was "big". I wasn't addressing the inventor portion, merely the entrepreneur. Mr. Gates or Mr. Walton had far greater impact on the world as a whole than Mr. Jobs. Mr. Ellison came to mind, as I wanted a few more names to add to the list. Guys like Buffett aren't in this category, and I could not think of other industry players of the last 20-30 years.

I'd be willing to bet that the Amazon guy might end up on this list if current trends continue, as continued Amazon success might have the hollowing-out impact of Wal-Mart. And you missed the point I was trying to make. Jobs is different because he actually saw the product as more than a dollar sign. His "score" was lower because of this, but we're all applauding his decision tonight.

And I don't count the computer or consumer electronics field as the best source of inventors. The latter, in many ways, is noise. The true inventions of the former occurred outside our date window (transistor, IC, microprocessor, ...) To me, inventions like PCR, medical/biology/chemistry/computer syntheses or vaccines are better, more significant inventions.

Hell, Sony broke the ground with the Walkman. Roddenberry thought up the iPad in a way. But, again, Jobs had taste and he made sure (a) we knew that and (b) his products were intended to be more than revenue streams.

As a postscript, I suspect there's far, far more businesses sitting on piles of Oracle software than they'd like (but they're stuck and getting nailed for it).

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