Who Are the Most Creative People in Business?
From Brian Dean to Isamaya Ffrench, here are 16 answers to the question, “Who are the most creative people in business that you admire?”
- Brian Dean
- Steve Jobs
- Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang
- Seema Bansal
- Elon Musk
- Gordon Ramsey
- Fred Smith
- Adam D’Angelo
- David Bowie
- Kevin O’Leary
- Bill Gates
- Tim Urban
- Howard Stern
- Jeff Bezos
- Sam Altman
- Isamaya Ffrench
Brian Dean rocks! From nothing, he created a globally renowned personal brand and business in Backlinko. His creativity knows no bounds, yet his commitment to helping others online with quality content remains ever-present.
Not only that, but as a brilliant marketer and exceptional teacher, he’s one of the most revered entrepreneurs I’ve had the pleasure of admiring—truly humbling me each time I think about it.
Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing and Outreach Manager, PhotoAiD
I deeply admire Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple and was a central figure in the development of the personal computer and the popularization of graphical user interfaces. He’s publicly renowned for his design sense, marketing savvy, and ability to identify and capitalize on emerging trends.
He helped to develop disruptive, iconic products such as the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, and his approach to design and innovation continues to influence the technology industry today. Throughout his career, people knew Jobs for his perfectionism, focus on simplicity and elegance, and willingness to take risks.
He was a charismatic leader who inspired others with his vision for the future and his passion for creating products that made a difference in people’s lives. Although Jobs died in 2011, his impact on the technology industry and popular culture will live on.
Zach Goldstein, CEO and Founder, Public Rec
Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang
Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang founded Musical.ly, the video social network that allows users to record their daily adventures in 15 seconds to share with the world.
The app took off like wildfire, claiming the #1 spot in eight countries in the iOS App Store immediately after its launch. Designed intending to connect people through self-expression, two creatives found a unique way to celebrate creativity itself.
Liza Kirsh, CMO, Dymapak
Seema Bansal is the co-founder and CEO of Grofers. She disrupted the Indian retail space by launching a grocery delivery service in 2013 when most people thought no one would ever pay for groceries online.
Seema could defy the odds with her out-of-the-box thinking, hard work, and determination. By utilizing technology to deliver products efficiently at lower prices than local stores, she created an unprecedented convenience that appealed to customers across India while growing her business rapidly.
What’s even more impressive is how she grew Grofers into a multi-million-dollar company despite facing enormous pressure from both investor skepticism and competition. It’s inspiring to witness someone like Seema break traditional barriers and create a success story through sheer will and imagination.
Carly Hill, Operations Manager, Virtual Holiday Party
As a business owner, I admire Elon Musk for his relentless work ethic and creative solutions to seemingly impossible problems. His creativity is certainly one of his most notable qualities—clear in the many groundbreaking projects he has spearheaded.
Indeed, it’s no surprise that Musk’s creativity, combined with his drive and determination, has earned him a reputation as one of the most visionary entrepreneurs of our time. His relentless pursuit of progress has disrupted traditional business models and opened up new possibilities for the future.
And what I admire most about Elon Musk is that no matter what challenge he faces, he never stops fighting for progress—even when there seems to be no way forward. This resilience and creativity will ensure continued success in all of Musk’s future endeavors!
Maria Harutyunyan, Co-Founder, Loopex Digital
I’m in the food industry, and I can’t help but admire Gordon Ramsey. In theory, I should hate him for being the ultimate sellout, with multiple cheesy TV shows, cookware lines, books, merchandise, and everything short of frozen dinners.
But somehow he does all of this and still has the most Michelin stars of any chef today, runs some of the finest dining establishments in the world, and continues to enjoy a robust family life. Oh, and he still creates new dishes and recipes for his empire.
I admire his determination, his energy, and his leadership style. He expects a lot, but knows when it’s time to turn off the character and be supportive.
Paul Kushner, CEO, My Bartender
Fred Smith’s resilience and daring creativity helped him establish FedEx as the multi-billion-dollar business it is today. When the business was close to bankruptcy in its early days, Smith gambled all or nothing with the remaining cash and stakes.
While those moves didn’t make a replicable startup strategy, his creative thinking won him enough at the blackjack table to keep the company hanging by a thread until he secured more investor funding.
As a Yale student, his professors told him the idea for FedEx was infeasible. His inspiring tenacity and creative vision for the future paid off again and again.
Maximilian Wühr, CGO and Co-Founder, FINN
Adam D’Angelo is the co-founder and CEO of Quora, a question-and-answer website where users can ask and answer questions on various topics. D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever co-founded Quora in 2009, and the company has since grown to become one of the world’s most popular websites.
D’Angelo formerly served as Facebook’s Chief Technical Officer (CTO), where he was instrumental in the platform’s creation and evolution as a significant social media site. He left Facebook in 2008 to launch Quora, which he viewed as an opportunity to create a platform to help people find and exchange information.
D’Angelo oversaw Quora’s growth and expansion as CEO and was also involved in creating new features and products. He is well-known for his technological expertise and commitment to creating a user-friendly platform that allows people to interact and learn from each other.
David Reid, Sales Director, VEM-Tooling
I actually admired (and still admire) David Bowie, because of the creativity he showed throughout his life and how he turned it into a career and lifestyle. David Bowie was a musician and personality who turned into so much.
Just seeing him reinvent himself whenever things felt a little stale was inspiring to me and it gave me ideas about how someone could do the same thing in business.
When things need to be refreshed, Bowie could read the room and change accordingly. I look to do that in business in order to change times and over multiple eras.
Shaun Connell, Founder and CEO, Credit Building Tips
I have been fortunate to work with many creative people, but I think it would be exciting to meet Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank.
Kevin O’Leary (a.k.a. “Mr. Wonderful”) possesses not only the ability to see the potential upside of a business but can also create the upside by looking at the investment of resources in a completely different light. Diversification in business is a unique quality, but few can change their approach and tailor it to each new opportunity.
It is his ability to be flexible in his thinking, as well as brutally honest in the assessment of his own capabilities to make a venture successful, that I truly admire.
Alexandre Bocquet, Founder and CEO, Betterly
One creative person in business that I admire is Bill Gates. He is the co-founder of Microsoft, one of the world’s largest and most successful technology companies. Gates has used his creativity and innovation to create products that have made an enormous impact on the world.
He has also used his business acumen to make smart investments, turning Microsoft into one of the most valuable companies in the world.
He has also been a philanthropist, giving billions of dollars to various charities and causes. I admire Gates for his creativity, ambition, and generosity. He is a true role model for those in business.
Michael Lazar, Executive, ReadyCloud
Tim Urban, while not your typical entrepreneur, runs a very popular blog, “Wait But Why” which is known for its witty and humorous writing style, as well as its in-depth explorations of complex topics.
Tim Urban has built a large and dedicated following of readers who appreciate his unique perspective and engaging writing.
His blog is a great example of how an individual can use content creation and online marketing to build a personal brand and grow a successful business.
Nick Zviadadze, Founder, MintSEO
Howard Stern is a creative businessperson who has achieved success in multiple industries. Stern started his career as a radio host and quickly rose to fame, becoming one of the most popular radio personalities in America.
He then moved into television and film, producing shows such as “The Howard Stern Show” and “America’s Got Talent.” He has also made investments in various businesses, including SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Pandora.
Jeff Pollak, Partner, RadioActive Media
Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer. He is one of the most successful and creative business minds in the world today, having built Amazon from an online bookseller to a sprawling global empire.
Bezos has an expert eye for spotting trends and opportunities, allowing him to identify new markets to tap into with innovative products or services.
He also has a passion for experimentation, relentlessly investing in new ideas and technologies that could make Amazon even bigger.
He continues to push Amazon in exciting new directions, revolutionizing the way people shop and do business online. His commitment to innovation has made him one of the most respected and successful entrepreneurs in the world.
Michael Dadashi, CEO, Infinite Recovery
Sam Altman is a creative person in business whom I admire. Altman has a track record of success as an entrepreneur. He co-founded Loopt, a social mapping app, which was acquired by Green Dot in 2012. He also co-founded Hydrazine Capital, a seed-stage venture capital firm that has invested in companies such as Airbnb, Stripe, and Instacart.
Altman commits to promoting diversity in the tech industry and has launched several initiatives to encourage more women and underrepresented minorities to start and run their own businesses.
He also is a powerful advocate for education. He has funded several educational initiatives, including the Altman Fellows Program, which supports young entrepreneurs, and the OpenAI Scholars Program, which provides training and mentorship to individuals interested in AI.
Sven Patzer, CEO
Isamaya is a British makeup artist; however, it would be far more fitting to refer to her as a “wearable artist.” Vogue, Dazed, and other canonical fashion publications show her editorials, and her design subjects have ranged from Rihanna to the Jenners.
Just this week, Isamaya achieved the title of Beauty Curator for Off-White, a brand well known for its forward-thinking, ambitious approach to fashion and culture.
Alongside this, her “Lips” range of lipsticks has brought a shock factor to the world of makeup in her own unique fashion. Isamaya Ffrench is therefore not only a leading creative in the beauty space; she’s also a shrewd and skilled businessperson.
Alex Hamling, Content Writer, Toolfit
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