In praise of 'The Forbes Four'

Sat, Dec 22, 2012, 00:00

When Forbes talks, people listen, especially when it names the people to watch. The “30 under 30” is a who’s who of young innovators and entrepreneurs; this year, four Irish men made the cut.

Entrepreneurs Patrick and John Collison, programmer James Whelton and advertising expert Jonathan Cloonan have been recognised as four people with the ambition and success to keep changing their respective industries. They are also sure to make the rest of us feel like underachievers.

Patrick (24) and John (22) Collison (above) have grabbed the interest of some of the tech industry’s top investors with their payments company Stripe, which was recently valued at about $500 million.

Whelton (20) is behind the CoderDojo computer programming club, which he founded in school. It has now expanded to 22 countries. More than 10,000 children each week are learning to develop games and apps.

As an account director at GroupM Apac’s branded-content unit, Cloonan (27) has struck multimillion dollar deals on TV formats worldwide.

The four are in good company. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, musician Marcus Mumford and designer Alexander Wang were all named on their respective lists. We’ll just gloss over the fact that Justin Bieber also made it, shall we?