Profile: Alex Iskold

Name: Alex Iskold

Title: CEO

Company: AdaptiveBlue

Age: 34

Industry: IT/computer-related services/consulting

30-second biography: Iskold started his career in 1994 as a software engineer at Goldman Sachs and moved on to high-tech investment firm D.E. Shaw and innovative visualization company ThinkMap. In 2000, he founded Information Laboratory, which pioneered the application of complexity and networks to software engineering and was acquired in 2003 by IBM, which includes the technology in its Rational Architect toolbox. As chief architect of grid computing company DataSynapse, he helped bring to market the GridServer and FabricServer products. Today, he is CEO and founder of AdaptiveBlue, a New York-based smart browsing and personalization company aimed at the Semantic Web.

Current project: At AdaptiveBlue, we are developing unique, top-down Semantic Web technologies that make it easier for people to find relevant information online. Our first product, BlueOrganizer, uses shortcuts based on a user's browsing history to automatically identify things such as movies, books, wines, restaurants and music inside Web pages and help the user instantly access information about these things on other pages. With BlueOrganizer, you can instantly add a book to your Amazon Wishlist, look up pictures of an actor on Flickr, reserve a restaurant table or find a map of a travel destination.

Who in the technology industry most influenced your career? Many, but mostly the team that created Java, James Gosling et. al. Their fresh approach, elegance and simplicity have been a great inspiration.

Most critical technologies for IT this year: Personalization, because relevance is critical. As users' attention becomes scarce, relevance becomes the key.

The best thing about today's technology: Its a ton of fun.

The worst thing about today's technology: It sucks you in. We are more and more addicted to information, but the day is still 24 hours.

Technology can . . . liberate

Book most recently on your nightstand: Ambient Findability, by Peter Morville

Favorite Web sites: readwriteweb.com

netvibes.com

What sets you apart? Pragmatism. I am a businessman, but I am an engineer too. I choose practice over theory. My goal is to make things work, not to just dream things up.

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