For a little fun, check out Inc. Magazine’s online slide show on the top 30 fictional entrepreneurs from TV, film and books. I missed a few of these, but I’d argue that Willie Wonka is in the top three, rather than number six. He knew his market, had great promotions, excellent staff management skills, pursued quality control at all costs, and had the foresight for a succession plan.
You can compare that list to Inc’s list of the 5 most important entrepreneurs of the past 30 years. Inc asked six small business specialists to name their top five.
Steve Jobs of Apple wins, with three mentions, Bill Gates of Microsoft gets two, as do Fred Smith of FedEx, Meg Whitman of eBay and the Google guys. Others of note: Oprah Winfrey, Bono, and the women recipients of microloans from Grameen Bank.