innovators with the biggest impact on society

A response I made to a thread on the Something Awful forums:

Tim Berners-Lee is the innovator who made the biggest impact on society. He created the Web and laid out guidelines to ensure that it would never become the capitalist nickel-and-dime cesspool that the Mobile Web was created to be. Instead, he built the Web to enforce open-source principles (go ahead, try and hide your JavaScript code from me...), and released it to academia first to ensure it would grow as an information hub rather than a marketing tool. While others have taken the Web and warped it for their own financial interests, Tim Berners-Lee has contented to teach and further the concept of a place where humanity could finally be free to experience anything they wanted, or learn about anything they wanted, in seconds.

In my opinion, the Web is still the only 24/7 place in the world where you can really say and do anything you want. It's the reason why most of the music industry has come to terms with the fact that doing your own thing and doing what you love to do is the ONLY reason to be a musician these days, because the Internet and the principles of the WWW have made it so the labels can't control the industry anymore. It's no longer a legal monopoly. Web connectivity is the major reason why the Arab Spring protests could even happen in the first place, without government control they were able to access new ideas and organize effectively. The anger has been in their blood since the 60's, but the Web made it all coalesce so it could drive their oppressors out of the country.

Not only that, but Tim continues to contribute to the Web's ecosystem and publishes papers and articles commenting on the state of the Web, how certain companies are furthering its intended purpose and how some of them are actually diminishing it.

So yeah. Have any of the people mentioned thus far built technology that allowed a revolution to happen? Not a revolution involving the exchange of money, but a REAL one?

Interesting how much advertising affects our life that we miss some of the great innovators simply because they didn't want to/have to market their product.

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