Best Buy has turned away from traditional celebrities, like Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne (featured in last year’s Super Bowl ads) and embraced its inner geek. The company announced that this year’s Super Bowl ads will feature the “rock stars of technology.”
Who does Best Buy consider a rock star? Try Silicon Valley celebs Philippe Kahn, Kevin Systrom, and Jim McKelvey (pictured above, left to right). Kahn founded Borland, Starfish Software, and LightSurf Technologies. His latest startup, Fullpower Technologies, developed the motion sensing technology used for navigation in the iPhone and iPad. And Kahn is considered to be the first person to take a picture with a cell phone and share it, as Spectrum reported in Digital Photography: the Power of Pixels. Systrom worked at Google before starting Instagram, the creator of a popular photo sharing app for the iPhone. And McKelvey’s startup, Square, has made it possible for anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone to take credit card payments, sinking a big nail into the coffin of cash.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.