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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Josh Coates, 28

Software

Scale Eight

Ignore the bare feet. Josh Coates may look like an exuberant techie grad student, but he is a serious business player who has convinced investors to pony up $55 million for his 1999 San Francisco startup, Scale Eight. The chief technology officer has a paradigm-shattering idea that says the right software deployed over the Internet or local networks will let large corporations dramatically cut their data storage bills. Right now, data storage involves expensive, proprietary hard drives that are usually deployed at a few central sites; it’s a $20 billion market set to grow inexorably as more computers produce ever more information. But Scale Eight challenges that inevitability. Coates says his software will let customers use networks to route data to scores of cheap, off-the-shelf hard drives, where they can be stored inexpensively and securely. “I’m trying to sweep hardware out of the way and thereby commoditize storage, really lowering the costs, ”says Coates, who counts Microsoft among his two-dozen customers. “Software has no bounds, ”he adds. “If you can think of it, you can do it in software.”

2002 TR35 Winners

Richard Barton

Internet and Web

Sergey Brin

Internet and Web

John Carmack

Entertainment

Josh Coates

Software

Paul Debevec

Entertainment

Shawn Fanning

Internet and Web

Justin Frankel

Internet and Web

Vinay Gidwaney

Software

Robert Guttman

Software

Travis Kalanick

Internet and Web

Lydia Kavraki

Software

Reiner Kraft

Internet and Web

Raymond Lau

Software

Max Levchin

Innovator of the Year

Pamela Lipson

Software

Rob Malda

Internet and Web

Steve McCanne

Internet and Web

Lou Montulli

Internet and Web

Kazuho Oku

Internet and Web

Larry Page

Internet and Web

Joseph Reagle

Internet and Web

Tim Tuttle

Internet and Web

Susie Wee

Internet and Web

Ethan Zuckerman

Internet and Web

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