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

Robert Guttman, 32

Software

Frictionless Commerce

Choosing a car color is hard enough. Imagine trying to make strategic purchasing decisions for a huge corporation. Robert Guttman’s knack for softwareagents—autonomous, personalized programs that facilitate better-informed decisions—has made such buying chores easier. With an artificial-intelligence degree and four years at Motorola, Guttman arrived at the MIT Media Lab in 1996 to plan the world’s first agent-mediated marketplace experiment. His idea was to create software agents that could find certain goods for their masters at preferred prices, then negotiate and close sales on the buyer’s behalf. The successful experiment left Guttman wondering whether similar agents could function in real-world marketplaces. In June 1998,along with two MIT colleagues, Guttman founded Frictionless Commerce in Cambridge, MA, to commercialize his technology. The software is now used by operations like the U.S. Army for large purchase orders of laptops, truck brakes, even lumber. With Frictionless’s success secure, Guttman has left his post as chief technology officer— though he remains a board member— and is shopping his talents around.

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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