A self-proclaimed "agent of change," Godin is the author of 11 books, a sermonizer on the future of marketing, and a popular blogger.

Godin studied computer science and philosophy at Tufts and attended Stanford Business School before moving to Boston to work on early multimedia products for a software company. A popular (and very early) speaker on the burgeoning internet, Godin attracted attention when he founded Internet marketing company Yoyodyne in 1995. In 1997, the company landed financing from venture capitalist Fred Wilson; a year later, it was sold to Yahoo! for $30 million. Godin subsequently focused his attention of marketing punditry, preaching the gospel of "permission marketing," now one of the dominant mantras in the advertising business.

Godin's wife, Helene, is an entertainment lawyer. The couple lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. They sold their second home in Menlo Park, Calif. for $1.5 million in 1999.

[Image via Erik Charlton]