Traffic is getting worse in Seattle—and in just about every other major city in the world. Former Microsoftie Bryan Mistele cofounded Kirkland-based Inrix to help drivers navigate the mess. The company collects traffic data from tens of millions of GPS devices, smartphones and vehicles, and uses software to show you not only what traffic is like on freeways and city streets around much of the world now, but also what it’s likely to look like in the future. If you use any one of dozens of smartphone apps (such as MapQuest, MotionX-GPS), GPS devices (such Garmin) or media outlets to check on traffic, it’s more than likely that information was first collected by Inrix. Mistele may soon cash in on his success: Inrix, which analysts say could be worth as much as $1 billion, is expected to go public soon.
The Full List: Most Influential People of 2013
Their finger prints are all over Seattle. From protecting honeybees to regulating marijuana to popping and locking, these 54 men and women (and in one case, a machine) are shaping our neighborhoods, economy, attitudes and future. In the case of our person of the year—for the first time in our nine years of compiling this list, it’s a tie!—the impact is on a global scale. We may not always like the direction they are taking us in but it’s hard to deny: these folks are taking us somewhere.