Fast Company: 50 Most Innovative Companies

Fast Company magazine’s annual innovation ranking has been published in the March 2011 issue. I like their rankings, even though they don’t use a quantitative methodology to derive the rankings. (Perhaps because BCG already does that for Business Week magazine). Instead, the editorial staff of the magazine collectively chooses the top 50 every year, making it highly subjective, but also entertaining and surprisingly different every year. Here are the top ten:

  1. Apple
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. Nissan (for creating the Leaf all-electric car)
  5. Groupon
  6. Google
  7. Dawning Information Industry (for building the world’s fastest supercomputer)
  8. Netflix
  9. Zynga
  10. Epocrates (instant drug reference for doctors and nurses)

7 thoughts on “Fast Company: 50 Most Innovative Companies

  1. Apple is top in both lists. I wonder if there is a correlation between democracy in the workplace and innovation in the workplace.

  2. Absolutely! The old buzzwords still apply: “participatory workplace,” “empowering your people,” you won’t get innovation otherwise.

    1. Fast Company does not provide any information about how they do the rankings. A cynic might say they do the rankings to sell magazines by being surprising; every year, their list is dramatically different, even though companies rarely change their level of innovativeness in only one year.

    1. Fast Company quotes Eric Schmidt (recent CEO of Google) saying this about Zynga: “They were the first to figure out how to connect online gamers with their offline friends. They solved this problem through social networks, which seems obvious in retrospect but at the time was a brilliant insight that spurred their growth.” Fast Company says that in 2006, “an asychronous online game you could play with your real-world friends” was an “exotic and untested” idea (March 2011, pp. 86 and 133)

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