The world's 50 most innovative companies

BusinessWeek has published its annual The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies list, a survey put together in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Of course Apple is the no.1. Yet there are some surprises.

BusinessWeek has published its annual The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies list, a survey put together in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Of course Apple is the no.1. Yet there are some surprises:

- Two Indian companies made the top 20: Tata is #6 and Reliance came in at #19.

- General Motors made it on the list (for "products"), thanks to "concept cars like the electric Chevrolet Volt and the Detroit auto maker's renewed focus on design."

- For the first time, a Wall Street firm made the top 25: Goldman Sachs (for "processes & business models").

- Nintendo, a game maker, is at #7.

- Microsoft maintained its place among the top five.

- Sony, despite all the talk about a need for reinvigoration, is still among the top 10.

- Facebook came in at #25 (for "customer experience" -- seems ironic given the customer turmoil following the Beacon disaster...).

- There are only nine European companies among the top 50, three of which are German car makers: Audi, BMW, Daimler.

Bruce Nussbaum provides some interesting commentary, identifying the companies that have fallen most sharply in this ranking since 2006:

- Starbucks: 2006- #9; 2007- #14; 2008- #32

- Intel 2006- #17; 2007- #19; 2008- #48

- Cisco 2006- #28; 2007- #25; 2008- #35

- Dell: 2006- #14; 2007- #22; 2008- #46

- Virgin 2006- #11; 2007- #18; 2008- #28

The question of course is: Does innovation matter? In other words, does it have a positive impact on revenue and profit growth? Well, here's an interesting figure (via Bruce Nussbaum again): Based on The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies list, the S&P/BusinessWeek Global Innovation Index tracked the performance/stock price of the top 50 innovators from 2007. A look at the performance of this Innovation Index over the past 12 months shows that innovative companies outperformed the average by more than 7% in 2007 and have done 5% better since the middle of 2005:

- S&P/BusinessWeek Global Innovation Index -- up 2.16%

- S&P 500 Index -- down 7.76%

- S&P Global 100 Index -- down 3.2%

In a similar vein, but more design-focused, the British Design Council maintains an index that tracks the performance of design-savvy companies over time. It showed that the share prices of a group of more than 150 quoted companies recognized as effective users of design out-performed the stock market by 200 per cent between 1994 and 2003.

 

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