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.